A drunken hard cheese from Piedmont, Italy. The rind is pressed with the grape must from the Barolo wine barrel. Expect some bold red wine flavours infused through out the cheese!

Details

Milk: Can be either a mixture of pasteurised cow and ewe OR just cow

Country:Italy

Region:Cuneo, Piedmont

Producer:Beppino Occelli

Rennet: Animal

Type:Hard, drunken

Size: 6.5kg wheel

Maturation:Five months before it is coated with the pressed grapes used to make Barolo wine and matured for a further 2 months. 

Texture: Firm, crumbly

Beverage pairings: Terra di Brigantti Aglianico

Condiment pairings: Grapes or a red wine jelly

Why we love it

An Italian cheese made from a combination of cow and sheep’s milk. The cheese is coated with “grape must” which is a by-product of the Barolo wine making process, the grapes on the rind are edible – but watch for seeds and stalks! Bitey, creamy, sweet, winey, buttery and sharp all at once. If you’re a red wine lover – this is the cheese for you!

Drunken cheeses, while are a fun addition to our cheese platter started out as a way of getting out of paying extra taxes on cheeses. A cheesemaker and wine maker would be taxed on the quantity of their cheeses or wine. To avoid paying high taxes, they would hide the cheeses in wine barrels and bring them out when they were ready to eat.

Beppino Occelli is passionate about his region and has been involved the dairy sector in since in 1976, in that time earning a well-deserved reputation as a fine cheesemaker. His focus is always on the quality of milk and this cheese is often made with whatever milk is available, whether it’s cow or sheep or a blend.  

Occelli al Barolo