Oil-Cured Olive and Tomato Bruschetta with Aged Jack Cheese

Makes 8 bruschetta

This dish creates balance in Merlot. I use oil-cured olives because they are lower in salt and acid and therefore go better with the wine. The bitterness of the olive and the sweetness of the tomato work to balance the dish and the wine. The Jack cheese brings out the vanilla in the wine. Use a little more or less of these ingredients to bring out the characteristics you particularly want in the wine you are drinking.

You can make these for your guests and serve them warm or cold, or you can let you guests build their own.

  • 10 oil-cured black olives
  • 6 tablespoons diced golden tomato
  • 2 grinds of coarse sea salt
  • 1/8 pound Vella aged Jack cheese, thinly shaved
  • 1/4 baguette, sweet or sourdough
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Cut bread into 1/2-inch slices. Drizzle with your favorite extra virgin olive oil. Toast lightly so the bread is warm and only slightly crusty, no more than 1-2 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, toss the olives, tomato and salt. Top each piece of bread generously with the olive-tomato mixture and then place a few shavings of cheese on top. Eat as is or toast until the mixture warms up slightly and the cheese melts just a bit.

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