Cheese Blog

Spanish Blue Cheese and Boquerones with Portuguese Sardines!

He Said...
Sardines and anchovies are in the house! As the weather turns warm (hot) there is something satisfyingly cooling about little fishes. It must be their bright, fresh, and tangy flavors that make them so attractive for summer. One of our all time favorites is Boquerones Anchovies from Spain.  If you normally stir clear of anchovies these little guys might change your mind. Unlike many grocery store anchovies these are not overly fishy or salty. They are fresh and light packaged in salt brine, vinegar, and sunflower oil. They come from the Bay of Biscay between Northern Spain and France. They are great eaten with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, wrapped around olives, or anywhere you want to punch up an appetizer. One of my favorite dishes is to place these little guys on crusty bread drizzled with olive oil, chopped roasted red pepper, chopped garlic, and parsley. This is actually a great summer time dinner. Next up are some Portuguese Sardines. These are packaged within hours of being caught off the coast of Portugal and canned simply with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt. They are sweet and succulent and an excellent source of Omega 3. Sardines are great with pasta by giving the dish a little salty boost but my favorite way to enjoy them is in a sandwich. In fact, Alton Brown of Food Channel fame has a terrific avocado and sardine sandwich that is thrilling. Basically mixing the sardines with a little bit of chopped parsley, vinegar, lemon zest, black pepper, and topping it with avocado and a splash of lemon. Filling, tasty, and good for you. Perfect summer nosh. Enjoy!

She Said...
Walking our dog around the neighborhood this past week has made it clear that our neighbors are desperately trying to fit in as much grilling as possible before it gets to be full blown summer temperatures.  The aromas of burgers and steaks always make me think of blue cheese.  Who can resist a blue cheese burger or steak and blue cheese salad?  We have two Spanish blues in our case that would definitely enrich your experience.  Cabrales which is from the Northern Asturias region in Spain is known for its classic intense spicy bite.  The milk comes from a mixed herd of cows, sheep, and goat.  It is aged in the damp, mold-rich caves of the Picos de Europa mountains.  For being so blue it still manages to have a creamy finish that will melt right onto your burger or steak.  Valedon is another mixed milk blue cheese from northern Spain in the Castilla-Leon region.  It is made from cow and goat's milk.  This is a much milder blue than Cabrales but that doesn't make it at all boring.  The complexity in this cheese comes from being wrapped with sycamore leaves in addition to cave aging, which give it an earthy tobacco flavor.  I recommend both with a cold and refreshing cider like the JK Scrumpys. When it gets to hot to cook out, these Spanish blues make a great addition to a cheese plate with a touch of honey.  No cooking required! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Gina's Burrata 
Red Hawk
Mt. Tam
Up in Smoke
Capricorns
Cave Aged Marisa
Teleme
Grayson
Wabash Cannonball
Roquefort

Meat: 
Fra'Mani Salami Toscano
Cantimpalo
Salchicon de Vic 

Beer:  

Funkworks Tropic King

Wine:

Caduceus Naga
Caduceus Le Li Rose
Caduceus Sancha
Merkin Chupacabra Blanca 
Merkin Shinola
Sand Reckoner Rose
Page Springs Mule's Mistake
Grand Canyon The Traveler White 
Scarpetta Brut Rose 
Peirano Estate Chardonnay
GR-174 Priorat 
Grayson Zinfandel
Field Recordings Fiction Red 
Force of Nature Tempranillo 
Force of Nature Cabernet
Fleur Chardonnay
Fleur Pinot Noir 


Other: 
Divina Garlic Stuffed Olives


Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Pennyroyal Farms Cheese & More from Smoking Goose!

He Said...
I wrote about our friends over at Smoking Goose Meatery and their Culatello last week. That, however, was not all the piggy goodness that we received from them. The first thing I would like to geek out about is their Saucisson Rouge. This salami is where they hide some of those sweet and savory pig bits like the heart and liver. They use pasture raised pork shoulder combined with pig heart, liver and red wine to make a full-flavored salami. This particular salami does a fantastic job satisfying the primitive part of our brains that crave these heartier parts of the pig that burst with flavor. I commonly enjoy it for lunch simply with some mustard and cornichon pickles. Also, new from Smoking Goose are their fully cooked sausages. We have their Andouille and their Merguez. The Andouille sausage is cajun inspired and contains a balance of pork, oregano, sweet onion, chiles, mace, and allspice wrapped lovingly in natural casing and lightly smoked over pecan wood. The Merguez sausage in North African inspired and consists of 100% grass fed lamb, blended with  pork back fat and spices. This sausage bursts with flavor and the lamb pops in the mouth with a little bit of heat. We have very little quantities of these so if you are interested let me know . The Merguez sausages come in 12oz packages for 16.59 and the Andouille comes in 16oz packages for 14.62. A rare treat indeed. Enjoy!

She Said...
Sometimes things just work out.  Along with our delivery of Navarro Wines for our wine tasting this Friday we also received our first shipment of Pennyroyal cheese!  Both are from the Anderson Valley appellation in California.  How fitting to have new cheese arrivals from the same place as the two white wines we are featuring at our wine tasting this friday.  
Navarro Vineyards is located along the Mendocino coast and to avoid some of the pitfalls of monoculture they diversified with animal husbandry and Pennyroyal Farm was born.  Pennyroyal Farms raises a small herd of sheep and goats.  They have a small but high tech cheesemaking operation where all of the love and care shown to the animals is translated to tasty cheese.  They make a few fresh and blue cheeses but our favorite right now is their Boont Corners.  It is a raw mixed milk Tomme style cheese that is aged for 2 months.  Flavors are nutty and tangy with all of the subtle grassy and earthy flavors that come from a natural rinded raw milk cheese.  The bonus is that they also offer aged versions.  We have the vintage which is aged 4-6 months in our shop as well.  The texture of the vintage is firmer and perfect for shaving thin layers over any summer salad or pasta.  Both are wonderful with the Navarro wines, duh, but they are also good with light & fruity red wines.  Come in and try it!

