Edward “Duke” Ellington was the epitome of musical style, sophistication and his musical taste is as fresh and cultured today as it was when ﬁrst performed many decades ago. In that spirit of harmonious duets, I’ve envisioned a performance of his timeless standards coupled with a pairing of sumptuous cheese and wine available here in the U.S.A. Roussette Du Bugey Montagnieu Altesse 2005 wine is justly treasured by our Gallic cousins as a national treasure and it is exported. The Comté Cheese which will grace the same table is similarly ubiquitous on every Frenchman’s table and deservedly so.
Roussette Du Bugey Montagnieu Altesse 2005
This wine is 100% of the white grape varietal Altesse which comes from the region of Bugey that is between the Rhone Valley and the Savoie.
The Nose: Ripe melon and candied apple, honey, and ﬂoral inﬂuences, lightly integrated with Mace (a spice derived from nutmeg) and fresh butter subtleties.
The Mouth: concentrated fruit ﬂavors medium bodied, lasting ﬁnish, with balanced alcohol and well counter-balanced acidity. This is a very good wine and is structured harmoniously. In fact, this vintage earned its place at the table for the next inauguration and many special events alike.
Comté cheese is loved, adored, revered, admired and the most consumed AOC cheese (Appellation D’Origine Controlee refers to regulations mandated and/or established in France to deﬁne quality standards for various products like wine and cheese and to tie the names of those products to speciﬁc soils and/or geographic regions) in France. Essentially, Comté is the household cheese for the French people. The best comparison, the American household keeps Mustard, Mayonnaise, and Ketchup in their refrigerator, and the French keep Comté on their kitchen table; and they cherish Young Comté (8 to 10 months) which is absolutely delicious and diﬃcult to get in the U.S.
However, you can get 10 to 14 month Comté which is equally satisfying and pairs exceptionally well with the Altesse Bugey 05 to the present. In addition, Bugey is considered a part of the Jura region of France as well as Comté. So, there you have it, a national favorite for the French, Comté of course, and the union of this elegant wine, Altesse Bugey, which would make a rabbit kiss a hound dog!
The sweetness and subtle ﬂavors of Comté and the low to medium alcohol and high acid of Altesse Bugey, pairs better than a Jazz trio.
My Salute to The Duke!
Artwork by John Henry Nichols
Wine & Cheese Pairing written by Steve Eastmond
Edited by Andrew Mireles, Patron of the arts