Have I mentioned how much I love wine and cheese? Last Sunday I set out on a mission to assemble a platter of my favorite cheeses, along with the ultimate food and wine pairings.
I went to one of my favorite cheese shops and purchased a few of my favorites, along with a couple suggestions from the cheese monger. I try to follow certain rules when assembling a cheese board. Traditionally, a cheese board should have hard and soft cheeses, cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, and goat’s milk cheeses, and a blue cheese. This time I skipped the blue cheese because I didn’t want anything that would over power the wine.
Everyone loves a classic cheddar and Jasper Hill Farm Cabot Cloth Bound Cheddar is one of the best. It’s creamy and sharp, and it is savory flavors at their absolute best. I always include a goat cheese on a cheese plate, and my favorite is Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog. It’s tangy goat cheese with a layer of vegetable ash. The cheese monger recommended UnieKass Robusto from Holland, a gouda that tastes ten times better than every other gouda I have tried. It’s slightly nutty and salty, and it paired beautifully with the rosemary crackers.
Charles loved the Forager d’Affinois Guilloteau double creme brie. For some reason I thought that triple creme brie was the way to go, and that I what we have always bought, but the double creme brie tasted like cheesy buttery goodness. We spread this on pieces of fresh baguette.
My favorite cheese was one that the cheese monger recommended: Petit Basque Sheeps Milk Istara. It is sometimes compared to Manchego, a more well known cheese from the same region, but Istara is a bit softer than Manchego, and it is creamier and has a nuttier flavor profile. This was great paired with fig jam.
I served my cheese board with two of Cultivar’s wines. Cultivar is a Napa Valley winery and I am part of their blogger program. I love that while they produce top quality Napa Valley wine, it’s still affordable – their wines range from $12 – $72 a bottle retail. And as a reader of The Kittchen, you can use this code “CultivarWineTheKittchen“ for a 10% savings when you order Cultivar wine.
I absolutely loved the 2013 Oak Knoll Cabernet Franc. It’s a medium bodied wine with some jammy fruit flavors that are balanced out with hints of pepper and tobacco. I thought it paired beautifully with the earthier Petit Basque Sheeps Milk Istara. The 2013 Leaky Lake Cabernet Sauvignon is a bit bolder and more tannic and I enjoyed it paired with the cheddar and the robusto.
With enough wine and cheese to feed a small army we proceeded to feast while watching Tangled (we love a good Disney movie). It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday evening.
I received wine from Cultivar Wine as part of this collaboration.