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Crow's Dairy Butter Pecan Chevre
Crow's Dairy Natural Feta
Pennyroyal Boont Corners Tomme
Pennyroyal Boont Corners Vintage
Barber's Cheddar
Gina's Burrata
Cashel Blue
Saint Angel 
Midnight Moon
Wensleydale with Mango & Ginger
Brie de Nangis
La Tur
Beemster Wasabi

Meat: 
Artichoke Pate
Olli Salami Wild Boar

Beer:  

Hr. Frederiksen Vaesel Brunch
Panil Raphael
JK Scrumpy's Summer Solstice 

Wine:

Eric Montintin Sancerre 
Dektown Fallout
Decktown Ceratina 
Navarro Chardonnay
Peter Franus Sauvignon Blanc
Trios
Bwise Wisdom
Cune Crianza

Other Goodies:
Treat Chocolate Truffles 
Fallot Dijon Mustard 
Belinda's Pickles
Tracy Dempsey Bacon Brittle
Roots & Branches Crackers-
-Herb Garden
-Black Pepper
-Sesame Seed 
Effie's Oatcakes
Hagensborg 
-Milk Chocolate Bars
-Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
-Caramel and Milk Chocolate Piglet Mini Bars


Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Ossabaw Culatello and Up in Smoke!

He Said...

From our shipment from our friends at Smoking Goose Meatery I present to you Culatello made from the Ossabaw pig. Until very recently the only way to see an Ossabaw pig was on Ossabaw Island, which is a barrier island 10 miles off the coast of Georgia. They were direct ancestors of the Iberico pigs from Spain, being left behind by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. Since then they have evolved to live on the island. In 1978 Ossabaw Island was donated by the owner to the State of Georgia as a heritage preserve. However, the decision was made by the Department of Natural Resources to eliminate the islands pig population. The Ossabaw breed of pig was at Critical Conservation Status. In other words they were very close to being eliminated altogether. Fortunately, pig breeders on the mainland recognized the benefits of keeping this particular breed of pig in existence and have been breeding a small amount of these dense hair pigs. Some of the evolutionary aspects of these pigs are that they are small, can survive off of brackish water, excellent foragers, and relative to their size have up to 5 times the fat of most other pigs. Moreover, they have what can be referred to as the "Thrifty Gene." This gene enables the pig to gain weight and fat quickly during times of abundance. This is the result of their food supplies natural ebb and flow on the island. What this means is that the Ossabaw pig is amazing as a pasture raised animal foraging on grasses and acorns resulting in a high amount of marbled ruby red meat. Flavor! Smoking Goose takes advantage of the natural curing quality of this pork  by rubbing each culatello with sea salt, black pepper, mustard seed, and white wine. For over a month they massage the meat on a daily basis before aging in for a least 8 months. Yeah, it's that good. Thank you Smoking Goose and thank you Ossabaw pig. Enjoy!

She Said...

A customer request reminded me of a wonderful little cheese that I had tasted during my Portland trip before opening Wedge & Bottle but haven't yet brought it in the shop.  Up in Smoke is from Rivers Edge Chevre.  All of the milk comes from cheesemaker Pat Morford's family farm, Three Ring Farm located in Oregon's Central Coast.  They have a small herd of 60 happy Alpine goats that browse on pasture and woodland.  This is why their milk is so rich and delicious and perfect for cheesemaking.  All of their cheeses have a delicate look with an abundance of flavor.  Up in Smoke is no exception.  It is a fresh goat cheese round wrapped in Maple and vine leaves.  Both the cheese and leaves are smoked and the leaves are spritzed with bourbon.  The rich milky tangy cheese coats your tongue and then brings in a delicate earthy smokey flavor.  It is beautiful on a cheese plate but also nice crumbled over spring salads.  Come and try it! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Coupole 

Barber's Cheddar

Saint Angel 

Manchego Gran Valle 

Mt. Tam 

Humboldt Fog 

Rivers Edge Up in Smoke

Nancy's Camembert 

Grand Cru Gruyere

Asiago Pressato 

Crottin 

 

Meat: 

Smoking Goose:

-Cold Smoked Elk Terrine 

-Culatello Ossabaw

-Gin & Juice Salami 

-Dodge City Salami 

-Saucisson Rouge 

-Delaware Fireballs 

Fra Mani Salami Toscano

Jamon Serrano

Salchicon De Vic

SB Sopressata

SB Spicy Sopressata  

 

Beer:  

Anchorage Rondy Brew

Anchorage Between the Stave

Funkworks Saison

Bell's Two Hearted Ale

Bell's Oberon

The Bruery Sour in the Rye

Avery Collaboration not Litigation

 

Wine:

Scarpetta Pinot Grigio

Caduceus Anubis

The Prisoner

Deusa Nai Albarino 

Phillipe Zinck Pinot Blanc

Boci Dolci 

Carlos Bosso Malbec 

 

Other Goodies:

Poco Dolce 

-Burnt Caramel Tiles

Peppadew Stuffable Peppers

Mama Lil's Sweet Peppers

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Bolzano Meat is back in stock and Beemster Graskaas is here for Spring!

He Said...

First off, if you have not checked out the link to the happy cow video in Krista's "She Said" column I highly recommend you do. It always puts a smile on my face to see happy cows. I also wanted to let everyone know that we have Bolzano Artisan Meats back in stock! Bolzano is a small salami producer out of Milwaukee. In fact, they are the first to bring back the art of slow curing to that great city. Bolzano is the brainchild of Scott and Christin Buer, a husband and wife team. Their salami is amazing for a few reasons. The first being patience, traditional air cured salami takes time, and the fact that they source high quality pork. Bolzano uses a blend of 3 breeds of heirloom pigs, Berkshire, Red Wattle, and Hereford. These pigs have been dismissed during the current rise of industrial pig farming because they have traits that are better apt to pasture then to commercial pen confinement. Unlike the majority of pork in our country, which is tasteless, lean, and dry these breeds have the much needed fat and natural deep pork flavor that is needed to create great cured meat. Moreover, they are Certified Humane so the pigs are being treated with care and respect. We are excited to carry 3 of their salamis. First is their Pig Red, which is their unseasoned salami. All the amazing fruity, armoatic, and savory notes from this salami is attributable to the pork itself! This is a prime example of what pork can and should taste like. Next, is their Pamplona Runner, which is their spanish style chorizo created with the addition of sweet smoked paprika. Lastly, we have their Pitzotl. This salami is inspired by Central and South America and includes 2 kinds of chilies and cocoa giving it a mexican chocolate or mole flavor. We are proud to be the excluive purvevor of Bolzano Artisan Meats here in Arizona. Enjoy!

