July 12, 2007 - Jack

Setting Up the Cheese Pairing

The Artisan & Farmstead Cheese Pairing Project

Goal: To create a list of what to pair with Artisan and Farmstead cheeses. The pairings on this page (and via links) were chosen by cheese-aficionado bloggers and us. We invite others to contribute - just email us for further details.

Cheeses listed in alphabetical order:

Elk Creamery's Black Gold

Type: Soft goat’s milk cheese
Great pairing:
Maggie Beer's Fig and Plum Pastes
Good pairing: Green apple, La Panzanella Flatbread, Apricot Preserves, Spätlese-level German Riesling
(More details here from Joanne at Fork & Bottle)


Comté
Type: hard raw cow's milk
Great pairing: Fig and Plum Paste (Joanne also liked the Chutney)
Good pairing: Apricot Preserve, Peach Butter, Crostini, Ribolla-blend (white wine), Rosé, Champagne
(More details here from Jack at Fork & Bottle)

Cone de Port Aubry
Type: Raw semi-soft goat’s milk
Great pairing:
Maggie Beer's Fig Paste
Good pairing: Valdosta Pecans, Honey, Apricot Preserves, Peach Butter, Rosé, Spätlese-level German Riesling
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(More details here from Joanne at Fork & Bottle)

Fleur Verte
Type: Creamy soft pasteurized goat
Great pairing:
Maggie Beer's Plum Paste
Good pairing:
Valdosta Pecans, Apricot Preserves, Fig Paste (a bit too sweet but a 4+), Chutney, Rosé, Spätlese-level German Riesling, Champagne
(More details here from Joanne at Fork & Bottle)

Garrotxa La Bauma
Garrotxa "La Bauma"
Type: Semi-hard goat's milk
Thumbs up: Real apple cider (w/alcohol), Garnacha Tintorera (Spanish dessert wine), peaches, arugula and alfalfa sprout salad w/vinaigrette, duck pate infused with Armagnac, grilled artichoke
(More details here from Gabriella & Ryan at Catavino)

Kuntener Reblochon
Type: Swiss washed rind semi-soft cow's milk
Great pairing:
La Panzanella Crackerbread (flatbread)
Good pairing: Rosé, Corvina-blend (red wine), Honey, Fig Paste, Apple Pickle
(More details here from Jack at Fork & Bottle)

Langres
Type: Stinky, Cow's milk, washed rind
Great pairing: None found but English Apple Pickle was close
Good pairings: Apricot Preserves, Fig Paste, Crostini, Green apple
(More details here from Jack at Fork & Bottle)

Picolo from Andante DairyAndante Dairy's Picolo
Type: Cow's milk triple-cream
Great pairings:
Spätlese-level German Riesling, Honey, Fig Paste
Good pairings: Plum Paste, La Panzanella Flatbread, Corvina-blend (red wine).
(More details here from Jack at Fork & Bottle)

Uplands' Pleasant Ridge Reserve
Type: Beaufort style, washed-rind cow's milk
Great pairings: Torcolato (passito style dessert wine), marinated cucumber pickles and kirsh brandy, chocolate covered cherries with Mangosteen and guava
Good pairings: Roasted purple cauliflower, persimmon, roasted squash rings
(More details here from Jeanne at Cheese Underground)

Point Reyes Blue
Type: Blue pasteurized cow's milk
Great pairing:
None found but Bardshar Chutney was close.
Good pairings: Apricot Preserves, Plum Paste, Fig Paste, La Panzanella Flatbread.
(More details here from Joanne at Fork & Bottle)

Rinconada Dairy's Pozo Tomme
Rinconada Dairy’s
Pozo Tomme
Type: Semi-hard raw sheep's milk cheese
Great pairings: Cru Beaujolais, lightly-oaked Chardonnay, Pasolivo olive oil (rich and grassy), Casa Festiva’s Pappardelle with Spring Peas, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Good pairings: Dried fig compote, Grenache
(More details here from Katy at Casa Festiva)

Queso de Obeja BlandaQuesos Ibar's Queso de Obeja Blanda
Type: Bloomy rind ewe's milk cheese
Thumbs-up Pairings: Garnacha Tintorera (Spanish dessert wine), peaches, arugula and alfalfa sprout salad w/vinaigrette, grilled artichoke
(More details here from Gabriella & Ryan at Catavino)

Red Hawk from Cowgirl Creamery
Cowgirl Creamery's
Red Hawk
Type: Washed-rind cow's milk
Great pairings: June Taylor fig conserve, fruit nut bread, Hazelnut brittle, mashed Medjool dates
Good pairings: Tilton apricots, Napa off-dry Gewurtztraminer
(More details here from ME at Eats)

Matos Family St. George
Matos Family's
St. George
Type: Portugese style cow's milk (cheddar-like)
Great pairings: Toasted pecans, Tawny Port
Good pairing: Dijon
(More details here from ME at Eats)


Note: Photos of St. George & Red Hawk from Eats
Photo of Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Cheese Underground
Photo of Pozo Tomme from Casafestiva
Photos of Garroxta La Baume & Queso de Obeja Blanda from Catavino


Paired Cheeses
Black Gold
Comté
Cone de Port Aubry
Fleur Verte
Garrotxa "La Bauma"
Kuntener
Langres
Picolo
Pleasant Ridge Reserve
Pozo Tomme
Pt. Reyes Blue
Queso de Obeja Blanda
Red Hawk
St. George

Comte from Essex St.

Thank you to the participants in this first Great Cheese Pairing Project:

Katy at Casa Festiva has done a wonderful job of profiling Rinconada Dairy's:
Pozo Tomme
and recounting her four-hour foray at the fromagerie.

ME at Eats got an early start on tasting St. George from the
Matos Family. Don't miss her beer bread recipe. ME also takes on Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk. Inspired by Thomas Keller's presentation of Epoisses, she offers her great pairing recipe of Hazelnut Brittle.

Jeanne at Cheese Underground found sweet, savory, drink, seasonal and classic pairings for
Uplands' Pleasant Ridge Reserve.

Gabriella & Ryan at Catavino addressed two local Spanish cheeses: Garrotxa "La Bauma" from Cataluña and Queso de Obeja Blanda from Quesos Ibar in Artziniega, Pais Vasco.

We at Fork & Bottle tried a total of 8 cheeses with 14 accompianments and 5 wines: Joanne took on one of her favorites: Herve Mons' Cone de Port Aubry and three others: Fleur Verte, Pt. Reyes Blue and Elk Creamery's Black Gold. Jack sampled Essex Street's Comté and explored Rolf Beeler's washed rinded Kuntener, Langres (another washed rind) from the Champagne region and Andante Dairy's Picolo.



Pug's Leap Bloomsday
CHEESE RATING SCALE:
Great Pairing – Really enhances the cheese – perhaps changes the flavor and makes it even more wonderful.
Good pairing – Complements the cheese – balances the cheese.
Neutral - A nice accompaniment but neither win from the pairing.
Not so good – Clashes a bit – flavors might fight. Flavors may change in a negative way.
Bad pairing – Awful. Yuck. Avoid this pairing.

Remember to always try the cheese after you try the pairing element - e.g., taste the wine first and then the cheese and then the two together. The butterfat in the cheese coats your palate and will change the perception of the flavor.

Also, if you ever do a follow-up, we'll be happy to update our page to point to your new post. We know a couple of you will want to see how your favorite cheese pairs with various kinds of grapes when they come into season in the Fall.



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