We’re a few days into spring, farmers’ markets here and across the country are coming back to life, and our wineries and gardens are in bloom. With the longer, warmer days beckoning us outdoors, we put together a picnic-perfect wine and cheese spread, inspired by the delicious array of local and artisanal cheesemakers in our own backyard. For our East Coast wine lovers, we also tapped our friends at Jasper Farms, in Vermont, for some of their favorite cheese and wine pairings.
A Few of Our Favorite Local Wine & Cheese Pairings
Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam Triple Cream with Far Niente Chardonnay. With its notes of salted butter and white mushrooms, this luscious, triple cream with a pillowy bloomy rind is a stunning match with the full, silky texture, stone fruit flavors and vanilla-toasty oak accents our classic Napa Valley Chardonnay.
Chardonnay Cheeseboard Accents: Add some dried apricots or apricot preserves, raw or toasted walnuts, Castelvetrano olives, salmon rilletes, soppresatta and good crostini. Mix, match and play!
Point Reyes Cheese Farmstead Cheese Co.’s Toma with EnRoute Saxon Priest Vineyard Pinot Noir. This dutch-style farmers’ cheese from Sonoma manages to be at once firm and creamy. The cascade of fresh rhubarb, plum and clove flavors in our brand-new single-vineyard Pinot Noir really blooms alongside this rich, nutty, subtly grassy cows’ milk cheese.
Pinot Noir Cheeseboard Accents: Fresh cherries, black cherry compote, raw or toasted pecans, pork paté and grilled bread. Don’t be shy; go on and smear a little of that compote right on top of your cheese.
Point Reyes Cheese’ Aged Gouda with Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon. We love the deep layers of toasted nuts and caramel studded with pops of salty-sweet crystallizations in this beautifully aged wedge. Can a wine and cheese pairing be elegant and hedonistic? Try this creamy cows’ milk gouda with Bella Union Cabernet’s lush blackberry patch, cocoa and baking spice layers, and you tell us!
Cabernet Cheeseboard Accents: Fresh blackberries, slivered almonds, candied walnuts, non-sweet dark chocolate and sea salt dark chocolate.
Jasper Farms’ Sherry Gray with Far Niente Chardonnay. They even sound like a harmonious match! Jasper Farms' first double cream offering, Sherry Gray has a silky, indulgent texture and a thin, mushroomy rind, thanks to a dusting of vegetable ash. You’ll love this nod to the French farmhouse style cheeses of the Loire Valley.
Jasper Farms' Cabot Clothbound with EnRoute Saxon Priest Vineyard Pinot Noir. Clothbound, a traditional cheddar, is deeply savory with salt-caramel sweetness bolstered by a structured brightness and crystalline texture. This cheese is incredibly compatible for pairing; its mouthwatering brothiness can balance moderate tannins and hold up next to wines with bold elegance.
Jasper Farms’ Harbison with Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon. This spreadable textured cheese is as beautiful as it is delicious, with a soft bloomy rind and a belt of natural spruce that was harvested from local woodlands. The woodsy spruce notes meld beautifully with the toasted oak aromas of this Napa Valley Cabernet, while the complexities of both make for a perfect intensity match.
Cheers to spring, to classic cheese pairings and to finding and making your own amazing wine and cheese matches. Salut!
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