Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Graham's Six Grapes Reserve Port has a seductive, rich aroma of ripe plums, cherries and dark chocolate with a long, lingering finish. Six Grapes is one of Graham's original Port blends. It is a very full-bodied, luscious wine drawn from the same vineyards as Graham's Vintage Ports. Blended from two or three years' harvests, the wine is an average of five to six years old when it is lightly filtered and bottled.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
The outside awning of what promises to be a food extravaganza in Chicago!
Making our presence known
We've got a great location and gorgeous windows!
A few of the Pastoral elves who make it all happen! Manager Cristi (on the phone), Assistant Manager Nat, Dana and Ryne two of our wonderful employees.
We've got a few guest stars lined up for the grand opening this weekend. Take a look at our facebook fan page for all the details. The Chicago French Market has a few grand opening perks as well. Be one of the first 500 customers each day from Dec. 3-9 and you'll receive a market bag. Gift Certificates will be distributed on Friday & Saturday and of course the big prize: you could win a four night trip to Paris for two! Check it out here.
We also have a wine and cheese pairing for this week.* Featuring the Pantaleo, a goat milk cheese from Sardinia and 2006 Massaya "Classic", a Cinsault/Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blend from Lebanon.
The Pantaleo is a firm ivory goat milk cheese with a floral and sweet flavor with just a hint of the citrusy finish you expect in a goat cheese. Massaya is a big bold red, perfect for people who love wines from Chile and Argentina but are looking for something new.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
This Saturday we will be offering another free tasting at our Broadway location from 3pm-6pm. Stop by for a taste of some delicious wines and beer and get your holiday libations in advance!
We are also offering specialty breads from Bennison's for your holiday festivities. This year we have the always popular Cranberry Pecan bread and a new addition to the roster, Apple Cider bread. Call either store to pre-order your loaves.
This week for our pairing we're going French. The cheese this week is Abondance de Savoie. Named for the breed of cattle whose milk is used to make the cheese, this cheese dates back to the late 1800's. Sweet and nutty with a slight grassiness, this cheese has a rich and complex flavor that is sure to please the Alpine cheese lover.
For wine Jan suggest the 2005 Domaine Brusset "Chabrille" from Cairrane, France. This small production wine comes from a single village. This wine has a long finish with a lot of bacon, loam and cedar in the nose. This wine is full of old-world funk and glory.
Friday, November 13, 2009
After much anticipation we are thrilled to tell you that our shelves have a few new additions. Here's a teaser of some of the new artisan products that Cesar found on his spring tour of Italy. Rustic chocolates, nougat, spreads both savory and sweet and all from small artisan producers. Come in and check out our delicious additions!
We also have a new cheese and wine pairing featured this week. The 2006 Chono Cabernet Sauvignon "Reserva" from Chile. This big earth-friendly, easy-drinking Cab is big on fruit and pairs well with firm cheeses.
Speaking of cheese, we've a brand new addition to the cheese case, Prairie Breeze Cheddar from Milton Creamery in Milton, Iowa. Aged for 6 months, this cheddar has a sharpness that is well balanced with a slightly sweet grassiness.
Don't forget to stop by the Broadway shop tomorrow from 3-6pm as we offer a free tasting of several different bottles of red and white.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
In other news, we have a new pairing for the week featuring Coolea and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Forth Family Vineyards.
Coolea is a cow's milk cheese made in the small village of Coolea in Ireland (handpicked for us by the Neal's Yard Dairy folks) made by the Willems family. Handmade wheels aged for at least two years and made in the tradition of Dutch Goudas this cheese has a sweet mellow flavor with nuttiness and caramel overtones that we deeply appreciate in an aged cheese. If you enjoy the two and five year Goudas in our cheese case, you will absolutely adore the Coolea.
