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CG's Artisan & Farmstead Cheese Threak

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Cary Grant, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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  2. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    Looks so good. Need to find my way there some day
     
  3. erictheobscure

    erictheobscure Senior member

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  4. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    Finally found some Stichelton last week. I've been looking for it since it was mentioned here 3 years ago or so. It's very good.
     
  5. jcman311

    jcman311 Senior member

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    Hey, nice job resurrecting an old thread! Thanks. Good read. Does anyone know how @Cary Grant is doing with his shop?
    Best cheese I've had lately both come from Roelli Cheese. Their Dunbarton Blue (which has been mentioned here) and Little Mountain, a washed rind alpine. There is also a goat creamery in a place I frequent that has some good stuff.
     
  6. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Thanks JC-

    Business is going well; well-received in the community. It's a very different lifestyle than the old i-Gent days.

    We routinely carry Roelli's cheeses- they're made just a few hours away from us.

    His red Rock here:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. jcman311

    jcman311 Senior member

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    Awesome. Yeah Im not too far away from Roelli either, (milwaukee) was going to take the trip this winter but never got around to it. I also want to tour the amish areas between Sparta and Eau Claire because some fantastic cheeses can be had there too.
    The photos of your shop look great. We have a few shops around here that sorta look like that but nothing that does a charcuterie as well. Very nice
     
  8. gomestar

    gomestar Senior member

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    CG how do you go about doing hard pairings ... like pairing wine and cheese.


    Blue cheeses especially, which I think totally sucks with wine (and if you're not careful, your glass/wine end up smelling like blue cheese). It's so weird how people think wine and cheese should be married, but most of the time I think they just don't work well together.
     
  9. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    I totally get where you are coming from. I routinely tell staff in training, and customers, that to REALLY nail a wine/cheese pairing is very, very difficult... for many reasons.

    The primary being it is a completely individual moment. Your palate may respond to tartness in a way I don't for example, same with salt. So what might be perfect for me is off for you. And just when you think you have it sorted, the next wheel of cheese tastes different, or you have a different vintage. You might put together pairings for a house party that work for you but leave many of your guests cold. People are going eat and drink what/how they want.

    So the best answer I stress is to "relax" and not stress it too much. Though, LOL, you should see me sweat when creating pairings for our ticketed classes, THOSE I really do want to get right when you have 26 people having the same moment and listening to me extol the pairing. Sucks to have 26 people give you immediate feedback of WTH? While that's not happened, I get everybody talking about what they liked/didn't with each - that's really why they are there, to have an experience.

    You probably know this but you want your pairing to:

    1) at the very least allow the wine and the cheese to be as good paired as they are individually.
    2) allow either the wine or the cheese to be improved by the pairing without harming the other.
    3) both are elevated to another level. That's the ideal.

    Anyway, in the shop I try to work within a narrower range of parameters to try for a chance at more broadly pairing successfully. We keep a very short wine list, usually 6-8 each reds and whites by the glass, generally typical styles; I try to bring all of their profiles a bit "into the middle", meaning if it is a VERY light white I look for a slightly bolder example, a very BOLD red, something a little softer. It helps in that it's more forgiving.

    Personally, I think pairings work best when you balance acidity. A tangy goat cheese that crushes a delicate sauv blanc is no fun, and vice versa.

    Blues are hard especially given the wide range of styles and flavors and high saltiness but there are a few easy outs. For blue cheese, the easy cheat is to include honey with the cheese. A bright blue drizzled in a light, floral honey paired with Moscato is always a win, even with customers who say they don't like blue.
    What you say about the odor/taste in the glass can be true too. If you're being a purist, it's best to keep the blue course to last. or follow with a washed rind course for the same reason.

    Even without the honey, anything sweet like Sauterne or Gewurztraminer can forgive a lot. And the obvious fortified/heavy choices like tawnies, some sherries and similar. I once drizzled stilton with a 60's vintage port sort of like a reduction. Worked. A coffee-rubbed cheese bridges the gap to a big, jammy red with lots of coffee/chocolate/tobacco etc. But it's a little like covering a protein in a heavy sauce for the sake of the pairing.

    Keeping what I said about balancing acidity in mind, there are a few pairings that, regardless of the cheese and specific wine, work far more often than not. One is the cliche/obvious: Sauv Blanc & young or ripened goat cheese. The Loire produces lows of both for a reason. There's logic in their 1000+ years of practice. It's rare that we cannot put two together and have a fair pairing.

    One not as obvious and one of my fav's is un-oaked chardonnay (like regular Macon Village level chard) with clothbound cheddars (like British cheddars). Both have ample minerality and acidity. Oaked chard can accentuate the buttery aspects of cheddar but I find most have blunted acidity. YMMV. And finally: Bubbles cure just about everything.

    Lately I'm also fond of pairing Rose of Nebbiolo with a certain parm. Delicious.



    I used to think (sorta still do) that pairing beer is much easier. Carbonation FTW. But it's been demonstrated to me that to really nail it is probably about as complicated. Sheep's milk cheeses in particular are really hard to pair with 90% of the brews I've tried.
     
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  10. gomestar

    gomestar Senior member

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    interesting, some great points and great ideas there.


    the honey + blue cheese + moscato makes a lot of sense.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  11. erictheobscure

    erictheobscure Senior member

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  12. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Stawley's delicious. Hard to come by stateside.

    On another note, Rush Creek Reserve is back in production after a year away. Fabulous cheese. Very limited availability this year.
     
  13. jcman311

    jcman311 Senior member

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    Did you get any of the Hooks 20yo cheddar?
     
  14. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    Yeah. Just for tasting. Good for what it is though that price... Well. I like a number of Tony & Julie's cheeses, The "ancient" cheddar is not my thing. The block cheddars saged for 5,7,10 etc are primarily made to be sour sharp. I much prefer cloth bound cheddars. #1 for me from Wisconsin is Bleu Mont.
     
  15. erictheobscure

    erictheobscure Senior member

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    It was soul-crushingly expensive. But I pretty much got trapped by the cheesemonger when he gave me a sample of it.
     
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  16. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    I live to crush souls through cheese
     
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  17. b1os

    b1os Senior member

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    Sigh. I've spent a few years tracking down Stichelton until I finally found it last summer (not that I was super actively searching for it, but whenever I was close to a nice cheesemonger I'd check). Guess I have a new target: Stawley.

    I've forgotten the name and couldn't find it online but the flat, wide, ash-covered raw goat-milk cheese--high fat content, quite runny when ripe--is spectacular. I also love the less runny and milder (plus far more readily available) Selles-sur-Cher, but that other cheese is really great too. Anyone know its name?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  18. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    Is that the one with the black stripe running through the middle?
     
  19. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    As you're in Europe, that couls be one of several French cheeses. Unfortunately, any French ash rind cheeses are virtually impossible to get stateside, including selles-sur-cher.
     
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  20. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    I think you're thinking of Morbier and similar cheeses.
     
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