While the vast public distracted themselves with everything pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon, my friends and I turned our attention to the finer things in life. Namely wine and cheese. And if you're me and can't really appreciate alcohol, just the cheese. My friends, this is Trader Joe's answer to the merlot-cheddar-shaped hole in my palate. And no, not a boozy pumpkin-spice-apple-cider cheese. That's overkill y'all.
What is the difference between a Lancaster, PA merlot-infused cheddar and this cheese soaked in Syrah? Uhh...that was a distinct cheddar and this isn't? As far as wine is concerned, I'm whatever the opposite is of a sommelier. Never heard of syrah until I saw this cheese (but thanks to the internet, I know that it's some kind of red grape...that you use to make wine! YAY I CAN DO MATH), which a TJ's employee recommended.
As an apathetic occasional wine consumer, I don't really have to understand wine to understand why this cheese is so darn good. TJ's excels at introducing exciting and relatively exotic foods to newbies so that they might gain a pseudo vocabulary and elementary appreciation for such things. Why drink your wine and eat the cheese when you could save time/money/energy and just eat the cheese? Potentially a bad question - wine and cheese lovers, feel free to chime in here. Although, if you were trying to have wine and cheese during Election Night as my friends and I tried, I'd totally understand if you skipped the cheese completely and jumped straight to the wine...
It's savory and nutty but also mildly fermented and sweet (sweet with regards to wine, not to this dessert cheese). It doesn't really taste like a cheddar but it has the texture of a creamy cheddar. I can't really comment further on the wine part, so I guess y'all have to trust me that this is worth trying and just pick it up and add your input. It goes without saying that the alcohol content of this cheese is negligible, so if you're looking for that you'll probably want to supplement with an actual glass of wine. As for me, a taste is enough. It's good with crackers, with grapes or a nice tart apple, or sliced and eaten by the slice. Probably good with wine but I wouldn't know completely because I got distracted by this cheese and forgot all about the wine. All I know is that between a group of friends and an empty pantry devoid of snacks, this cheese disappeared within days.
Repurchase? Oh you better believe it. The fearless flyer advertised it at $7.99/lb but it was a bit more at my store. Even still, it's not a bad price. This is the cheese for your wine and cheese nights all year long and those holiday charcuterie boards, especially if you can't make it out to Lancaster for boozed up cheese. I certainly hope it sticks around long enough through the holidays.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah. Moderately boozy and bougie for
lazy people cheese lovers. 8.5 out of 10.