Ubriacone- The Great Big Drunk

While shopping at the Gateway Market in Des Moines, I stopped for some cheesy conversation. The man working at the cheese counter explained the details about the cheese selection in front of me. Where they came from, what the flavor profiles were comprised of, fun facts about the producers and place of origin... One caught my eye; this cheese was pale white with random splashes of burgundy running through it. I picked it up curiously to examine it. "Ubriacone. Italian Cows Milk with Red Wine". 

As enticed as I was, naturally, I bought it. After opening the package, I excitedly examined a leaf on the outside skin of the cheese. Peeling it away, it revealed holes in which the red wine was allowed to seep in.

Ubriacone is an affectionate term in Italian for the "great big drunk".

Ubriacone is a delicious raw cow's milk cheese from northern Italy's Veneto region. The cheese is pierced then bathed in a mixture of Prosecco wine (this is most traditional, but some use a mixture of different wines) and each wheel is rubbed with the must, the leftovers from winemaking, to let the aroma and flavor of the wine permeate the cheese. It is allowed to age anywhere from 2 months upwards of a year.

The cheese is covered with grape leaves to cover the holes of the piercing so that mold won't grow in the holes. Keep the leaf in place when cutting the cheese.

Origin: Italy

Region: Veneto

Milk: Cow

Type: hard, artisan

Rennet: Animal

Texture: Firm, yet soft and oily when young crumbly and firm when aged longer.I recommend for anyone who can to try this cheese. But heed my warning, once you start, you might not stop!

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