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My macaroni and cheese has six cheeses: Sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, colby, bleu cheese (Point Reyes Bleu), gruyere and parmesan. I start with four cups of bechamel sauce into which I stir two cups of shredded cheeses (which makes it a Mornay sauce) and then mix the cooked macaroni and sauce in a large bowl. I add more shredded cheeses, diced country ham and a few chopped tomatoes. Once the mixture is spread in a baking dish, I scatter over the top handfuls of panko bread crumbs tossed with shredded cheeses and finally, over all, I grate more gruyere and parmesan. About 30 minutes at 375 degrees will do it, though it doesn’t hurt to turn on the broiler for a minute or two so those bread crumbs get toasty and crusty. Yum!

For wine, I opened a bottle of the Matua Valley Pinot Noir 2008, from New Zealand’s Marlborough region. This is an inexpensive matua_logo.jpg pinot noir that may lack great dimension but gets the details right. The color is medium ruby-cranberry; the bouquet offers cloves and allspice, cranberry and cola and red and black currants with a hint of melon. In the mouth, the currant and blueberry flavors develop elements of dried spice and potpourri and a touch of earthiness. The wine ages briefly in a combination of new and used French oak and stainless steel, a process that retains the grape’s fresh appeal and zestiness, while contributing a firm satiny texture. No blockbuster here but a model of charm and delicacy and delicious fruit. Very Good+. About $14.
FWE Imports, Napa California.