From Mendocino, California we have a fairly new wine to our shelves. The "Histoire" 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon from Forth Family Vineyards is quickly becoming a staff and customer favorite. You'll find this wine in the full-bodied section of our wine wall. Big dark fruity flavors and aromas with a big rich flavor, this wine is a perfect accompaniment to the impending cooler weather.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
We've got a new pairing this week also. Our featured cheese is the Stichelton from Nottinghamshire, England-hand selected for us from the fabulous affineurs at Neal's Yard Dairy. This 100% handmade, non-pasteurized blue cheese has a creamy butteriness to it with just the right amount of blue spiciness.
For libation, Jan suggests you pour yourself a glass of the Two Brothers Coffee Bean Porter "Red Eye". This is a dark, robust and powerful beer well balanced with rich chocolate and coffee notes. A perfect companion for the slightly fudgy consistency and spicy flavor profile of Stichelton.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Next up we want to give a boisterous congratulations to the folks at Death's Door Spirits for their award for best new spirits in the October issue of Wine & Spirits. A smooth gin filled with aromas andflavors of juniper berries and spices this is a local favorite made right here in the Midwest in Wisconsin.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
This time around it's Mike and Carol Gingrich two of the owners and cheesemakers of Uplands Cheese Company-makers of Pleasant Ridge Reserve in Dodgeville, WI.
Pleasant Ridge Reserve is a raw, cow's milk, farmstead, artisan cheese made from seasonal milk. Made in the style of Alpine cheeses like Gruyere and Comte this is a unique and original cheese from right here in the Midwest.
Winners of numerous awards, including the title of "Best In Show" from the ACS not once, but twice. Come by Broadway on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 1-3pm and meet Mike and Carol and taste one of our favorite cheeses and meet some more Masters from the cheese world.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
For cheese this week we have the Five year Gouda from The Netherlands. After five years of aging this cheese has a crystalline texture with pleasing notes of honey, caramel and scotch whiskey. Lovely on a cheese board or grated into your favorite dish.
But what to pair with this big cheese? Jan recommends one of the new additions to our wine wall. 2008 Bodegas Benaza Godello from Monterrei in the northwest part of Spain. If you came to our free wine tasting last Saturday you may have tried this handmade wine there.
This is a weighty wine that is all chalk and peaches. If you've enjoyed Albarinos in the past you are going to love this wine too. A complex finish and mouthwatering acidity make this wine a perfect complement to the richness of the Gouda.
We have a wine 101 class this coming Saturday at the store on Lake St., and next Saturday, October 17th we are having our Oktoberfest celebration at the Lake St. store. Seats are still available and can be purchased here.
Pastoral is slated (and ELATED!!) to be featured nationally on LX.TV 1st Look this Saturday night, October 10, and again on Sunday night, October 11 If you're in one of the following markets, check your local listings! LX.TV 1st Look airs on the NBC network, typically after Saturday Night Live and again on Sunday late night. Watch us from these Metropolitan Areas on NBC affiliates: Chicago, IL* New York City NY/NJ/CT* Los Angeles CA* San Francisco CA* Philadelphia PA/NJ* Washington DC/MD/VA* Dallas TX* San Diego CA* Hartford, CT /Springfield MA* Miami, FL* Media segment airdates often shift, but we're hopeful that Pastoral will light up Late Nite television this weekend! Stay tuned
Also featured is one of our favorite local breweries, Flossmoor Station! Watch a cheese and beer tasting at Pastoral featuring some of the Chicagoland's best--- including Goose Island, Two Brothers and Flossmoor.For more on Flossmoor Click here!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Allison Hooper is the chairman of the board of the ACS and one of the co-founders of the Vermont Butter & Cheese Company in Websterville, VT (just a bit east of Montpelier). Starting out as an American college student in France she used self-determination and enthusiasm to learn not just animal husbandry and a love of terroir, but the craft of making artisan dairy products.
Today Vermont Butter & Cheese Company is one of the premier makers of butter and cheese in the country-winning more awards than we can count. They have helped bring goat cheese from it's obscure beginnings in this country to a "must have" on any cheese plate. There are even cheeses from Vermont Butter & Cheese Company in shops in France (an astounding accomplishment to be sure).
After working in the business for twenty-five years Allison Hooper has written a book called In a Cheesemaker's Kitchen: celebrating 25 years of artisinal cheesemaking & cooking from Vermont Butter & Cheese & Company.
