Ubriaco is a beautiful, lyrical Italian word that conjures up images of sunbaked Tuscan hills, lush olive trees and gorgeous vineyards. But what does Ubriaco mean in English? “Drunk.” Yes, this cheese is wears its alcoholic reputation on its sleeve. Is there a better way to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” than by presenting your loved one with a hunk of drunken cheese?

This raw cow’s-milk cheese hails from the Lombardy region of Italy, not Tuscany, where the cows roam the Alpine hills all day. Ubriaco is bathed in Chianti, which gives the rind a rich purple color and the aroma of grape juice. The cheese is then cured in olive oil, and the result is a fruity-tasting, firm cheese with a few tiny holes scattered throughout the interior.

DiBruno Bros. recommends pairing Ubriaco with Merlot, Cabernet or Pinot Noir, and Surdyk’s, where I purchased my cheese, suggests a Pinot Grigio. Ubriaco gives you some flexibility with wine pairings since its young, fruity taste matches with a variety of wines, provided they don’t overpower the cheese.

This Valentine’s Day, serve Ubriaco with a tray of delicious fruits and chocolates. It’s a simple dessert that doesn’t involve hours in the kitchen, leaving more time for celebrating.

Advertisements