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National Cheese Lover's Day


National Cheese Lover's Day is January 20th and we asked Owner & Winemaker Susanne for some of her faves!


When I enter my local grocery store, I repeatedly go through the big double doors on the right and the first thing I always see is the specialty cheese case. This refrigerated display of dairy products consistently makes me smile. Here are some of my favorite cheeses and the wines I love to pair with them. There are many wonderful, exotic cheeses, but I have chosen ones that are readily available at all grocery stores.

Manchego

Every year this cheese makes it to the top of our family's list. My daughter, Cate, is the one that got our family hooked on this sheep milk cheese. I regularly keep this cheese on hand so I can quickly prepare a snack tray when guests come over. I always keep olives, nuts and chips on hand so l can easily prepare the holy grail of snacks. I only buy small containers of them, so they stay fresh and do not get eaten by anyone at home. You put this winning trifecta of hors d'oeuvres in three small bowls, and put the manchego on a cutting board and you are good to go. You are ready to sit down, and have a glass of wine, and enjoy an impromptu visit with your guests. The wine I serve with this cheese is our Estate Volantis, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Blue Cheese

What can I say, I love this cheese, and the more blue it is and the more pungent it is, the more I love it. I keep this cheese on hand as a way to add umami (savoriness) to a meal. If I have cooked a steak or green beans that are a little bland, or if I just want to change up the flavors, I will crumble up a little blue cheese and sprinkle it on top and let the cheese melt just a little. This blue cheese idea also works on salads, avocado toast and beets. My go to for this cheese is Chardonnay. Our Chardonnay is a stainless steel wine with no oak added and no secondary fermentation. So this white wine is a refreshing counterpoint to the rich dark flavors of the blue cheese. If you are looking for a red wine we have a 2021 Estate Tannat wine that will be released soon and it is an outstanding wine to drink with aged cheese. Habanero Cheddar or Colby Cheese

I like spicy food and I like spicy cheese. When I top a dish with a habanero cheese, or put this cheese on a charcuterie tray, I like to serve it with our Viognier. Our Viognier has a rich and spicy taste that is reminiscent of peaches, apricots and honeysuckle. This invigorating taste on the palate creates a sensation that helps you enjoy this cheese even more. Smoked Gouda

This cheese and Syrah wine is a classic food and wine pairing. This pairing works because the spicy, intense notes of the Syrah enhance the earthy and mushroom flavors of the Gouda cheese. It also works because there are smoky notes on both the wine and the cheese that creates a flavor almost reminiscent of bacon. Soon we will be releasing a 2021 Syrah that is indicative of warm weather Syrah with notes of white pepper and blueberries. Favorite Cheese Recipe Tik Tok Feta Cheese Pasta paired with Sangoivese 2 pints cherry tomatoes 2 heads of garlic with the ends chopped off 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil One block (7 ounce) Greek feta cheese (Sheep milk) 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 bunch basil leaves Preheat oven to 400° In a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Toss to combine the ingredients and place the block of feta cheese in the center. Bake for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. (If you want some protein in the meal sauté two cans of diced clams with a pinch of garlic salt) Mash the feta and tomatoes with a fork and mix evenly to combine. Retrieve the two heads of garlic from the mixture, and squeeze the garlic out, and then return it to the mixture and stir. Add the clams, if desired. To serve, divide pasta between bowls and top with the mixture. My go to wine for this dish is our Sangiovese. Sangiovese wine is a medium bodied red wine that I think was crafted by the wine gods to go with tomato-based foods.

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