Cheese Tasting Course

今日は予約してから楽しみにしていた、チーズのテイスティングコースに参加してきました。昨年 Pietrasanta がオープンしたワインバー、La Bussola としょうこさんが開催されているイタリアのチーズとワインのイベントで、1月、2月、3月とそれぞれ違う地域のテイスティングコースになっています。1月はお酒が飲めなかったので参加しなかったのですが、とてもお得なイベントなので参加すれば良かったと思ったり(笑)。


I attended “Cheese Tasting Course” run by a new wine bar “La Bussola” (a sister restaurant of Pietrasanta) and Ms Shoko.  They are running a special event of Italian Cheese & Wine Tasting Course for 3 months.  I wasn’t drinking any alcohol last month (Dry January) so I didn’t attend it, but I now wish I had because I feel it would have been enough even without wine.

This month, the theme was Cheese & Wine from Piedmont.  We tasted 6 cheeses and 3 wine and also 1 dessert wine.






Wine was all from Borgogno in Barolo.


*ラ・トゥール(La Tur)


Mixture of cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milk.  Creamy and delicate.  Good to eat as it is as an appetiser or like a dessert with jam.



*ラスケーラ(Raschera / DOP)


Cow’s milk.  It has deep buttery flavour.  Large square with rounded corners.  You can have it as it is, with polenta or grate on pasta.






Mixture of cow’s and sheep’s milk.  The shape is very unusual.  They say that  Leonardo da Vinci loved this cheese.  When fresh, it’s covered with soft fluffy white mould and inside is creamy, but when more aged it tastes of chestnut or herbs.  Apparently it’s hard to get hold of because there are only 2 producers now.




*カステルマーニョ(Castermagno / DOP)


Cow’s milk.  It’s been produced in high plains in Piedmont from ancient times but there was a time when there was no producer. It’s made in an unusual method.  The ripened versions have blue-green patches of marbling.




*トーマ・ブルー(Toma Blue by Vali cli Lanzo Dairy)


Produced by a small family run producer.  I searched it on internet but didn’t find much information, so I’m guessing it’s quite a rare cheese.




*ゴルゴンゾーラ・ピカンテ(Gorgonzola Piccante / DOP)


Gorgonzola Piccante.  Although this is quite a popular cheese I find it hard to find one that is in good condition in Singapore.





They served 3 different bread that the owner of the restaurant baked.  I forgot to take a photo of one of them but these are grissini and deep-fried bread made of chestnut flour and wheat flour.





ワインは、白のリーズリング。ピエモンテで白ワインが作られるようになったのはごく最近のことで、10年ほど前からだそうです。こちらは Bargogno で作られる初めて作られた白ワイン(Era Oraと呼ばれているそう)で2013年のものだそうです。白ワインは苦手ですが(特にシャルドネが苦手)、美味しくいただきました。

The 1st 2 cheeses were served with a salad of tomato and cucumber and the wine served was white Riesling.  Wine producers in Piedmont started producing white wine only about 10 years ago.  This is Bargogno’s first white wine (Riesling) – 2013.  I don’t like white wine in general, specially Chardonnay.  I quite enjoyed this one.









Montebore and Castelmagno were served with Ratatouille and Pear & Balsamic salad.







Wine was Baloro Classico (2011) – on the right – and Baloro Reserva.  I enjoyed both very much.



Toma Blue and Gorgonzora Piccante were served with celery and candied fruits.






After cheese tasting, they served risotto (with pear).  It was very light version of risotto so I was able to enjoy it even though I was feeling quite full by the time it came.




The dessert was Hazelnut and chocolate ice cream.




I forgot to take a photo but they also served us after-dinner drink –  Barolo Chinato.  It is a traditional remedy in Piedmont, supposed to be specially good for digestion.  The bark from the South American cinchona tree is steeped then flavoured with a variety of ingredients.  To me it tasted too much like a medicine but I’m sure it’s very good for you!


I enjoyed both cheeses and the food.  I wasn’t too keen on La Tur because it’s quite creamy but I really enjoyed all the other cheese.  I wish I could buy all of them but I know we will waste it so I bought the last 3 cheeses. I’ll enjoy some of them with my husband on the weekend and then take some of the left-over to Japan because I know my brother and sister like trying unusual cheeses.


They were very generous and served us plenty of cheese, food and wine.  They even gave us an apron!  It’s such a great value.  I have had Gorgonzola many times but I don’t think I’ve ever had any of the other ones, it was very interesting to try new flavours.  I was lucky enough to see the post in the instructor’s blog at the right timing and was able to attend the course with some of my friends, which made it even more fun.  Sadly I won’t be in Singapore to attend their course in March.


It rained on and off again today, sometimes very heavily, but when I left the restaurant and also when I left Japan Embassy (where I needed to go to get some document after this event), it wasn’t raining, so I was very lucky today!

La Bussola
5B Portsdown Road
#01-04 139311 Singapore

(These courses are run only in Japanese as far as I know.)





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