Friday, February 5, 2010

Featured Pairing

This week we're doing a trio of flavors. Pleasant Ridge Extra Reserve, Marmalade from Quince & Apple, and a lovely old world Riesling.

Pleasant Ridge Extra Reserve is from Uplands Cheese Co. out of Dodgeville, Wisconsin. This is a seasonally made farmstead cheese. Pleasant Ridge Reserve is an eight month aged cheese with grassy pastures along with sweet and tangy notes. So what makes this cheese "extra"? Aging.

This cheese is aged for an additional year. In that year, the flavors concentrate and the texture starts to change. It becomes nuttier, with some light caramel tastes without losing any of it's original sweet grass flavors. A slight crystallization in the paste makes this cheese literally pop in your mouth.

What to drink with such complex flavors? Cesar and Cristi recently went to visit with co-owner Mike Gingrich. His suggestion is Riesling. Who are we to argue with his expertise? Riesling it is. A 2007 Kuentz-Bas Alsatian Riesling. This wine is unoaked and fruity without being sweet. Complex with citrus notes, this is a perfect match for the washed rind Pleasant Ridge Extra Reserve.

Want to add something sweet to your cheese plate? How about the orange marmalade with lemons from Quince & Apple from Madison, WI. Small batch preserves that are made with seasonal, local ingredients Matt and Clare come up with a marmalade with chunks of zest that is tangy, slightly sweet, and so good you'll want to eat it right out of the jar.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Upcoming Pastoral Events and a Change

A lot of fun events coming up in the next few weeks. Coming up this Saturday at the French Market we are super excited to be part of the Raclette Event. From 2-4pm join Hans Aeschbacher (chef, not the painter) as he demonstrates the simplicity and complex flavors of traditional Raclette.

Looking for our free wine tasting this weekend? Well, we've changed things a bit this year. Starting the first Saturday in March we will be doing a quarterly wine tasting at our loop location with the first tasting focusing on "Spring Wines".

Can't wait until then? Never fear. This Friday at the French Market we're pouring the Nine by Nine Zin from California. Then on Saturday to pair with the Raclette event we'll be pouring crisp Divine Light from Australia.

Next week we have three great events going on. On Thursday Feb. 11 at the French Market stop by for a free tasting of locally made toffee from Sweet Margy's and lightly effervescent Malvira. Then on Friday at the Lake St. location we've got Katherine from Katherine Anne Chocolates doing a demo from 5-7p. On Saturday at the Broadway store from 1-3 come meet Chris from Whimsical Candies and sip some Musva sparkling wine.

You can always check out our facebook or twitter page for updates on all our Pastoral events.