Friday, July 31, 2009

Pairing and Event

Before we get into this week's pairing just a reminder that this coming Saturday from 6:30pm until the last drop is poured, we are doing our monthly free wine tasting at our Loop location. This month's theme is "Hot Summer Whites". Jan has selected some great wines to pair with any summer outing you have planned. Going to Ravinia for a show? Or bringing a picnic to Millenium Park? We've got you covered! Stop by and taste what's hot!

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!