 

She Said...

New in the case this week, Beemster Graskaas.  Beemster XO remains one of our most popular cheeses and usually I am hesitant to order other forms of Beemster because our customers seem to always prefer the 26 month aged XO version the best.  Since I am in the mood for spring cheeses I couldn't pass up the 28lb wheel of Beemster Graskaas.  Graskaas is a Gouda made only once a year when the cow's burst through the barn doors to graze on spring pasture after a long winter.  Just the first couple of milkings are used for Graskaas.  The resulting texture is creamy and velvety with a sweet grassy flavor.  Beemster cheese comes from a co-op in the Netherlands where master cheese makers follow traditional secret recipes handed down through generations.  The milk comes from an area that was converted from marshes and bogs to pasture in 1612.  This unique area is what gives Beemster cows such delicious nutrient rich pasture that they convert into wonderful milk.  If you haven't guessed, our whole Wedge & Bottle philosophy is that good food and drink begins with the best ingredients.  Beemster cheeses are a great fit.  Click here for a visual on these extremely happy cows! I really cannot watch it enough!  Come taste Graskaas this weekend!  

 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Beemster Graskaas

Beemster XO

Crow's Dairy Natural Chevre 

Gina's Burrata

Fiore di Capra Cheese 

 

Beer:  

Mikkeler Walk on Water

Flo Cuvee Saint Antoine

Mikeller Spontanpeach

Epic Armageddon IPA

The Bruery Mischief

Crispin Brownslane

Great Divide Lasso 

 

Wine:

Volver Tempranillo 

Honor Vera Garnacha

Ca'del Re Moscato di Asti

La Salita Sangiovese 

Chacewater 

-Cabernet Sauvignon

-Malbec

-Syrah

-Rose

-Chardonnay

Grayson Zinfandel 

Saint Hilaire

Philippe Zinck Pinot Blanc

Fabre Montmaya Rose 

Pali Alphabets Pinot Noir 

Sercial Madeira

Bieler Et Fils Rose 

Rapido Pinot Grigio 

 

Other Goodies:

Poco Dolce 

-Aztec Chile Tiles

-Peanut Butter Bunnies

-16 Piece assorted box 

Crow's Dairy Goat's Milk Caramels 

Belinda's Pickles 

Glutino Table Crackers

Fiore di Capra Caramels 

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Cheese & Beer!

He Said...

In honor of Saint Patrick's Day and our annual Irish Cheese Plate I wanted to feature a couple of Irish and Scottish beers that can be a tasty diversion from the usual Irish beer choices. It is not easy to find craft beers from Ireland once you get past the large exported brands. Porterhouse Brewery, however, makes the search and resulting beer worthwhile. Porterhouse Brewery opened in Dublin's Temple Bar area in 1996. It is touted as Irelands first brew pub and Irelands largest independent Irish Brewery. We managed to bring in their Plain Porter and their Brain Blasta. Don't let the name fool you, their Plain Porter is anything but boring and trivial. It won a Gold Metal twice in the Brewing Industry International Awards Competition. It has a velvety mouthfeel with just a touch of hop bitterness  giving it great drinkability and ease in food pairing. Their Brain Blasta is categorized as a Strong Ale and is deeply copper toned with rich malt sweetness and a balanced hop backbone that finishes dry with some great hop spice. Honorable mentions this St. Paddy's day comes in the form of 2 Scottish beers that are some of the best beers I have recently enjoyed. Scotland's Black Isle Brewery's Export Scotch Ale utilizes new world hops and their own fruity house yeast to create a scotch ale full of character and complexity. Also from Black Isle is their Oatmeal Stout with notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and a creamy and full mouthfeel. Black Isle Brewery is an unique organic brewery that grows its own organic barely to be used in their beer. In fact, they have their own brewery cow that feasts on the spent grain and in return produces rich cream. I hope that cream lives a long fermented life as cheese. Enjoy!

She Said...

The Irish Cheeses are here!  This year our Saint Patrick's Day Cheese plate includes Irish Soda Bread made by Pistol Whipped Pastry, Imperial Stout Jam, and 5 cheeses.  The first cheese is Daru from Cooleeney Farms in Tipperary.  Daru is a cow's milk natural rind cheese.  It is much firmer than a brie but has a lot of similar buttery mushroomy flavors.  The second cheese is Ardrahan from County Cork.  It is a brine washed cheese with a soft curdy paste and pungent aroma.  The flavors are smokey and meaty.  Next is Coolea, a farmhouse Gouda also from Cork.  The texture is like a typical aged Gouda but with a little sharpness.  Coolea has a firm dense paste with complex nutty and sweet flavors.  The fourth cheese is Cahill's Porter from Limerick.  It is a semi-firm cow's milk cheese with the addition of Porter beer.  The beer creates a beautiful mosaic effect between each curd.  Our last cheese is Cashel Blue from the Grubb family farm in Tipperary.  Cashel Blue is a rich and super creamy blue with medium blue cheese spice.  Everything will be prepped and ready for pick up this Saturday and Sunday but if you wish to celebrate Saint Patty's day early, we would love to plate it up for you to enjoy with some beer in the shop this weekend! Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Winnermere

Wagon Wheel 

Sole Gran Queso

Taleggio

Grayson 

 

Beer:  

Peche 'n Brett

North Coast Old Stock Ale  

 

Wine:

Sand Reckoner Malvasia

Caduceus Merkin- Chupacabra Blanca

Scarpetta Barbera 

Durigutti Bonarda 

Boci Dolci Sweet Kiss

Saint-Hillaire 

Peirano Chardonnay

Fabre Montmaya Rose

Field Recordings - Fiction Red 

 

Other Goodies:

Raincoast Crisp - Gluten Free Crackers

Mitica Caramelized Walnuts 

Askinosie Chocolate 

Slate Cheese Boards 

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Creminelli Prosciutto and Crottin from the Loire Valley!

He Said...

