Cheese, berries & wine

An herb-spiked cheese mellows blackberries' bite
LINDA LAU ANUSASANANAN

Cheese and Blackberry Ramekins

Just because a Cabernet Sauvignon smells like ripe blackberries doesn't mean the combination is a good match. But for chef Gary Danko, the similarities were tempting.

At one of the annual Cakebread Cellars American Harvest workshops, Danko used this fruit to emphasize the berry-rich character of the wine that was chosen to go with this lunch. The big challenge: taming the berry tartness.

In these petite casseroles, the herb-spiked cheese mellows the sour bite of the berries, and heat intensifies the berry essence, which in turn emphasizes this quality in the wine. Danko suggests serving these casseroles for an indulgent lunch or light supper.