Friday, May 14, 2010

Ardrahan and Conundrum

Good morning everyone in cheese land! We're going to Ireland for the cheese and then back to the U.S.A. for wine. Normally this post would have a mouth-watering picture of the pairing for you, but due to camera and user malfunction (I take horrible pictures when on antihistamines) , there is none. You're just going to have to come into the store to look, smell and taste it for yourself.

Cheesemaker Mary Burns and her family (dairy farmers for several generations) have been making cheese in Ireland since the 80's. The cheese is brined, and then washed with salt water while aging. Have you ever wondered what makes washed rind cheese orange? The answer is B.linens. The brine helps encourage the growth of the funky, orange, sticky, stinky rind and helps the cheese to ripen from the outside in. A young Ardrahan has a chalky almost crumbly texture, but with the help of B.linens as it matures the paste turns into ooey, gooey, smooth, creamy mouth feel. Smokey aromas enhance the bacon, nutty, milky, slightly sweet flavor profile of one of our staff and customer favorite cheeses.

Next up is the Conundrum from California. First made in 1989 this California blend is one of the most unique wines on our shelves. Three grapes form the base of the wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Muscat Canelli. What else is in there? The folks at Conundrum aren't telling all. Grapes are picked at different ripeness and acidity creating a complex white with apricot and honeysuckle aromas and a flavor profile that will inspire such conversation as "Is that Viognier I taste? Or perhaps Semillion."

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