We are excited to introduce Creminelli Prosciutto to our Charcuterie selection. The Creminelli family from Italy has been making cured meats for generations. The current head of the salami making Creminelli family, Cristiano Creminelli, began his leadership role in Creminelli Fine Meats here in the United States in 2007. Cristiano, who has been creating fermented meat goodness since adolescence has made Creminelli recognized as one of the best cured meat producers in the United States. Their Prosciutto is all natural, humanely raised with no antibiotics using heritage breeds of pig, and aged for a minimum of 10 months. The prosciutto is velvety and sweet with salt that is noticeable but balanced. Prosciutto is great for a cheese & charcuterie board but also as a sandwich (we combine it with asiago cheese and fig jam) wrapped around grilled vegetables like asparagus or fruit like melon. It can also be sliced and combined with pasta for a meaty salty jolt. You can find some small Creminelli Salami in some specialty shops around the valley but it is rare to have their prosciutto available sliced to order. Enjoy!  

She Said...

We didn't get very much cool weather this year but I think it is safe to say our Spring warm weather is here to stay.  Perhaps since I grew up in Michigan, the change of seasons (though less dramatic in Arizona) is always a time of anticipated change of colors and flavors.  In regards to cheese, I find that I want less melty Alpine cheese and start to crave fresh tangy cheeses.  The case of Crottin de Champcol from the Loire Valley in France definitely makes me think of Spring. I tend to associate anything from the Loire Valley as perfect for warm weather ever since I learned that this is where the French Royalty would spend their summers.  When you see a cheese labeled Crottin you can expect a small cylinder of aged goat cheese about 2 inches around.  Crottin are creamy and soft when young and hard enough to grate as they get older.  The flavor can range from tart and tangy to all out goaty.  Our Crottin are from Berry in the tiny village of Champcol and they are somewhere in the middle right now in regards to texture and flaver which is how I most enjoy them.  They are perfect to serve with salad, fruit, or honey for dessert.  They are very pretty despite the fact that they are named for their shape (horse dung) and look wonderful on a cheese plate.  Traditionally enjoyed with wine from the Loire region, Rose and Sancerre.  We have some wonderful Sauvignon Blanc in the shop right now that would be a perfect pairing.  So have a picnic and enjoy some Crottin!

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Beemster XO

Gina's Burrata

Cashel Blue

Daru

Flory's Truckle

Ardrahan

Gubbeen 

Coolea 

Mt. Tam

Red Hawk 

 

Meat: 

Fra'Mani Salami Toscano

Bolzano

-Pig Red

-Pamplona Runner

-Pitsol 

 

Wine:

Pillsbury

-Wild Child White

-Wild Child Red

-Roan Red

-Diva 

Boci Dolci Sweet Kiss

Groundworks Grenache Blanc

3 Wine Co Albarino 

Carlos Bosso Malbec 

Durigutti Bonarda 

Philippe Zinck Pinot Blanc

Fattoria Viticcio Bere Red 

Enrico Prosecco 

 

Other Goodies:

Pistol Whipped Pastry

-Graham Crackers

-Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

-Salted Caramels

-Mini Cheesecakes 

John's Premium Tonic Syrup 

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Lot's of Wine Events this Weekend!

He Said...

I am super excited to announce that this Saturday we will have the opportunity to sample out some amazing wines and oils for free! I had the privilege to taste these myself a few weeks back and between Krista and I it was a no-brainer that we should bring these in to share with our friends. Jay from Empty Glass will be here with two of the winemakers, Uros Rojac and Emil Tauzherhe, who he works with in Eastern Europe to sample out wine, answer all your questions, and geek out with us over great organic wines. It is a great chance to try native grape varietals from Slovenia that are becoming more popular in the United States. The wine region we will be exploring lies just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy and shares the benefits of climate and terrain as their Italian cousins. We will also be sampling pumpkin oils from a small family run business out of Croatia. Jay will let you know about the myriad of health benefits associated with these pumpkin oils and great uses for them but I can honestly say that after tasting them a few bottles will be coming home with me. It's not every day we get to host European winemakers in our shop, we hope you can brave what might be a very rainy Saturday to enjoy this wonderful experience. See you Saturday. Enjoy!

She Said...

And the oscar goes to...CHEESE!  Troy and I have watched more nominated films this year than ever before.  We have made quite a tradition of filling out a ballot sheet with our winning picks and the more films we see the more fun it is to see who wins.  Even more fun, our tradition of Cheese and Champagne while we watch in our pajamas.  This year we thought we would share our tradition with our customers.  For $74, we will pack up a round of Mt. Tam, Champagne Delamotte, Rustic Bakery Crackers, and Dandelion Chocolate.  Mt. Tam is from Cowgirl Creamery in California.  It is our most popular triple cream soft-ripened cow's milk cheese. The buttery flavors and creamy texture pair perfectly with Champagne Delamotte, which is from one of the oldest producers in France.  It is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir and has an elegant creamy texture with citrus, white blossom, and lemon zest aromas and flavors.  With such a creamy cheese, a delivery device is sometimes needed.  Our favorite Cracker is the Rustic Bakery Olive Oil and Sel Gris Flatbread cracker.  The Dandelion Chocolate bar is included to add some star power. Dandelion Chocolate from San Francisco specializes in bean to bar dark chocolate made in small batches with only cocoa beans and cane sugar.  Their carefully wrapped bars in gold and cream paper are really something special.  Enjoy the Oscars!

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Ossau Iraty

Sweet Grass Dairy Green Hill 

Beemster Classic 

Boschetto al Tartufo 

Vermont Farmstead Alehouse Cheddar

Red Dragon

Natural Smoked Gouda

Brillat Savarin 

St. Marcellen

Crottin de Champcol

 

Meat: 

Tender Belly Cherry Smoked Bacon 

La Espanola Salchicon de Vic 

Salumeria Bielese Finnocchiona 

 

Beer: 

Bell's Two Hearted Ale 

Great Divide Collette 

Black Isle Oatmeal Stout

Black Isle Scotch 

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast 

Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour 

 

Wine:

Sean Minor Rose 

Mayu Pedro Ximenez 

Domaine Des Braves Beaujolais 

Malabaila di Canale Nebbiolo 

Grayson Zinfandel 

Caduceus Naga

Caduceus Anubis

Sand Reckoner "7" Syrah 

Purato Nero d'Avola 

Lioco Indica 

 

Other Goodies:

Beatnik Pickled Beets 

French Quarter Pickled Green Beans

Rosemary Raincoast Crisp Crackers 

Rustic Bakery Crackers 

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Beer Week Cheese Pairings!

