Say Cheese! It’s National Wine & Cheese Day
July 25, 2018
July 25 is National Wine & Cheese Day! The best day of the year, in our opinion. We’re celebrating with some of our favorite cheese ladies in Paso Robles Wine Country.
Wine Club Director & Tasting Room Manager – Jada Vineyard & Winery
You often hear about the bottle that made someone fall in love with wine, what cheese made you fall in love? Brie, my
What is one interesting factoid about cheese? Cheese can be aged in bales of hay to maintain moisture and temperature. However, we don’t recommend aging wine in hay…
What cheese would you pair with a Paso Robles…
- Cabernet – something Gouda
- GSM – Olivet Foin, this is a Camembert-like cheese aged in hay as mentioned above. The hay imparts a herbal and floral tang as well as decorates the rind.
- Rosé – Our favorite pairing to date is our 100% Grenache Rosé paired with a sheep and cows milk cheese from Italy enveloped in chestnut leaves.
- Zinfandel – A creamy blue
Wine tasting notes can be quite descriptive, do you have tasting notes for your cheese or a few interesting descriptors? One of our favorites: An edible ‘brainy rind,’ underneath is off-white paste with the aroma of nuts, mushrooms, and no goaty scent…appetizing, am I right?
With summer entertaining in full swing, what is on your perfect do-it-yourself cheese plate? 3 or 4 cheeses, peppered salami, prosciutto, local honeycomb, nuts, some fresh berries and a freshly baked baguette!
How much cheese, per guest, do you recommend? I could eat an entire cheese plate to myself…I’m the wrong person to ask!
Wine often gets better with age. Can the same be said for cheese? If cheese is sitting in your fridge getting moldy… eat more cheese! However, I think cheese developing mold is fairly common…just cut it off/out and enjoy.
If Wisconsin is known for cheddar, and Stilton is British, what should Central Coast cheese be known for? I think the Merlot BellaVitano is on to something…immerse cheese in wine to give it extra flavor.
Owner – Fromagerie Sophie
You often hear about the bottle that made someone fall in love with wine, what cheese made you fall in love? This is an impossible question! I’m French and Croatian so cheese was always the centerpiece of our conversations and kitchen chats. If I had to choose a cheese that made me fall in love all over again, it would be my new favorite from my cheese crush Rodolphe le Meunier… Adarré Réserve, a pasteurized goat and sheep’s milk cheese, from the Pyrenees region of France. It is an absolutely beautiful cheese… it starts off with a little fruit in the front palate and finishes with a lovely nuttiness… and has a very long finish.
What is one interesting factoid about cheese? This is going to cause a stir. We hear a lot of complaints in the shop about people being lactose intolerant and not being able to eat cheese. I want to explain that a little because it’s not entirely true.
Jeff Broadbent is a professor of dairy microbiology at Utah State University and an expert on lactic-acid bacteria and sat on a panel with one of my curd mentors, Janet Fletcher. Here are her notes of what he said, shortened for context:
“Cow’s, goat’s and sheep’s milk all contain roughly the same amount of lactose at about 12 grams per cup. Our digestive system produces lactase, an enzyme, to break lactose down into the simple sugars we can digest.
But here’s what many lactose-intolerant people don’t know: When milk is coagulated for cheese, 98 percent of the lactose is removed with the whey. And in all but a few cheeses—high-salt ones like feta—the remaining lactose is quickly consumed by bacteria in the cheese.”
Cheese is a living product so this entire process happens in less than two weeks – certainly well before it’s placed on store shelves. Now, that being said, still take it easy, but it might be worth giving a few nibbles a try!
What cheese would you pair with a Paso Robles…
- Cabernet- Regal De Bourgogne a la Moutarde de Meaux: Pasteurized cow’s milk, triple crème coated with mustards seeds- Chantal Plasse- Bourgogne, France. A delicious triple-crème cheese coated on the outside with spicy cracked mustard seeds, but the inside is fresh and creamy, almost cheesecake-like in texture and taste. This rich and creamy paste blends wonderfully with the mustard seeds.
- GSM- Beppino Occelli Cusie Foglie di Castagno: Pasteurized sheep and cow (or goat and cow), aged 18-24 months, wrapped in chestnut leaves- Valcasotto Cellars- Italy. Cusie in Foglie di Castagno was selected to be one of Beppino Occelli’s best. Aged for a long time, sometimes for over two years, in the Valcasotto cellars, it is then refined and enriched with an outer layer of chestnut leaves, giving it a delicacy and complexity of aroma. This cheese is produced with either sheep and cows’ milk, or goat and cows’ milk from animals that are left free to pasture in summer. It is a hard cheese that is aged from 18 to 24 months. The cheese wheels are then wrapped in chestnut leaves giving the cheese its unique and exceptional flavor.
