Centerfold: Ubriaco Pinot Rosé | culture: the word on cheese
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Centerfold: Ubriaco Pinot Rosé

“I like to use what I have around me, to take tradition and give it a new twist.”

— Sergio Moro

Photographed by Adam DeTour; Styled by Kendra Smith

With its pale pink rind and crown of dried rose petals, a 15-pound wheel of Ubriaco Pinot Rosé is a thing of beauty. And this stunner from Moro Formaggi in Oderzo, Italy is more than just a pretty face. Cheesemaker and master affineur Sergio Moro—together with his wife, Susi, and sons Giovanni and Lorenzo—produces a variety of Ubriachi, the semi-firm cow’s milk cheese that is a signature of the Treviso region of the Veneto. Its name means “drunken;” the style is said to have originated during WWI, when cheesemakers put their aging wheels in barrels filled with marc (an aged brandy) to hide them from invading Austrian soldiers. The Moro family has been in the business since 1930, when Sergio’s grandfather, Luigi, ran a milk co-op. They now operate a modern creamery where, among other cheeses, Sergio created the celebrated Sottocenere® al Tartufo.

Ubriaco Pinot Rosé is a more recent addition to a series of Ubriachi that Sergio bathes in wine, beer, or liqueur. “It’s always something new—some new flavor, some new pairing,” he says. For this cheese, he uses a sparkling pinot grigio rosé from La Jara, an organic winery not far from Oderzo, operated by family friends. After the wheels soak in barrels with the wine and rose petals for two months, dried rose petals are placed on top and the cheese continues to age for at least another eight months. “Sergio has perfected the affinage so the flavor is more floral and fruity rather than overbearingly alcoholic,” says Michele Buster, owner of importer and distributor Forever Cheese, who first brought Moro Formaggi cheeses to the U.S.

While Ubriaco Pinot Rosé was originally created for Valentine’s Day, it’s a natural choice for a Mother’s Day cheeseboard, and for pairing with rosé, pinot grigio, or a cup of herbal tea any time of the year.

“We wanted something for lovers… I liked the idea of using the pinot grigio rosé because of the color, and because it’s made by your friends.”

— Sergio Moro

Susan Axelrod

Susan Sherrill Axelrod is a former editor of Culture. Her love affair with cheese began at age 12, when she bicycled to a gourmet shop to taste an exotic newcomer—French brie. She lives with her partner in midcoast Maine, where she enjoys a well-made cocktail, hiking with their dog, Lucy, and spending as much time as possible on the water.

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