Lydia Burns, Chicago Cheese Maven, has been obsessed with apéritif, both the product and the ritual ever since she was first introduced to it years ago when visiting the Jura to witness the making and aging of Comté cheese firsthand. Drawing on this formative experience, here she pairs Macvin du Jura, a fortified wine that is an intermingling of the fruitiness of a vermouth and the nuttiness of a sherry, with Comté.
This pairing is one of her absolute favorites, not only because they are both products of the same terroir, but because the unique texture and flavors of the Macvin bring out a veritable symphony of delightful flavors in the cheese.
To further accessorize this pairing, Lydia draws on the traditional French apéritif experience but adapted to her local environment. Since an aperitif is often enjoyed hours before dinner is served, these appetite inducing libations are typically served with snacks. Drawing from the French preference for seasonal produce, Lydia decided to peruse the Green City Farmers market to find fresh accompaniments (a French baguette, radishes, rhubarb, strawberries, asparagus and a mini challah) perfect for nibbling and enjoying alongside this pairing in her picnic spread.