He Said...
We are super excited that beer week is finally here! In order to participate in the celebration we are offering 20% off mix-and-match 6 packs for retail and $1.00 off beers to be enjoyed in our shop. Moreover, we are honored to team up with the fantastic people at Papago Brewing where they will be pouring 5 of Avery Brewery's Cellared Series with 5 of our cheeses. The event is at Papago Brewing and I will be there representing Wedge & Bottle. I can not wait to try these beers and I know there is a limited amount of space at this event so if you are interested contact Papago Brewing. In the "She Said" column Krista mentioned Red Hawk and Saint Angel, and I wanted to mention another great beer cheese called Westcombe Cheddar. We don't always carry this cheddar so we are excited to be offering it now. It is a Raw cows milk clothbound cheddar from Somerset, England. The really geeky thing about this cheese is that they use 3 different cultures to make the cheese and rotate them daily. What this means is that each batch tastes different. In a world where homogeneity is king this is pretty impressive. The best, however, is the mustardy horseradish finish you get with this cheese. It's a perfect cheese for some of your stronger beers. This will be one of the cheeses featured at the Papago event or come on in for a taste. Enjoy!

She Said...
Arizona Beer Week is here!  With all of that beer there is nothing better than a wedge of cheese to go with it!  I thought I would feature 3 of our most versatile cheeses for beer pairing this week.  Fenacho from Tumalo Farms in Oregon is a goat's milk Gouda studded with fenugreek seeds.  It has a nutty caramel flavor that makes an especially great compliment to malty toasty beers but we have enjoyed trying it with heavier stouts and lighter wheat beers where it has worked equally well.  Saint Angel is a Triple Cream from France that tastes like butter with a nice lactic tang.  The bubbles from any beer whisk away the creamy cheese and the texture dances on your tongue. This cheese is even better when paired with a crisp highly carbonated pilsner.  Saint Angel is also wonderful with a chocolate or coffee flavored stout because the flavors contrast so well.  The third cheese I want to mention is Red Hawk from Cowgirl Creamery in California.  Red Hawk is a triple cream that is washed with a brine solution that gives it a meaty rich flavor and a little bit of stink!  Any of the washed rind cheeses are usually complimentary with beer but Red Hawk's extra creamy texture makes it a more forgiving match.  It is especially nice with a sour style of beer for a complimentary funky on funky pairing.  Hope you include cheese in your beer week festivities and don't miss Troy's Avery Beer and Wedge & Bottle Cheese pairing event at Papago Brewing on Thursday night!

This Just In 

Cheeses: 
Gina's Burrata 
Saint Angel 
Cahill's Whiskey 
Cahill's Porter 
Carr Valley Mobay
Barber's Cheddar 
Beehive Big John's Cajun Rubbed Cheddar 
Rogue Smokey Blue 
Crow's Dairy
-Butter Pecan Chevre
-Herb Chevre 
-Natural Feta 
-Peppercorn Feta 

Meat: 
Fra'Mani Salami Toscano
Tender Belly Cherry Smoked Bacon 


Beer: 
Porterhouse Plain Porter
Porterhouse Broan Blaster 


Wine:
The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 
The Ned Pinot Gris 
Phillipe Zink Pinot Blanc 
Fabre Montmaya Malbec Rose 
Pali Alphabets Pinot Noir 
Fattoria Viticcio Bere Red Blend 
Alberto 154 Malbec 
Dektown Celllars Fallout 
3 Wine Company Old Vines Zinfandel 
Peirano Estate Chardonnay 
Zarpara Origen Red 
Zarpara Lozano Red 

Other Goodies:
3 Little Figs Tomato Tapas Jam 
3 Little Figs Cabernet Cracked Peppers
Fentiman's Ginger Beer 
Gus Orange Soda 
Dr. Brown's Died Cream Soda 
Dandelion Chocolate 
-Mantuano, Venezuela 70% 
-Maya Mountain, Belieze 70%
-Papua New Guinea 70%
Mitica Marcona Almonds 
Raincoast Crisp Original Crackers 
Belinda's Pickles 


Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Valentines Day Treats!

He Said...

If you are reading this blog I have a sneaking suspicion that you might be like myself in the fact that flowers, jewelry, and candy hearts are nice for Valentine's Day but it takes a little something special food wise for us to get excited. For a little something special we got in a small shipment of pate from Smoking Goose Meatery. Although pate is very much a peasant food, making use of ends and bits to create something marvelous without waste, I still consider it a bit of an indulgence. It must be the richness of the meat that gives me a pause and enables me to contemplate what I am enjoying and the company I am enjoying it with. I always feel a bit like a child enjoying dessert before supper. The Pig and Fig pate from Smoking Goose is gluten and nitrate free. It is a rustic style country pate made with coarsely ground pork shoulder wrapped in caul fat. It begins with pork and dried figs mixed with bacon, garlic, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, coriander, and port wine. The flavor is rich, deep, but well integrated and balanced. I recommend enjoying it simply with some robust mustard and sour cornichon pickles for the perfect snack. The beer I want to feature this week is one of the incarnations of Great Divide's Yeti Imperial Stout. This is their Oak Aged Chocolate Yeti. For this Imperial Stout they have softened the hops and added some cocoa nibs and a dash of cayenne. The oak adds notes of vanilla, the Cocoa nibs the chocolate, and the cayenee a touch of spice. Perfect for the beer and chocolate lover alike. Happy Valentine's Day and enjoy!

She Said...

