Thursday, January 20, 2011

National Cheese Lovers Day

So an entire day to celebrate ME, a Cheese Lover indeed!  I often say that I'm in the wine business to mask my addiction to really good cheese.  Cheese is a staple, and I'm not talking Velveta folks.  A good bite of cheese can trigger memories just like a fine glass of wine. It brings you back. I know a few people that don't like cheese, they are not to be trusted.

Cheese like wine starts begins with farmers.  Cheese starts from the ground up  - it's all about a "sense of place".   I personally geek out when I'm visiting a cheese shop, the same rush happens when I walk into a fine wine store.  You can visit the world by learning the facts from the cheesemonger behind the counter.  All of the sudden you're there, standing on the hills of North Eastern Italy among the sheep.  Is that weird that I do this?  

Whatever, life is too short to eat bad cheese.  

Step up your game this year and make a special effort to support your local family owned Cheese Shops - some of the most passionate foodies you'll ever encounter.  I almost always end up with a bag of other heavenly snacks and bottles of wine to go with the glorious cheese.   Here's an offering from my favorite local shop in Sonoma County: 

"Cheesemaker Showcase"
Once in a while we find a cheesemaker that makes us real proud and Rebecca King is that cheesemaker. She owns Garden Variety Cheese Company in Royal Oaks, California. Her farmstead dairy is comprised of herds of sheep and she produces an array of raw milk cheeses, blankets from their wool, offers a CSA meat program and Adopt a Ewe program which offers all of the above. Our selection includes Moonflower, which is aged up to one year and has a dense nutty buttery flavor reminscent of French Pyrenees cheeses. Paired with Anjou Crostini and Savannah Bee acacia honey.
- The Cheese Shop in Healdsburg, California (next to the movie theater and the Flying Goat)

Stop and take a civilized break while running errands back in Dallas and visit Scardello's and in Austin, a stop into Antonelli's is a must. Gourmage is the bomb in New Braunfels too!    Ahh, I have a really cool wedge of Italian Cheese in my fridge now made from buffalo's milk...a perfect way to kick off this day of celebration! 

Epoisses - my favorite with Pinot Noir.  What's your favorite cheese these days? Better yet - let us know about your favorite cheese shop!

Cheers - Ali

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