Come to our Lake St. location this coming Thursday, October 8 from 5pm-7pm, meet and greet with one of the pioneers in the American cheesemaking world and get a copy of her book before it's official release!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Queso de la Serena is a bold creamy cheese from Extremadura, Spain in the southwest of the country. Rich and buttery, it has notes of grasses, fruits and even roast lamb. Interesting fact: The rennet used in this cheese comes from thistle making this a tangy, grassy, creamy, strong cheese,that is vegetarian friendly.
To drink, we suggest one of our new friends on the wine wall, the "Red Right Hand" from McLaren Vale along the southern coast of Australia. This wine is a blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Temranillo grapes. Plum, raspberry jam, nutmeg and vanilla are well balanced by kid-glove leather and gunsmoke. Complex, mysterious and dark this medium to full bodied wine is a great partner for the big bold flavors of the Queso de la Serena.
Don't forget, this Saturday is our free monthly wine tasting at the Loop location. This month we're featuring "Handmade Wines". Come join us from 6:30pm until the last drop is poured to find out what makes these wines so special.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Montegrappa is a cows milk cheese that has been around for centuries. Just like it's namesake, the imposing Mount Grappa this cheese is impressive. After aging for eight months the cheese takes on a sweet and slightly nutty flavor. This cheese is great for a cheese board, shaving over a salad, or grating into your pasta.
The Horsley Vineyards Syrah is one of our favorite styles of Syrah. Rich, deeply fruity with lots of spice, earth and leather. This is a medium to full bodied wine with soft tannins. A great glass one it's own, or paired with cheese, roasted meat, chicken and game.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
This cheese is made in an Alpine style. A bit nutty, and grassy, but instead of the tang you get with say an Emmenthal or Gruyere, this cheese has a round, buttery sweetness to it making it a great cheese for those who like a cheese that's a bit milder, as well as for those who like a cheese that is complex and layered.
Read all about the creamery, their animals, land, and love for what they do here. Come in and help us welcome our new cheese!
You may have noticed that our wine walls are changing. Some wines are leaving and the new wines for the fall/winter seasons are starting to show up. This week we've got another fantastic new wine for you.
2009 Bodega NQN, "Malma" is a lovely Pinot Noir from Patagonia, Argentina. Rich, full-bodied and drinking now this Pinot is like nothing you've had from Oregon or Burgundy. Super-ripe red fruit and a fantastic mouthfeel make this wine truly unique. If you're a Syrah lover, you've got to give this a try!
Confused by all of the new wines on the shelf or the cheeses in the case? Don't be. Just ask one of our staff to help you out. We're here to help answer any questions you may have, and to tempt you into tasting any cheese that tickles your fancy.
Want to know more about cheese and wine? Sign up for one of our classes! There's a Cheese 101 going on downtown this Saturday and a wine class on Tuesday called Not just Napa Exploring California Wines where Jan will take you on a tour of California wines. You want to pay for the wine, not the realestate. Come in and see why California has much more to offer.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Please go to their website and read about the program that's helping kids get in touch with the land and their food. Learning lessons that can be taught in the classroom, but stay with you longer and mean more after "doing" instead of just reading.
Although made from the milk of the Jersey cow, this cheese is inspired by the traditional cheese of the French Alps. Complex rich, nutty, acidic and reminiscent of the pastures, this farmstead cheese has a lingering finish that changes in each wheel with the seasons.
Wine this week is 2007 Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno from Le Marche, Italy (SE of Tuscany). It is made from a traditional blend of Sangiovese and Montepulciano. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks and then aged in oak.
Earthy mushroom, ripe cherry, pepper and nutmeg are all well-represented in this classic and traditional blend wine from Italy.
Come and join us at our Lakeview Location this coming Saturday for another installment in our ongoing "Meet the Maker" series. This time it's the wonderful people of McKinley Springs from Washington State.
From 4pm-6pm you'll have the great opportunity to meet one of our favorite producers try some lovely wines, and ask them questions about grapes, vintage, soil, or anything else that you'd like an expert opinion on.