Cheese & Chocolate Pairing Plates are prepped and ready to go!  If you didn't get to try our chocolate pairings last year, you might be thinking that cheese and chocolate sounds a little weird. We are confident it works, Liz and I have been looking forward to doing new pairings for an entire year.  The tannins in quality chocolate can cut through the creamy fat of cheese in a similar way that wine tannins do, leaving your palate perfectly prepped for another bite.  You will find this especially with the dark chocolate pairings.  We often use sweet honey and jams on our plates paired with savory salty cheeses because the contrast of flavors is so delightful.  The right chocolate with the right cheese can have the exact same effect.  Still not sold?  Think of classic hot chocolate.  Milk and cocoa is not a far stretch away from chocolate and cheese.  With a little Sparkling Wine or a Crisp Dry Beer you will be thanking Saint Valentine for this delicious holiday!  Our cheese and chocolate pairing plate includes the following love matches: 

1. Black Mesa Ranch Vanilla Bean Caramel with Kokos Cheese

2. Poco Dolce 5 Spice Bittersweet Chocolate Bar with Grand Cru Reserve Cheese 

3. Hagensborg Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar with Lamb Chopper Cheese 

4. Askinosie Itty Dark Chocolate Bar and Fourme D'Ambert Cheese 

5. Woodblock Salt Chocolate Bar and Kunik Cheese 

The Pairing is $25 and can be plated to enjoy here at the shop or boxed up to go.  It goes wonderfully with Sparkling Wine and Champagne which happens to be 25% off!  Happy Valentines Day!

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Lamb Chopper

Red Hawk 

Fenacho

Midnight Moon

Estero Gold Reserve 

Garrotxa 

Wensleydale with Mango & Ginger 

Gina's Burrata 

Gina's Mozzarella 

Kunik 

Chimay Grand Cru 

Fromage D'Affinois 

Cashel Blue 

Barber's Cheddar 

Prima Donna 

Ewephoria 

Honey Bee Gooda 

Asiago Pressato 

Parmigiano Reggiano 

Grayson 

 

Meat: 

Finnochiona 

Sopressata 

Spicy Sopressata 

 

Beer: 

Grass Roots Arctic Saison 

Grass Roots Arctic Soiree 

 

Wine:

Zarpara Origen Red Blend

Zarpara Lozano Red Blend

Faust Kabinett

Vino Noceto Sangiovese  

Peirano Estate Chardonnay 

Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux

 

Other Goodies:

Made By Bees: 

Raspberry Habanero Jam 

Orange Blossom Honey

Mesquite Honey

Clover Honey

Wildflower Honey 

Grate Roots Beet & Citrus Horseradish 

Woodblock Chocolate Bars 

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

New Salami Piccante from Smoking Goose and 25% off Sparkling Wine through Valentines Day!

He Said...

A new treat arrived in our shop this week from the good people at Smoking Goose Meatery out of Indianapolis, IN. It is their Salame Piccante! I have written extensively on Smoking Goose and much about their philosophy of producing quality salamis using heritage meats, old world traditional methods of meat curing, and their own unique creative twists. Their Salame Piccante strikes me as reminiscent of Italian Calabrese salami made with pork, beef, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, anise and red wine. As always the spices play a supporting role to the natural flavor of their meat with the spice accentuating the porky flavor. As typical with Smoking Goose there are no nitrates or nitrites added. I have been snacking on slices of this meat all week but I know a sandwich is definitely in my near future. The spice would interact nicely with hot melted cheese and perhaps a touch of sweetness from some bread and butter pickles. Come on in for a try and please check out our new gift boxes on the website, Krista and I had a lot of fun putting them together. Enjoy! 

 

She Said...

As you may have guessed already, my favorite foods are cheese, wine, and chocolate.  Valentines Day falls low on the list of my favorite holidays, but I am always grateful for an excuse to enjoy some good bubbly wine.  All of our Sparkling wine is 25% off through Valentines Day to compliment all of the fantastic cheeses and single origin chocolates that we know you want to share with your loved ones or receive from your secret admirer.  We have quite a range of styles and price ranges chilling in our case right now in expectation of this romantic holiday but if you want to go with a classic we have a Champagne A. Margine Special Club Brut right from the heart of the French Champagne region.  We sell it for for $82.85. It’s made with a blend of 90 percent Chardonnay and 10 percent Pinot noir. It’s also classified as Grower Champagne.  This is a designation given to those wines produced by the owners of the vineyard. Grower Champagnes are rare and a mark of high quality. This wine is further designated as a Special Club wine. A Special Club wine is a rare designation given to a bubbly that uniquely represents the terroir of the area in which it is grown. A. Margine has crisp lemony flavors and creamy biscuity tones.  It is perfect with chocolate and cheese because of the lovely way bubbles can whisk creamy foods from your palate. The biscuity tones only enhance the complex flavors of quality chocolate and cheese.  We shouldn't need an excuse to enjoy good food and wine with the people we love but sometimes holidays (even the Hallmark create ones) are good reminders to take time to make the ones we love and care about know that we appreciate them!

 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Seascape 

Beemster XO 

Boschetto al Tartufo 

Crow's Dairy

-Natural Chevre

-Natural Feta

-Peppercorn Feta

-Butter Pecan Chevre 

 

Meat: 

Smoking Goose 

-Gin and Juice

-Dodge City

-Pig & Fig Terrine 

-Delaware Fireballs

-Piccante Salami  

 

Wine:

Boci Sweet Kiss Lambrusco

Future Perfect

3 Wine Co Old Vines 

Fabre Montmaya Rose 

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 

 

Other Goodies:

Good Faith Farms

Garlic & Oregano Olives 

Moroccan Spice Olives 

Dr. Brown's Cream Soda 

Taste Fondue Set Tapas 

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Great Cheese Events This Weekend!

He Said...

Great cheese pairings can take many different forms but one of my absolute favorites is to pair it with beer. On Friday night between 5:30-7:30 we are excited to partner with Billy Clayton from Odell Brewing in pairing 5 of his beers with 5 cheeses. We have 2 of their beers from their Classic Series, Easy Street Wheat and Cutthroat Porter. Easy Street Wheat is an Unfiltered American-style Wheat beer and the Cutthroat porter is a smooth dark beer with roasted and toasted notes. From their Seasonal Series we have their Runoff Red IPA. Representing their 4-Pack Series we are pouring their Mountain Standard Double Black IPA that balances a roasted malt flavor with Colorado grown hops. The one I am most excited for, however, is from their Cellar Series called Friek. This beer is done in a lambic style using multiple batches of beer fermented with wild yeast and tart cherries before it is aged in oak barrels. The wild yeast sours the beer and right before it is blended raspberries are added lending to the sweet and tart complexity of this beer. It is $5 for the beer flight and $12 for the cheese plate. Enjoy!

