Brie goes well with everything! A wine and cheese birthday.
"A plethora of cheeses and wine has never yet been brought together in such a lovely home with such wonderful people. Compliments to the hostess and a monopoly of thanks to her for bringing her daughter back into this world in such a lovely form 27 years ago," wrote my Darlin'Man. It was my birthday the other week, and to celebrate the day, my mom put together an absolutely divine wine and cheese pairing feast. In addition to the wine and cheese, we had bread, almonds, raspberries, strawberries, artichoke hearts and a gorgeous salad my sister made. It is recommended that if you do not have access to a great sommelier and fromagier, that you keep a notebook with comments and thoughts on pairings so that you can gain skill in pairings. In support of such an endeavor, I asked everyone to take notes, I will share some of their thoughts below. One of my guests, the brother of my dearest friend, who also happens to be a playwright, had insightful prose poems for many of his comments. His words will be in italics through out this post, you can read more of his thoughts and writing at www.alexgagnehawes.wordpress.com. Everyone else will be in quotations.
For the main course, we had some 8 cheeses with 6 wines.
Gran Maestre Manchego: matured soft cheese, aged 12 months, product of Spain: brash, endearing
Havarti – slick, The action scenes of Indiana Jone's desert.
Grand Cru Original Gruyere, aged 4 months: an award-inning alpine-style classic. Fresh Wisconsin milk creates light, floral notes with a mellow finish – stinky full. It was indeed a beautifully stinky cheese, and might have been my favorite, but I'm not so certain about the light floral notes!
A Dutch Masterpeice Rembrandt Extra-aged Gouda- perfect crisp on edge of crunchy. Intelligently sharp. Divine.
Smoked Cheddar : not cheese but memory, condensed warm rich campfire love.
Montchevre Chevre: Hating chevre is like hating yourself. Why bother?
Le Chatelain Brie: Brie fills in the silence when I pray.
Glenmorangie: like a late summer forest meadow: exhilarating, intoxicating, I must leave too soon. Smoky caramel love
Red Garage Merlot: fruity nose, mild taste. After that scotch everything is mild. Not far from the grave. A micro-vintage from the San Francisco area.
Chateau St. MichelleGewurtztraminer: Sweet sour full, leaving the party with and kissing someone new
Macon Villages Chardonnay: White wine like crustless sandwiches.
Sauv-Blanc – White wines like young people intoxicate, are dull. That said, I quite liked all three of the whites, which is surprising, as I am generally a red wine gal.
J. Lohr Cabernet: Cranberry verging on currant. Sturdy, drily sweet. I cannot separate becomig adult from learning the meaning of "dry"
The manchego might have been the overall favorite, with Maple and Me being fans of the Havarit Meunster, and my very fave being the Gouda.
Jasmine: Syrah and Gruyere complexifies the stinky cheese flavors.
Brie and Syrah deepens the brie (dad says "nice clean flavors" about this one)
Gouda and Syrah, omg.
Jesse: oh my god good gouda! With Cabernet-Sauvignon, yes, but gouda outshined a little.
Justin: j lohr cab and havarti munsteur – perfect
Mark: sauv blanc and gruyere makes stinky cheese stinkier.
Anna: Chardonnay and Chevre!
|"What are we doing here?"|
"I don't know."
"Do you want some more cheese and wine?"
-Hipsters at a wine and cheese birthday
For dessert we had three "fabulously accurate combinations" of wine with cheese.
White Stilton with sweetened dried blueberries: Blueberry Fayre/Port; what cheesecake tastes like to poor people. Cheese creamy, tart, satisfying, port splendid. " Triple combo of blue cheese, walnuts, and port is heavenly" said my father, and it is true. There is a magical alchemy that happens in the mouth with this combination. It was probably my absolute favorite of the entire night, and made me forget all about the concept of a birthday cake. Who would ever want cake with this in front of them?
Gruyere/Madiera: frost on windowpanes. Strong. Cruel. The morning ahead. Beautiful, old. I thought I was going to like this a lot, because I LOVED the Gruyere, and have been fantasizing about madiera ever since I first delved into Shakespeare in 8th grade. Turns out though, I do not like madiera. Fortunately my father does, so I'll be keeping this rest of this bottle behind our other liqueurs until his next visit.
Geweurtztraminer/ Yancey's Fancy: New York's Artisan Cheese: Bergenost, a buttery triple cream havarti/muenster style cheese – safe soft parmesean. a cheese to give strangers you want to be friends. a cheese that reminds you of undone chores. pair with sweet white and serve sparingly.