Come join us!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
On September 1, the State of Illinois redefined the term “candy” as it applies to state taxes. Any item containing a mix of chocolate, fruit and/or nuts is now defined as “candy.” These items used to be taxed at the food rate of 2.25%; the state now requires that they be taxed at the general merchandise rate of 10.25%. In addition to the new definition of “candy”, the state now defines any beverage containing added sweeteners as a “soft drink”, subject to the 13.25% tax on those beverages.
The new taxes on wine and spirits are being levied at the distributor level. The wine tax is negligible, and Pastoral is absorbing that cost as a courtesy to our loyal wine buyers. However, the tax on spirits is much greater, and as a result, Pastoral may eventually be forced to change pricing on gin, vodka and other craft spirits.
Friday, September 4, 2009
New to our case is the Blu di Bufala from Bergamo, Italy (just east of Milan). Distinctive, and full-bodied, this cheese is a balance of sweetness and the tangy flavors that blue cheese always imparts. A big flavored semi-firm cheese with a pleasant lingering finish that appeals to die-hard blue cheese lovers, and even those who are new to the blues.
For libation we're going down under. From southern Australia we present another new addition to our wine shelves. 2005 Claymore Wines Shiraz "Walk on the Wild Side".
For lovers of Shiraz this is one of the best representation of the grape that Jan has found. Leather, spice and coffee notes are found in this wine. No need to sit on this bottle, it's drinking beautifully right now.
Just a reminder to you all that while we are closed on Monday for Labor Day, we will be opening our doors at the Loop store Saturday, September 5th at 6:30pm until 8:00pm for our free monthly wine tasting. This month's theme is "Harvest Reds". The season is changing as so are our wines. Come in and get a taste of the new finds.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Of course we're offering the classics, like our first class of the season, Cheese 101 on September 19 at the Loop. We've also got some new and exciting classes for this "term" like Cheese 102 for the more advanced turophile and a special Oktoberfest event that you won't want to miss.
Sign up through this link to be sure you get a seat in the cheese or wine class of your dreams!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
A Belgian-style pale ale, Matilda has a clean, hoppy and slightly spicy flavor profile with an almost floral aroma. Good with Gouda, washed rind cheese, and of course our blue cheese feature.
Big Woods Blue is a big, beefy, creamy blue cheese made from sheep's milk. It has a sharpness like many blue cheeses, but the sheep's' milk gives this cheese a rich creaminess sure to please everyone at your gathering.
In 2005 tragedy struck the folks at Shepherd's Way Farms. A fire went through their birthing barn and a lot of their flock was lost. Many of the ewes that remained were traumatized by the event. Through an outpouring of support from their community and other national organizations the family, farm, and flock are slowly recovering.
Although there are many tough times still ahead for them, and production is slow going, we are happy to see them persevere and proud to carry their delicious cheese in our store.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
If you think Vermont is just about Cheddar, you've got another think coming. Camemberts, blues, lovely stinky washed rind cheeses, Alpine style, goat, ash-ripened...the list goes on and on. Vermont has wonderful cheese and the festival is a great opportunity to experience a small fraction of what the Green Mountain State has to offer.
In addition to fabulous cheese, the festival also offered demos including cheesemaking 101, seminars like Cheddar and beer pairing and great food outside of the main festival building. Vermont also has a great beer and wine industry and those folks were at the festival to give everyone a little taste.
The Grafton Truckle is a Vermont treat that has been seen, tasted and devoured right here at Pastoral. The Spring Brook Farm Tarentaise won 1st place in the farmstead category at this year's ACS competition. I had an opportunity to go to the farm while in VT and talk to cheesemaker Tom. Wonderful cheese, great cheesemaker and an exceptional cause!
The Ascutney Mountain and the Vermont Ayr have both seen some time in our case here in Chicago as well. Never in our case for long as they are both hot sellers.
