One of the advantages of our “100 Great Cheeses” challenge is that I’ve been “forced” to try some classics that I might otherwise have overlooked in my cheese case browsing. This week’s cheese, Le Brin of France’s Rhone region, is one of those. Despite its reddish-orange rind that resembles a stinkier washed rind cheese, Le Brin is a mild, delicately flavored cheese. This semi-soft cows-milk cheese has a chewy bite when cool, but softens to a thick, creamy consistency as it warms to room temperature. It is rich and buttery, slightly sweet with soft yeasty notes.

Le Brin was a crowd-pleasing choice before Friday night’s family dinner. We had it with Riesling, but I’d probably go with a more crisp, less sweet wine next time.

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