OLe Tastevin Wine Club - Notes on Cheeses - October 15, 2008

The cheeses are from the Holiday Market Cheese Shop in Royal Oak. They have been selected because they should match well with Merlot-based, right bank Bordeaux wines due to a low level of saltiness. The French "epi" loaves are once again from The Give Thanks Bakery in Rochester.

Saint-Nectaire (l'Or des Domes) - a semi-soft, creamy, tasty cow's-milk cheese from Saler cows, and made by small producers in the rustic Dore Mountains in Auvergne, France. This full-bodied, washed rind (inedible) cheese was first made popular in the seventeenth century by King Louis XIV. Saint-Nectaire is a smooth, mild cheese, with small holes and a buttery, fruity, and nutty flavor. Raw milk Saint Nectaire is rarely available in the US. Merlot dominated Bordeaux, or any Merlot at all is an elegant match for this rustic cheese.

Grafton Village Classic Reserve Extra Sharp Vermont Cheddar - a highly acclaimed cheese made by one of America's finest cheesemakers, and is considered the standard-bearer of Vermont Cheeses, even better than the renowned Shelburne Farms Cheddar. It is made in the old traditional artisanal way, from local Jersey cows, in small batches with long aging. Our is aged over 2 years. It is rindless, undyed and crumbly, and goes well with fruity, Merlot-based wines. Grafton is a consistently award-winning cheese, considered by experts to be an American treasure.

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