This is one of the many gorgeous views in Vermont (5 minutes before a torrential downpour). This one just happens to be at Jasper Hill Farm. Mateo gave a few of us a seriously extensive tour of the cellars and cheesemaking facility. He showed us a few new cheeses and let us taste, taste, taste. Outstanding day!
This year's festival was sold out and I heard there were tickets on Craigslist for $250! Next year's promises to be another bang-up year for the event. Send an email to get on the list for a first crack at next year's tickets! Great article form the Burlington Free Press about the festival.
Friday, August 21, 2009
This week, fresh of of an ACS win we have Marieke Gouda with Foenegreek. From Holland's Family Farm in Wisconsin. Foenegreek is a seed native to Holland where Marieke is originally from. It has a nutty flavor with a distinct maple aroma and taste. Don't let the aromas fool you, this buttery, creamy , sweet nutty cheese is good anytime, not just a breakfast food.
Jan suggest the 2007 Trace Merlot from Mount Oso Vineyard in California. Forget what you've hear about Merlot, this is a shining example of what a good Merlot tastes like. Aromas of vanilla, blueberries and coffee beans lend depth and lusciousness to this fantastic red. Come in and try a taste of it yourself this weekend. You'll love it!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
We are excited and pleased to announce that we will be opening a third location at the French Market late this October. For more information and to read the official Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine press release take a look here.
Thank you for your years of support, we look forward to serving our new location with the same great service and quality cheese, bread & wine that you've come to expect from Pastoral.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
This week we have two. Fist we have the Mt. Tam from Cowgirl Creamery in California. This organic, slightly sweet, milky, buttery, mushroomy cheese is a staff and customer favorite. This cheese also won 2nd place in it's category at the ACS competition in 2008.
The second cheese is also a triple cream cheese from Cowgirl Creamery. Fresh off of it's 2nd place all around win at the ACS competition in Austin last week, we are proud to present Red Hawk. This is also an organic milk cheese with a buttery texture and flavor. By washing the rind with a brine solution you get a russet colored cheese with beefy and fruity flavors.
The wine that Jan picked for us this week is the Tabenero from Peru. Yes, Peru. Peru is a developing wine region to watch! Why is sparkling wine and champagne so good with rich, buttery creamy cheeses? In Jan's words,
"The acid makes your mouth water, mimicking the sensation of hunger, encouraging you to
take another bite, another sip. The acid "cleans" your mouth after each bite of rich,
creamy cheese, giving you a clean slate, and encouraging you to have one more bite."
The Tabenero is made from chenin blanc grapes and is dry, not sweet. It delivers a crisp, clean mouthwatering tartness that make it a perfect accompaniment for cheese, or just about anything else you're eating. Sparkling wine isn't just for the extraordinary occasion, it's for any occasion!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
CELEBRATE PASTORAL'S 5-YEAR ANNIVERSARY THIS SUNDAY, AUGUST 16: Free Mini-Baguettes at Broadway to the First 100 Customers! Stop in For a NibbleFollow Us On Twitter For a Chance to Win Our Grand Prize: Sign Up Now-Don't Miss Out!
We can't believe it's been five years since we opened the doors of our cozy 382 sq ft storefront on East Lakeview's pedestrian hub of Broadway, but time flies when you are having fun! Ken and I fled Corporate America to follow our culinary dream and you lent us your loyal support. Words cannot express our gratitude!
Please stop by our original location at 2945 N Broadway anytime during business hours this Sunday (11 am til 6 pm) and have a sip and a nibble on us and also give us a chance to thank you in person for your patronage. The first 100 customers also receive one of our delicious Mini-Baguettes, generously provided by our partner, Bennison's Bakery! (While supplies last, limit one per household please)
At Pastoral, we don't take life too seriously and if there is anything we all love, it's a good game. So, in honor of our 5 year anniversary in Lakeview, we decided that we had to up the ante on fun! So, lace up your running shoes and get ready to play our first-ever Lakeview Scavenger Hunt this weekend, with clues provided only on Twitter to help you find the bounty!!!
