Wine & Cheese Pairings at the East Store




'Tis the season for making merry, and for many of us that means feasting with family and friends.  So, to help you with your holiday entertaining, East Store cheese manager Amber Towne and wine buyer Seth Grady offer the following suggestions for delicious cheese, wine, and beer pairings. Enjoy!

Steve Stroup 





St. Andre – Mild and sweet, sheep’s milk triple cream dessert brie from France. Very rich and buttery. Perfect with wine and fruit.
Wine & Beer Pairings:
-- Peirano Estate – The Other White
-- Oaken Barrel – Razz Wheat
-- Belle Colle – Moscato d Asti

Parrano – Aged 5 months with nutty flavor of a fine aged parmesan, with the versatility of a young Dutch Gouda.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Tabor Hill - Reisling
--  Butte Creek - Porter

Cocoa Cardona – Creamy Goat’s milk cheese, hand rubbed with cocoa powder. Aged in our cellars, perfect blend of subtle flavors.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Peirano  Estate – The Other Red

Cahills Porter Cheese – a full flavored & tangy cheddar that is ever so slightly pungent with a firm texture. Very rich and creamy.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Sammy Smiths – Taddy Porter
--  Butte Creek – Porter
--  Peirano Estate – The Other Red

Mahon Mitica
  - Mild semi-soft cow's milk cheese with a hint of fruitiness.  Intense and bold, with a sharp bite to it and a hard texture that breaks up easily (similar to Parmigiano). With caramel smoky flavors and hints of the paprika and oil used to rub it, you'll find this a highly complex cheese. Perfect to grate over pastas or vegetables, or eat on your own paired with a full-bodied wine like a Cab or a hearty beer.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Mad River – Jamaica Red Ale
--  Clos de Torribas – Tempranillo
--  Ravenswood – Cabernet Sauvignon

Bellwether Farms Carmody - Naturally golden in color with a smooth texture and wonderful flavor, very creamy.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Oliver – Bean Blossom Cider
--  Stella Artois

Fol Epi - Emmental-style cheese is enrobed in a golden wheat rind made with toasted wheat flour. It is matured for three months and is pleasantly fruity and nutty without any bitterness. It works well on grilled sandwiches.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Mark West – Pinot Noir
--  Breckenridge – Amber Ale

Blue Stilton – The flavor ranges from mild with a sharp edge when young, to rich and tangy when mature, pair with a vintage port or claret

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Quinta do Infantado – Tawny Port
--  Ravenswood – Cabernet Sauvignon

Sage Derby
– Beautifully marbled green cheese. The sage gives this cheese an almost minty flavor.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Fair Valley – Chenin Blanc
--  Peirano Estates – The Other White
--  Breckenridge - Amber

Port Wine Derby – Marbled pink cheese, perfect for dressing up a cheese tray.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Olive – Bean Blossom Cider
--  Ommegang - Ommegang

Rising Sun Farms -- Pesto Sun Dried Tomato Torta – layered cheese torta, perfect for the center of any tray, has a beautiful appearance and tastes delicious. Perfect for an easy display for any party.

Cabot Private Stock – an exceptionally fine, clean flavored x-sharp cheddar, hand selected and aged 16 to 18 months in black wax.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Peirano Estate – The Other Red
--  Butte Creek – Porter
--  Ommegang - Ommegang

Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese
Blue Gouda - The sweet, creamy texture of Gouda accented by the tanginess of Roquefort.

Kentucky Rose - Distinctive soft creamy flavor as it eases into the palate and blossoms into fullness.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Barone Fini – Pinot Grigio

St. Jerome - It’s washed rind is smooth and leathery. The cheese is pale yellow in color and has a full, robust flavor with depth in the back of the palette. While creamy and butter-like, it is firm enough for slicing.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Ravenswwood - Cabernet
--  Breckenridge - Amber

Manchego – a nutty, salty sheep’s milk cheese that works well served with crackers or melted. It has a firmer texture reminiscent of Parmesan.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Peirano Estates – The Other White

Bellwether Farms San Andreas – raw sheep’s milk cheese with a smooth & full flavored taste, great with dry, aged red wine.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Ravenswood – Cabernet Savignon
--  Butte Creek - Porter

Munster Gerome - the most notable characteristics of this cheese are the pungent aroma (don’t let the aroma put you off) and the soft smooth interior. When ripe the interior becomes straw colored and the flavor; nutty and beefy. This Cheese also has tendencies to become sweet and almost yeasty with an intense spicy aromatic finish.

Delice de france Grand Camembert – Mild and creamy triple cream brie.

Wine & Beer Pairings:
--  Oaken Barrel – Razz Wheat
--  Peirano Estate – The Other White

Matiz Fig Bread – delicious, moist fir bread is a natural and healthy sweet tooth satisfier from Spain. Perfect with Sharp Cheddar or Parrano.

Back to Nature Crackers  –  Stone Ground wheat with Flax Seed – beautiful on a cheese tray with its scalloped edges.

Carr’s Table Water Crackers – understated thin crackers perfect for sampling cheeses of all varieties.

Nut-Thins – Wheat Free/Gluten Free, thin crackers with light taste.

Chicago Flats – Long rectangular crackers that will give a good appearance to a bread and cracker tray.

Serving Tips:

 - For best flavor, serve cheese at room temperature.
 - Remove cheese from the refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes prior to serving. Larger cheeses require a longer time to reach room temperature than soft-ripened cheeses.
 - Only remove the amount of cheese you will be using from the refrigerator.
 - If you are serving individual portions, it is easier to cut the soft cheeses while they are still cold. Bring them to room temperature after they are cut.
 - If you are presenting cheeses on a cheese platter, do not cut them into individual servings in advance. It is best to let guests slice their own portions.
 - Be sure that cheeses on a platter have sufficient room between one another to allow for easy cutting or slicing.
 - Try to have individual knives or serving tools for each cheese served.
-  Avoid placing strong, pungent cheeses right beside delicately flavored cheeses.
Platter Design:

- Try to pick 3 – 5 types of cheeses with various milks and textures.

- Accompany a cheese tray with fruit, olives and nuts.
- Create simple signage, like hand writing on white butcher paper to let the guests know the names of each cheese.
 - Cut the wheels or chunks into large wedges and lay on their side with small pieces in front.

 - Get creative and display the cheeses on a cheese slicer or wooden board instead of a platter.
 - Garnish with dark Kale or grapes.

 - Use the cheese wheel as a serving tray, cut the top off and let the guests cut out their own amounts.