- Rosé- Langres (LON-gruh): Pasteurized cow’s milk, traditional rennet, aged 5 weeks- Tribalat Germain- Langres in the Langres de Champenois region of France. Receives washings of marc de Champagne during its ripening period of 15-21 days. The rind is colored with annatto. It features a curdy and slightly springy texture with smooth, subtle flavors, and a long finish.
- Zinfandel- Beenleigh Blue (BEEN-lee): Pasteurized sheep, vegetable rennet- from Sharpham Barton, South Devon, southwestern England- Neal’s Yard Dairy. Remarkable aromas suggesting sweetness of nectar and honeysuckle. A mild blue that can be sweet, with a consistency that is semisoft and fudgy, and yet can be flaky. It is among one of the most successful blue veined sheep’s milk cheeses.
Wine tasting notes can be quite descriptive, do you have tasting notes for your cheese or a few interesting descriptors? Absolutely! They more often describe the way cheese is made. So, for example, if it’s wrapped in leaves, hay or covered in flowers and what flavors those impart. As well as, if the cheese is soft, or the thickness of the paste (the center part of the cheese.)
With summer entertaining in full swing, what is on your perfect do-it-yourself cheese plate? I think variety is important as it allows for an overall experience which includes texture, from soft and creamy to hard, flavor profile, color, and height. I always suggest a soft cheese that you can pair with bread or fruit, an Alpine cheese, which are some of our favorites, and then a surprise selection like a blue or something a little funky.
How much cheese, per guest, do you recommend? Generally, two to three ounces per person, if it’s what most people will be snacking on – and in our experience, it usually is!
Wine often gets better with age. Can the same be said for cheese? As long as you want. Really! Cheese is a living product. It does change and can even start to grow mold if you have it a while, but that’s part of the process. You can eat the mold or cut it off and enjoy the rest. Just make sure it’s in your refrigerator at a good temperature and sealed. It will last much longer than you probably think!
If Wisconsin is known for cheddar, and Stilton is British, what should Central Coast cheese be known for? Fresh chèvre milk cheeses. It reflects the seasonality of the Central Coast terroir.
Zina Miakinkova-Engel & Cindi Patterson
You often hear about the bottle that made someone fall in love with wine, what cheese made you fall in love? Zina: La Tur. It is an amazing Italian 3 Milk cheese featuring Cow, Goat & Sheep milks. It is supple, creamy, buttery and just a hint of funk. It is a great match for Sparkling Wine
Cindi: 5 Year Aged Gouda. I love the rich, crunchy butterscotchy deliciousness.
What is one interesting factoid about cheese? 1) Lactose intolerant people can still eat cheese. Lactose is found in the whey or liquid part of the cheese. As cheese ages, the whey and therefore lactose dissipates. The older the cheese, the less the lactose. Any cheese over two years + of age is lactose-free.
2) The Origin of Cheese: Cheese originated when a merchant set out on a long journey and brought milk in bladders made of sheep stomachs. The combination of the jostling during the ride and the inherent supply of rennet in the sheep stomach caused the milk to curdle thus giving birth to cheese.
What cheese would you pair with a Paso Robles…
- Cabernet – Piave Vecchio – A 1 1/2 Aged Italian Cow’s Milk Cheese from Agriform
- GSM – Ewenique- 4 Month Aged Paso Robles Sheep’s Milk Gouda from Central Coast Creamery
- Rosé – Big Sur: San Simeon Triple Cream Brie with a layer of Vegetable Ash from Stepladder Creamery
- Zinfandel – Marco Polo- A Washington Cheddar-Style cheese with Green Madagascar Peppercorns from Beecher’s Creamery
With summer entertaining in full swing, what is on your perfect do-it-yourself cheese plate? The crowd-pleasing comb is to have something creamy like brie, a blue cheese, a cheddar cheese and an extra aged cheese with lots of seasonal fresh summer fruit.
How much cheese, per guest, do you recommend?
1 oz per person as a meal .5 oz per person as an appetizer
Wine often gets better with age. Can the same be said for cheese? It depends on the type of cheese. When it comes to whole wheels of cheese: Fresh Cheeses (chevre, burrata, etc) should be enjoyed right away. Brie & Blue Cheeses for a few months. Cheddars can be aged for 12 years +. As cheddar ages, it gets sharper. Harder cheeses (Gouda, Parmesan, etc.) can be aged for an indefinite amount of time. When it comes to wedges of cheese, they should be consumed within a few weeks.
If Wisconsin is known for cheddar, and Stilton is British, what should Central Coast cheese be known for? Cheeses from the Central Coast are as diverse as our wines. We have cow milk, sheep milk, and goat milk cheeses and many combinations thereof. There is everything from fresh cheeses to extra-aged and everything in between. Much like the diversity of the Paso Robles AVA’s effect the flavors of the wine, the terroir affects the flavor of the milk and by extension the cheese. Depending on where the herd grazes, what they graze upon and the time of year that they are milk the flavor can be completely different.