Sign up and follow us on Twitter before Friday morning, when the clues start to flow and the fur starts to fly! You can become a Pastoral follower on Twitter by clicking below, signing up (if you're not already on it) and finding us at PastoralArtisan (seems to be case sensitive). Follow the clues to find our grand prize and once you find it, bring it along to 2945 N Broadway, yell "Wine & Cheese Please!" and present us with the designated evidence per the last clue. Last clue is Sunday!
NOTE: Pastoral Employees, their families are significant others are ineligible to participate. Six months of pairings must be in consecutive months commencing before year end and ending no later than May 31, 2010.Follow Us On Twitter For Insider Info: screen name PastoralArtisan
Get Your Party Tray & Picnic Orders In Now!
The weather is supposed to be perfect for one of Chicago's premier summer happenings--the nation's largest free air and water show right outside our front door on beautiful Lake Michigan. Whether you're on a rooftop, a boat, or a grassy knoll, Pastoral trays, picnics and other delicious fare can make it easy, delicious and memorable. Call in advance to reserve your trays or picnics, or stop in the day of to pick up a nosh to take along! We're open regular hours all weekend (11 am til 6pm in the Loop and 11am-7pm Sat & 11am-6pm Sun)Click to See Pastoral's Catering Options
Don't forget that our Fall class schedule will be out by the end of next week for advanced registration--- classes start in September and run until just before Thanksgiving, when we break for the holidays. Also, check out Pastoral in the September issue of Town & Country Magazine, featuring two of our favorite Midwest cheeses--Oakvale Farmstead Gouda and Pleasant Ridge Reserve! We're also in this month's Saveur Magazine, featuring our Rogue Creamery Crater Lake Blue. PS- Our Culinary Road Trip is SOLD OUT with a waiting list forming now!
We hope to see you this weekend! TWEET!!!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
In conjunction with our new twitter account we will be giving away a wonderful, truly extraordinary prize. Clues on how to collect this bounty will only be given on our twitter account, so if you want to participate in the hunt you've got to follow us on twitter. You can click here to join. Trust me when I say you're going to want to be a part of this.
Ken and Greg are going to be doing a big announcement coming this week. I can't tell you what it is now, I don't want to ruin the surprise. Be on the lookout!
In media news, If you haven't picked it up yet, go out and get the September issue of Town & Country magazine. There's a great article featuring Pastoral Artisan . Our wholesale program was mentioned this week in an article this week. Our wholesale team is Lisa Futterman (your primary cheesy contact), Adam her assistant, delivery drivers Kevin and Clifford and of course the head cheese buyer for Pastoral Artisan, Cesar Olivares. Congratulations to our wholesale team!
*Our celebration will only be held at the location of 2945 N. Broadway. We will be pouring samples, and have trays for noshing only while supplies last. The clues for the scavenger hunt will only be given on twitter.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Judging by the past posts, I think I'm supposed to tell you about the cheese first. It's called Barely Buzzed, and it's a cheddar style cheese covered in espresso beans and lavendar from Beehive Cheese Co. in Uintah, Utah. The coffee beans are roasted by the cheesemaker's brother and then mixed with lavendar buds and oil to create the dynamic rub. It's a real eye opener! (Get it? Caffeine?!) This cheese won 1st place in the Flavored Cheddar category the last two years at ACS, and we'll find out this week if it can pull off the threepeat. The suspense is killing me! Agela, we need updates from Austin, stat!
Wine Buyer Jan has selected Garretson G White, a Viognier/Rousanne blend, to join up with our star cheese. Now you're probably thinking, "Egads, man! Coffee cheese with Viognier?! Pastoral's gone batty!" Au contraire, my friends. Wine Buyer Jan (WBJ from now on) thinks this robust vino stands up to the cheese without pushing it around, and this power play highlights the fruity finish in the wine while gently mellowing out the Barely Buzzed. The nice acidity in this juice still ends up emphasizing the lavendar in the cheese, and leaves the palette in a fresh, summery state of mind. WBJ thinks that this full bodied white will only drink well for a couple more years, so come on in and try some this weekend, or jump on over to our webstore and order some from a sitting position! Time is running out.
