Last Updated on September 2, 2021
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A few years ago, Aldi rocked the grocery world — no, I’m not exaggerating — when it dropped wine Advent calendars into stores around the winter holidays. The calendars, which started in the United Kingdom, proved such a hit in the United States that the first ones sold out in minutes. Aldi has since gotten better at meeting demand.
Alongside the wine calendars, Aldi has also more quietly sold an annual cheese Advent calendar. On paper, the reason is about pairing: wine and cheese go together. But not everyone does wine, and some people simply like cheese. For those people, a cheese calendar can be its own kind of fun.
If you’re a big-time Aldi fan, you know about the calendars. What you might not know is that Aldi sells some of those highbrow cheeses other times of the year, too. This is one of them.
Emporium Selection Parmesan Cheese is an Aldi Regular Buy, which means you can find it in stores all the time. At the time of this post, the cheese runs $3.29 for an 8-ounce wedge, or about 41 cents an ounce. That’s obviously more expensive than your garden variety cheese block, but given that you could easily pay over a dollar an ounce for aged parmesan at other places, you could do a lot worse on price than the Aldi cheese.
According to the packaging, the cheese has its “inspiration from Italy,” is made in the U.S.A., and has been aged a minimum of 10 months.
The cheese has that distinctive bite that comes with an aged cheese. It’s a dry cheese, too, and isn’t something that you eat the way you might eat cheese cubes or string cheese. This is meant to be eaten in small quantities … and, if it’s your style, paired with wine.
But what wine? To answer that, we reached out to our favorite wine aficionado, Jon Thorsen at Reverse Wine Snob. He told us, “Parmesan is pretty versatile in that you can pair it with a lot of different wines from white to red. I always like to try to stay in the same country when pairing and there are a lot of Italian wines that could work but I find sparkling wine to match extremely well. I would recommend something like the Belletti Prosecco.”
Emporium Selection Parmesan Cheese is an aged cheese for those more upscale moments when you need an aged cheese. It has the familiar bite of aged parmesan, hitting the notes you need especially if you’re looking to pair it with your favorite wine.