She Said...

Super Bowl weekend is here!  While I am not a big football fan, I am a big fan of snacks!  I am looking forward to an evening of spending time with friends and watching the game with our Wedge & Bottle cheese & meat box.  As with all of our theme cheese boxes we have put together a box of goodies that we would like to enjoy ourselves.  First up, Troy's pimento cheese spread.  We call it Troy's because his take on this classic spread does not include the traditional pimentos or olives.  Troy makes it to his taste with sour pickles, roasted red peppers, and Barber's Cheddar Cheese. The result is a super addictive dip!  In addition, we have two more cheddars, Big John's Cajun Rubbed Cheddar and Snow White Cheddar.  Big John's is a white cheddar from Beehive Cheese in Utah coated in cajun seasoning.  The seasoning permeates through the cheese for a nice spicy kick.  Snow White Cheddar is from Carr Valley in Wisconsin and is a goat's milk cheddar.  It is a complex cheese with nice earthy notes from cave aging and tangy notes from the goat's milk.  For the meat we have Olli Molisana Salami.  It is a slow cured pork salami from Virginia seasoned with pepper, garlic, and Sangiovese wine.  In addition to the meat & cheese we are including marcona almonds, cornichon pickles, and 4 rosemary bread rolls.  The box serves 4 snackers and is $30.00.  We will have it available all day on Saturday and Sunday this weekend prepped and ready to go.

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Gran Queso Reserve

Westcombe Clothbound Cheddar 

Black Mesa Ranch

-Goat Cheese Log Plain

-Goat Cheese Log Chipotle 

Humboldt Fog 

Mt. Tam

Bonne Bouche 

Cremont

Pepato 

Mizithra 

Boschetto al Tartufo 

Epoisses Bourgogne 

Langres 

Saint Angel 

 

Meat: 

La Belle Duck Confit

La Quercia Prosciutto Americano

Olli Molisana Salami 

Salumeria Bielese 

-Finnochiona 

-Petit Jesu 

La Espanola Salchicon De Vic 

Chorizo Cantimpalo 

 

Beer: 

Avery Joe's Pilsner 

 

Wine:

Enrico Prosecco Splits 

Fattoria Viticcio Bere Red Blend 

 

Other Goodies:

Boska Fondue Kits 

Black Mesa Ranch Candy

-Vanilla Bean Caramels

-Sweet Spiced Pecans

-Spicy Spiced Pecans 

Abita Root Beer 

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!

Salami Info & Valley Ford Cheese Highway 1!

He Said...

I love charcuterie and all of its many variations and this week I would like to concentrate on Salami. Unlike cured ham, which is a whole muscle cured meat, salami takes the form of ground meat (typically Pork) that is mixed with fat and spices and stuffed in casing. Of course, not all salami is created equal. There are a lot of so-called salamis on the market that are cooked and not air-cured. These are salami in name only and add little to the long history of cured meats. Krista and I pride ourselves in securing some of the very best air-cured salamis in the United States from amazing producers from as diverse as places as Missouri, California, Indiana, and Milwaukee. So, what makes a great salami. First, a salami must be air-cured and left to ferment for the appropriate period of time with mold covering the outside. Don't worry, however, we want this type of mold. The mold protects the fat from going rancid and helps develop the taste of the salami. We LOVE mold! Moreover, during fermentation harmful bacteria are eliminated and moisture is lost and flavors in the meat are concentrated as enzymes in the meat convert low-flavor proteins into high-flavor amino acids. Secondly, stay away from unwanted additives such as water, corn syrup, MSG, Excessive sugar, fillers, and thickeners. The ingredient list should be simple and recognizable. The meat should be of high quality and many producers take pride of telling you the source and breed of the meat they use. The spices used should be natural and should play a supporting role in the flavor of the salami where the flavor of the meat itself is dominant. Producers sourcing low quality meat often try to hide this fact with over spicing their salami. These are some keys in what creates a beautiful work of fermented art. Enjoy!

She Said...

Taking over the family business is not something many of us still have to consider in the United States.  Perhaps this is why I am always fascinated by the stories of European wine and cheesemakers who have passed on their business for generations. I am certainly grateful that I had the freedom to take a career of my choosing.  When my mother talks about how much she enjoys accounting it is always hard for me to believe.  The joys of balancing spreadsheets certainly skipped over me.  This is why I want to share a little about the Valley Ford Cheese Company story.  Valley Ford Cheese Co is located on Mountain View Jersey Dairy right off the coast of Sonoma County.  The land has been owned and operated by the Bianchi family since 1918 when the family moved there from Northern Italy. They raised Jersey cows who produced fantastic milk. Each generation acquired more land and more cows over the years.  In 2010 Karen Bianchi and her husband Joe found that it was only fitting after so many years on a dairy to make cheese.  Karen wanted to make cheeses similar to the Italian ones she had shared with her grandparents as a child.  I love that the Valley Ford story has tradition through the generations but still had entrepreneurial spirit by taking up cheesemaking.  Highway One is a raw cow's milk cheese in a rustic fontina style.  The natural rind lends some earthy mushroomy flavors to the fruity and nutty cheese.  Highway One would melt perfectly but is great to enjoy with charcuterie and olives.  However you enjoy it, you must pair it with a robust red wine, preferably Italian! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Kunik 

Gina's Burrata 

Manchego 12 Month

Saint Angel 

Chalet Limburger

Boschetto al Tartufo

Haloumi 

Mizithra 

Beemster XO 

Big John's Cajun Rub Cheddar

 

Meat: 

Alexian Wild Forest Mushroom Pate 

 

Beer: 

ODell Easy Street Wheat

Odell Cutthroat Porter

Bell's Hopslam

Bell's Two Hearted Ale

Fox Barrel Blackberry Cider

 

Wine:

Chocolate Block

Sand Reckoner Red 

Grand Canyon The Traveler

Rapido Pinot Grigio

Dektown Fallout

Fabre Montmaya Rose

Pali Alphabets Pinot Noir

Force of Nature Cabernet

Amor Fati Syrah 

Fleur Chardonnay

Fleur Pinot Noir 

 

Other Goodies:

Pistol Whipped Mini Cheesecakes! (pictured)

Mitica Marcona Almonds 

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Many New Arrivals and a little education about cured ham and pecorino!