Friday, July 31, 2009
This week's wine is 2006 Domaine de Nagues Beaujolais Village (Gamay Noir) from Burgundy, France. Jan says that Gamay Noir gets a bad rap because of the Beaujolais that is released as a
right about Thanksgiving, and then ignored the rest of the year. Beajolais-Village is the same grape but grown in only several specific villages, with a far lower yield (by law) and several months spent aging in oak barrels. Earthy cranberry compote and coffee notes make this lighter bodied wine a complex, and delicious treat!
For the cheese this week we found so many that could go with this wine that we're featuring a few. First up is the Mt. Tam from Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station California (small write rind cheese in the front). An organic cow's milk cheese, this First place winner at the American Cheese Society in 2008 for soft ripened cheeses is a firm, yet buttery cheese with a mellow earthy flavor. A great triple creme cheese.
Next up (going clockwise) is the Fleur du Maquis from Corsica, France. You may know this cheese by it's other name, Brin d'Amour. A slightly sweet, rich and creamy cheese coated in herbs and juniper berries this sheep's milk cheese is mild and complex.
In the back we have the Barely Buzzed from the Beehive Cheese Company in Uintah, Utah. A cow's milk cheese, the rind is developed by handrubbing a mash of finely ground espresso beans, lavender and vegetable oil. The resulting cheese has an earthy nuttiness not unlike a Cheddar.
Last, but certainly not least is the Ardrahan from County Cork in Ireland. This washed rind cheese has a creamy, rich texture with earthy aromas that will transport you right to the Emerald Isle. A big thanks to Mary Burns for her hard work in bringing artisinal cheesemaking back to Ireland and a big thank you to the folks at Neal's Yard Dairy for supporting her delicious endeavors and for hand selecting the wheels we get here at Pastoral.
Can't decide which cheese is right for you? Neither could we. We think that they're all wonderful!
Friday, July 24, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Every cheese that passes through this British cheese institution is like gold--the cheeses are carefully selected and aged with an incredible amount of care. Neal's Yard works with traditional cheesemakers from the British Isles to ensure consistency in cheeses that already exist, but also to improve cheeses that are "under development."
The lecture by Lockwood was very high level and technical, and I won't bore you with the details (email me if you are interested firstname.lastname@example.org), but I came away with an even deeper respect for what they do at the Dairy, and once we tasted the 8 cheeses the gentlemen chose for us, that respect became awe.
Did you know that Neal's yard imports only two American cheeses for sale in their London shops? Oregon's Rogue River Blue, and Wisconsin's Pleasant Ridge Reserve--two Pastoral favorites.
Did you know that Montgomery's cheddar tastes different depending on what day of the week it is made? They use different rennets on different days to prevent contamination, creating subtle but notable effects on flavor.
Join us today (Tues July 21, 2009 530-730 pm) at either location to taste a gorgeous Mongomery's Cheddar and a funky new (to us) washed rind cheese called Ogleshield.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Myself (Greg Ellis), Charuth Loth and Krista Dittman standing outside of the cheese room after a long morning of making cheese.
Charuth giving me a first hand look at their cheese cave. I was in cheese heaven!
Look at me! My first time making cheese. I really got the full "hands on" experience!
Ok, now I don't think there is anything better than this. I had the opportunity to see the whole cheese making process. Everything starts right here.
These women work very hard to make wonderful cheese that we at Pastoral love. Their belief in local, organic products really shines through in the cheeses that they make. I encourage anyone to check out what they are doing as well as try as many of their cheese that you can get your hands on. Most don't make it out of the Nebraska, but hopefully they soon will. Thank you Charuth and Krista for a great experience!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Roxanne is a raw sheep milk cheese from our friend Leslie. Named for one of her does on the farm and not for the song by the Police, Roxanne is a nutty, grassy cheese with a natural rind and a round mouthfeel.
Perfect with the Cava Rosado. This is an exquisite pink wine. Bone dry instead of cloying. Bubbles made by the champagne method of second fermentation in the bottle instead of pumped in like other wines. Crisp, bubbly and delicious. Perfect for the rich flavors of the Roxanne.