From the northern Italian region of the Veneto, Ubriaco is a type of aged Asiago cheese made from raw cow’s milk. This cheese has an ancient tradition of the outer rind being treated with oil during months of aging. When oil was in limited supply and needed for cooking, grape pomace and must was used to coat the cheese’s surface. Obviously this meant the cheese was treated with the crush from the wine grape harvest during the months of September-November.
Ubriaco means drunk or drunken because the cheese is soaked in wine when young, then rubbed with Vespaiolo grapes or its lees used in making Torcolato di Breganza. Sometimes this cheese is rubbed with other types of wine grapes such as Prosecco for a light flavor addition or Chianti for a more pronounced wine flavor that results in a deep burgundy-purple colored rind. Aged in a cheese cellar for up to 10 months, the 8-kilo wheel slowly matures to a semi-hard stage and has a slightly brittle paste that absorbs the taste of the grape. Ubriaco can be part of an antipasto platter with various salumi served with a glass of sparkling Prosecco, Chianti, or the type of wine used to flavor the cheese during aging. For a memorable dessert platter of Ubriaco di Torcolato, ripe pears, apples, and toasted walnuts, pair it with the golden dessert wine, Torcolato by Maculan.