• Say Cheese & Wine!

    May 19, 2022 14:22

    Say Cheese & Wine!

    Follow here for access to our event: we have a link where you can order the wines for the event and get the Zoom link (you'll need to cut and paste)


    Wine with cheese is one of the world’s best pairings. They complement each other and there are as many cheeses as there are wines to match up-just think of the potential combinations!

    My first memory of good cheese comes from my uncle Nick who would make sandwiches featuring sharp cheddar cheese (Tillamook), fresh cucumbers from the garden on whole grain bread. The cheese made the sandwich. I was a bit young to pair wine and cheese at that point, being about 10 years old, but this moment kickstarted a lifelong passion for cheese. My next favorite memory is Roquefort-remember when Roquefort cheese and dressing were all the rage? Those salty crumbles on top were delicious and I always felt so grown up ordering this salad. Still too young for wine pairing so I developed my palate for cheese first.

    37 years ago, when I started working for the winery, there were a couple of local artisan cheese makers: Vella and Marin French Cheese Company. I loved the dry Jack cheese from the former and savored the camembert from the latter. Marin French Cheese Company even began traveling with the Sonoma County Wineries group to pair up with us in different markets. More tasty cheeses would make their way across my plate over the next few years.

    Around this time I was introduced to goat cheese at a Farmlands tasting where we were pouring our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The cheesemaker was Jennifer Bice of Redwood Hill Farms and Creamery. This pairing with both wines playing off of the goat cheese captured my senses and entered me into the world of wine paired with cheese. I was hooked. A few months later we were having dinner at Bistro Ralph and were celebrating our anniversary. Ralph featured a salad with medallions of warm goat cheese and I was raving about it. Our son Joe wanted to try it and, in a scene I still remember, he couldn’t wipe it off his tongue fast enough. Some cheeses aren’t for everyone! Today his favorite is aged Gouda.

    At winery events we began using either Vella’s Dry Jack cheese or St. Jorge which is a local Portuguese family’s artisan cheese. Both are perfect with white, rose or red wines complementing the flavors of each and enhancing the experience of both the wine and cheese.

    Which brings us to the June 2nd event! I have been a fan of and have attended Janet Fletcher’s cheese classes on a couple of occasions as well as subscribe to Planet Cheese, her newsletter. I have shared her recipes with you and own many of her cookbooks as well. Here is a snippet about Janet from her website: “I live, cook, garden and write on a quiet street in Napa Valley. My house is not large but my kitchen is…and my sunny garden is bigger yet. Here, I develop and test recipes for cookbooks and magazine features; evaluate cheeses for my classes and columns; and prepare dinner nightly with my winemaker husband. In my garden—a terraced landscape of roses, fruit trees and raised vegetable beds—I find inspiration for daily cooking and an antidote to deadline stress.” For more of her story, recipes and newsletter articles click here.

    I asked Janet to curate the cheeses for our May Wine Club Shipment-if you are a Club Ped member you’ll be receiving them soon and if you aren’t a member we have a link where you can order the wines for the event and get the Zoom link (you'll need to cut and paste). The cheeses are sold separately through iGourmet and you can order them here.

    Everyone is welcome to join us for this very special evening of wine and cheese at no charge! As a bonus our winemaker Monteserrat Reece will be joining us to talk about the wines.

    The list of wines and cheeses are as follows:

    2021 Signature Selection Rose
    2019 Bench Vineyards Merlot
    2019 Sonoma Classico
    2019 Block 007 Cabernet Sauvignon

    Paired in order below with:

    Meredith Dairy Sheep & Goat Cheese: Soft, spreadable goat cheese, marinated in blended Australian Extra Virgin Olive oil, garlic and herbs. This luxurious cheese is incredibly addictive and very versatile.

    Firefly Farms Cabra La Mancha: Smooth, silky and versatile with a subtle grassiness. Goat Cheese from Maryland.

    Ossau-Iraty: A superb, silky aged sheep cheese from the French Pyrenees and renowned producer Agour. This company’s Ossau-Iraty has twice been voted the best cheese in the world at the World Cheese Awards.

    Face Rock Creamery Clothbound Cheddar: Modeled after classic English Cheddars, this beauty comes from Bandon, Oregon, and is the creation of acclaimed Cheddar expert Brad Sinko. A blue-ribbon winner from the American Cheese Society.

    Please come along for the sheer joy of a wine and cheese adventure.