Le Tastevin Wine Club - Notes on Cheeses – September 11, 2019

Tonight's cheese and bread comes from Whole Foods in Ann Arbor. These were selected to be a good paring with our Alsatian Pinot Gris and Gewurtztramier as well as our red blends from Languedoc.

Pleasant Ridge Reserve (pasteurized cow’s milk) from Uplands Cheese in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, USA has won a slew of awards. It is made only in the summer from grass-fed cows during the peak of their producttion. A batch of cheese may yield up to 78 10-pound wheels a day, according to Upland's website. This alpine-style cheese is semi-firm, smooth and consistent, with a natural, washed rind. Flavors are said to be often nutty, druity or spicy, akin to an Appenzeller, Gruyère or Emmentaler as classic examples, which is why I selected these to pair with our Alsatian Pinot Gris and Gewurztramier.

Livradois Blue d'Auvergne (pasteurized cow’s milk) is a relatively new cheese. The store goes that, in the mid-1850s, a French cheese-maker named Antoine Roussel noted the occurrence of blue molds on his curd that resulted in an agreeable taste. He conducted experiments to ascertain whether these molds could be induced. After failed experiments, he discovered that rye bred mold created this veining and that needle-prickling of the curd provided the necessary aeration and encouraged its growth. This technique was soon adapted around the region. Although this cheese could be mistaken for Roquefort, it has its own unique flavor. This cheese is crumbly, with a creamier texture and more rustic flavor. This blue is named for the place of origin in the Auvergne region in south-central France, about 60 km west of Lyon. The Fromagère du Livradois company offers a range of cheese, including the Blue d'Auvergne, wich is aged for approximately four weeks in cool, wet cellars before distribution, a relatively short period for a blue cheese. Its flavor is well-balanced with salt and spice, making this a nice companion for some Barsac dessert wine as well as robust, tannic red blends.

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