Some wines are for everyday… you knock them back without a care or thought. Those are freeing and ephemeral days. But then, there are wines that give pause… stay in your memory like your first dance with a sweetie. They grab you and hang on for the ride. I recently experienced a sexy slow dance . Tasted back in November, I still remember the wine’s sensations and flavors. But not necessarily when I drank it alone — it’s really too sweet for my palate. But when I paired it with some salty, creamy, thick-veined blue cheese, it transformed. My tweet read: “Blue cheese + Foreau Demi Sec is freakin’ unbelievable”. Not sure I need to say more.
Read more: Food and wine pairing heaven: Sweet Vouvray and blue cheese
Cypress Grove Creamery’s Cheesemaker Mary Keehn started raising goats in the 1970s, but didn’t begin making her magic until 1983. Immediately, her passion turned into winning awards for her now-famous chevre-based goat cheeses like Humboldt Fog, named after northern California’s weather phenomenon in Humboldt County. Today, to focus her energy on cheesemaking, she no longer raises the goats and the milk comes from local sustainable farms that partner with Cypress Grove. Her success has revitalized the farming community by creating opportunities for small dairies to thrive. The initial concept for her amazing Truffle Tremor, back in 2009, involved flavoring fresh goat cheese with truffles, but Keehn thought the truffle overpowered the young cheese. She felt the truffles pined for the complexity of a ripened cheese so she went that route instead. To introduce the namesake umami-ness, Keehn experimented with a variety of truffle products, including truffle oil, before settling on a canned grated black truffle from Italy.
Read more: Good enough to eat with a spoon: Truffle Tremor cheese from Cypress Grove
Once upon a time, there was a young cheese from LaMancha, Spain. Soft, creamy and salty, it cowered under the shadow of his older brother, aged Manchego. At only three months, his mild manner made him feel not as manly as his stronger, firmer Manchego brother. People began calling him Boychego behind his back but after he overheard this new nickname, he liked it — embraced it even. “There’s nothing wrong with being a milder sheep’s milk cheese, ” Boychego declared. “I melt in the mouth and my earthy brininess isn’t as overwhelming as the older guys.” Take that, Manchego.
Read more: The story of Manchego cheese’s younger brother: Boychego
I have fallen in love with a hunk. My husband would be pleased to hear this but this hunk is a wedge of cheese. Specifically the aged kind called Gouda from Holland. But before you roll your eyes and yawn over the boring personality of typical American gouda, know this… the Dutch original is always better.
Read more: Delicious cheese review: Two Sisters Isabella Gouda
Is there a better-named cheese out there to pair with wine? Not sure, but it would also pair with a porter-style beer. It’s a full-bodied, cheddar-style, cow’s milk cheese is rubbed with a Turkish grind of South American, Central American, and Indonesian coffee beans as well as some aromatic lavender buds.
Read more: Amazing cheese: Beehive Cheese Company “Barely Buzzed”
Part 2 in a series. NYC cheese consultant Raymond Hook chatted with Giacomini family from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese. In this segment, they talk about what wines pair best with their blue cheese and where they see the American farmstead cheese business headed.
Read more: Interview with Giacomini Family at Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese – part 2
NYC cheese consultant Raymond Hook chatted with Jill Giacomini Basch, Karen Giacomini Howard, Diana Giacomini Hagan and Lynn Giacomini Stray from wildly successful Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese. Based in northern California, this family-owned company has inspired American consumers and dairies alike.
Read more: Interview with Giacomini Family at Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese
A wine like this needs a strong cheese to stand up to the big flavors, but not overpower them. This wine is a perfect match for Reblochon, a great cow’s milk cheese from the Savoie region of France.
Read more: Wine and cheese pairing: Reblochon with Hogue Genesis 2007 Meritage
Soft, elegant wines like pinot noir pair well with blended goat and cow’s milk cheese like Kunik from New York’s Nettle Meadow Dairy.
Read more: Wine and cheese pairing: Elegant pinot noir and Nettle Meadow Kunik
I have been a fan of Malbec for a while, usually from Argentina. But I like French Malbecs from Cahors a lot. I think Bleu d’Auvergne would be an ideal match. This is a cow’s milk blue cheese from Auvergne region in France, just north and east of where Clos la Coutale is made.
Read more: Wine and Cheese pairing: Bleu d’Auvergne and French Malbec