Le Tastevin Wine Club - Notes on Cheeses – October 13, 2010

Tonight’s cheese’s are from the Whole Foods on Orchard Lake Road. The bread is again from the Give Thanks Bakery in Rochester.

Campo de Montalban is a semi-firm to firm Spanish cheese made from a blend of cows’, sheeps’ and goats’ milk in La Mancha. While the best Manchegos should be aged six month to one year, this cheese is aged 90 days. (Manchego aged only 90 days is too soft and bland to be recommended.) It resembles Manchego in texture and appearance, and until 1985 it was in fact considered a Manchego. Campo de Montalban is distinguished by its three milk blend, while Manchego contains only sheep’s milk. However, the characters of all three milks are noticeable in Campo de Montalban by creating a creamier texture which is rich and buttery with a certain bite of sharpness. Campo de Montalban comes in waxed barrel-shaped wheels, with an embossed herringbone design, much like its all-sheep cousin, Manchego. And to add it this cheese’s allure: it’s about 30% cheaper than Manchego. Like Manchego, Campo de Montalban is an ideal match for most full bodied red wines.

Double Gloucester is a cloth wrapped cheddar style British farmhouse, artisanal cheese from the Borough Market west of London. It is one of the few traditional handmade cheeses made from the whole milk and cream of two milkings and then allowed to age for 6 to nine months. It is the same size and texture of Single Gloucester, which is made from skimmed and whole milk but is a milder, blander style of cheese. Double Gloucester tastes slightly creamier and sharper than its lower fat single sibling, with a slight saline taste with some grassy undertones. It has a smooth, slightly crumbly texture with an earthy finish from the cloth wrapping. It goes well with just about any full-bodied red wines made from the Syrah (Shiraz) grape, Pinot Noirs and California Zinfandels.

Jarlsberg, Norwegian Emmenthaler is available as an alternative for those desiring a milder, less sharp, Swiss style cheese.

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