Cheese: Pecorino Brillo diVino (peh-koh-REE-noh BREE-loh dee VEE-noh)
Where: Tuscany. Italy
Rind: natural, wine-soaked
Shape: small wheel (~1.25lbs)
Flavor: a rich sheepy tang pervaded by Chianti
If you’ve ever liked “port wine cheese”, time to step up to a more sophisticated drunkard of a cheese, one that matches the sweet yet biting tang of a sharp sheep’s milk cheese permeated by the concentrated flavors of Italian red wine.
Brillo (high-spirited or merry in Tuscany) is not merely washed in wine, after a few months aging; the wheels are submerged for another month in terracotta vat-fulls of fermented rosso goodness. The zing of the sheep and zing of the wine combine to both balance and accentuate the nuance of each.
Dunno… watching a drunk sheep sounds amusing, but I promise eating this one will make anybody titter. It’s a joyful bite.