Friday, August 27, 2010

Pairing and ACS

This week the annual ACS conference is happening in Seattle. In addition to the fantastic seminars, meet-ups, book-signings and Festival of Cheese there was a Cheesemonger competition that took place on Thursday. While the official results won't be revealed until tomorrow we're immensely proud of Cesar and Cristi for the fabulous job they did representing Pastoral. We've got our fingers crossed for you guys!

Housekeeping Note:

This is our lost posting on the Blogger platform as we are moving our blog over to Wordpress. Stay tuned for the new site. It's going to be bigger, better, super awesome and rad!

For our pairing this week we're going north and south.

The cheese comes to us from Fromagerie Tournevent in Quebec, Canada. Chevre Noir is a goat's milk cheddar aged for approximately one year. In 1976 Lucie and Rene quit their city jobs to move to the rolling hills of Chesterville, Quebec where they started a dairy goat farm.

As many dairy farmers before them, they soon realized that they had more fluid milk than they could market and decided to focus on cheesemaking as a way to use the surplus milk. In 2007, Tournevent was purchased by Damafro, another cheese company in Quebec.

Made in the Cheddar style and aged for a year this goat's milk cheese continuously surprises. Hard and crumbly, with a long finish and refreshingly fruity flavors, this cheese inevitably gets people's attention. This wine is perfect with Chinon or Chenin Blanc wines.

We've decided to go to South Africa for the wine.

Rietvallei Chenin Blanc is an honest expression of one of South Africa's signature white grapes. Rietvallei is also one of the oldest family-owned estates in Robertson, located in the Western Cape, South Africa's premier whine growing region.

Chenin Blanc is originally from the Loire Valley and has a high acidity that makes is suitable for creating everything from sparkling wines to dessert wines. It's also known in South Africa as "Steen" where it is the country's most planted grape variety.

The Rietvallei Chenin Blanc is comprised of old-wine, hand picked grapes. The juice is then stainless steel fermented at a low temperature until considered a dry wine. The result: a fruity, cristp Chenin Blanc with lovely floral aromas of dried apple and musk sweets. The palate is full-bodied with a balanced acidity complemented with a lingering aftertaste.

The rich, creamy texture of the Chevre Noir Cheddar is a great juxtaposition for the Chenin's fruit-like acidity. The subtle nutty flavors in the cheese give a salty boost to the pairing when it meets with the sweeter quince-like notes that are exhibited in the wine. Salty+Sweet=Yum!