Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson on Italian Wines and Cheeses

Foodie spring break is here. As part of the Bank of America Lifestyle Seminars, Laura Werlin and Andrea Robinson will host Italian Wines and Cheese at the Shelborne South Beach. Short Order caught up with Robinson for details about the event.

See also:
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"It's a great way of getting people familiarized with this very complicated topic," Robinson says. "For me, it's a great way to brush up on Italian wines, because I live in California. And I try to work with Laura as often as possible. She's pretty much a fixture at these festivals. Everyone loves cheese, and -- like wine -- people want to unlock the mysteries of it."

For the event, cheese author and educator Laura Werlin has chosen some lesser-known Italian cheeses. Robinson has been responsible for the wines.

Robinson admits her position as master sommelier with Delta helped her narrow down the wines selected for the event. "I'm constantly tasting wines from all over the world myself."

>Robinson says picking the wines for the cheese selection was a fairly straightforward process, but narrowing down her favorite Italian wines as whole is much harder. "Picking a favorite Italian wine would be like picking a favorite child," she says. "I guess my favorite categories fall into the bottle-aged reds from Piedmont and Tuscany. But there is a whole category of northeastern whites from the Friuli region. That region makes amazing Sauvignon Blancs that are great to pair with cheeses. I really suggest trying them."

So what's on the menu?

For the cheeses, Werlin chose:

  • StraCapra
Nuvola di pecora

  • Pecorino toscano
Ubriaco al prosecco
Sottocenere al tartufo
  • Grana padano

  • Taleggio

  • Blu di bufala

Robinson opted to pair the selection with the following:

  • Tasca d'Almerita Leone d'Almerita Sicilia IGT 2011
  • Antinori Cervaro della Sala Umbria IGT 2010
  • Lungarotti Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio DOCG 2005
  • Zardetto Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG dry "Zeta" 2011
  • Jermann Vintage Tunina Venezia Giulia IGT 2009
  • Antinori Muffato della Sala Umbria IGT 2007

Robinson has a message for guests: "Come with an open mind, and come hungry. Cheese is pretty filling. We don't want you to miss the chance to try multiple pairings, as we're going to be jumping back and forth with different combinations. You probably don't want to eat a heavy brunch that morning."

The seminar takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday, February 24, at the Shelborne.

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