He Said...

A common question we get here is "what is the difference between Prosciutto di Parma and Jamon Serrano." First, however, I will tell you the similarities. Both are air cured hams from the back leg of a pig. The pigs used are of similar breeds. Both can be cured up to 2 years and neither of them encompass smoke in their curing process. Now for the differences. The first and most obvious is that Prosciutto di Parma is a cured ham from Italy while Jamon Serrano is cured in Spain. This does make a difference in terms of microclimate and feed. Serrano pigs have a diet of approved commercial feed while Prosciutto di Parma pigs can eat similar feed but with the possible exception of whey from Parmesian-Reggiano (Italy's aged cheese), and chestnuts. Another difference is the aging process. Serrano hams are less protected while aging so more moisture is lost, which helps concentrate flavors. Moreover, while Prosciutto hams are protected from mold growth where in Serrano hams it is encouraged. All of these differences result in flavors that are unique to each country's signature ham. Prosciutto di Parma hams are delicate, sweet, soft, succulent, smooth, and perhaps a bit nutty. Serrano hams are meatier with a deeper concentrated flavor, bold, complex, rich, pungent, with an almost gamey flavor. Both of these hams benefit from aging. I love both hams and it is always fascinating to me that two hams can be so very different. Enjoy!

She Said...

A new little treasure from Italy arrived this week that is a must try for Pecorino lovers!  Pecorino is the general name given to any sheep's milk cheese made in Italy.  These cheeses are usually named for the region in which they are made, Pecorino Toscano is made in Tuscany, Pecorino Sardo is made in Sardinia, etc.  There are 5 distinct types protected by Italian law but after a quick Google search I pulled up over 40 types of Pecorino cheeses, which didn't include all of them. This makes things tricky for our customers who travel to Italy and taste the most amazing cheese and are told it's simply Pecorino.  When they ask for Pecorino at our counter we always ask which one they had and at times they never knew to ask.  Our advice is if you are lucky enough to have a trip to Italy eat and enjoy as many types of Pecorino while you are there because many don't make it to the States.  We always try to have a rotation of Pecorinos in our shop and this week its Pecorino Ginepro from Emilia Romagna.  It is a hard sheep's milk cheese with all of the good salty, nutty, sweetness of any hard sheep's milk cheese but with an added bonus of juniper and juicy balsamic flavors.  This is due to bathing in balsamic vinegar and being steeped in juniper.  Come try it out! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Redwood Hill Bucheret

Bohemian Blue 

Pecorino Ginepro

San Joaquin Gold 

Highway 1

Mt. Tam 

Nancy's Camembert 

Carr Valley Marisa 

Gina's Burrata 

Snow White Cheddar

Zamorano 

Crow's Dairy

-Peppercorn Feta

-Natural Feta

-Butter Pecan Chevre

-Natural Chevre 

 

Meat: 

Angel's Duck Salami 

La Quercia Speck Americano

 

Beer: 

FiftyFifty Brewing Elijah Craig 

FiftyFifty Brewing High West Rye 

Harviestoun Ola Dubh

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Stout

J.K. Scrumpy

-Winteruption Cuvee 

-Northern Neighbor 

Odell Runoff Red IPA

Odell Friek

Odell Mountain Standard 

Hebrew Death of a Contract Brewer

Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat

Bell's Oberon

 

Wine:

David Girard Viognier Roussanne 

David Girard Rose

David Girard Mourvedre

Vino Noceto Sangiovese 

Hook & Ladder Chardonnay

Grayson Zinfandel 

Mas De Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 

Fattoria Viticcio Bere Red Wine

Phillipe Zinck Pinot Blanc 

 

Other Goodies:

Made By Bees

-Raspberry Butter

-Strawberry Rhubarb Butter

-Orange Blossom Honey

-AZ Wildflower Honey

-Mesquite Honey

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Cheese is healthy, really it is!

He Said...

This week I wanted to write about the health benefits of artisan salts compared to mass produced salts, which are commonly used in cooking. The purpose of mass produced salts is to achieve almost pure sodium chloride and during processing must be washed to remove residue of industrial handling and other environmental pollutants. Moreover, many salts see the addition of additives like anti-caking agents and in some cases even corn syrup to help cut bitterness. The result of all of this is the loss of variety when it comes to mineral and taste compositions of these salts. Compare this to artisan salts that can comprise of upward to 84 different minerals of the sea. Many of these elements are minerals that make up the composition of our bodies. In fact, 9 of the top eleven elements in our bodies are among the top eleven elements of the sea. With artisan salts you are getting less of what you don't want in your body and more things that you do. The other major health benefit of artisan salts is the fact that you apply them yourself. Of the salt consumed by a typical American around 77% is from processed foods and restaurants. So, the best way to cut salt in your diet is to avoid overly processed foods and to cook applying the salt as needed. Of course the most important part of specialty salts is the many variations of  shape, size, and mineral composition that lend these salts their unique and interesting tastes that add a whole new dimension to food. We have a fun selection of artisan salts so come on in and give some a try. Enjoy!

 

She Said...

With the bustle of the holidays behind me I have had a chance to catch up on a little reading.  An article in the fall issue of Cheese Connoisseur I read this week helped me decide what I wanted to write about. The article titled, "Is Cheese The New Kale?" mentions several of the health benefits from eating cheese.  This is the time of year when many of us reset and try to be a little healthier and cheese has a reputation of being a guilty pleasure. Guess what, cheese not only makes you happy, it also makes you healthy!  Cheese contains a large range of vitamins and minerals including cancer preventing K12.  Real, not processed cheese, contains healthy fats that your body can process and make you feel full.  You really don't need to eat a lot in order to  feel satisfied.  It also contains calcium for your teeth and bones.  I'm a believer that there isn't a diet that works for every body type and moderation is always key but for me when I have some cheese everyday it makes me less hungry and more happy! 

 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Barber's Cheddar 

Asiago Pressato 

 

Meat: 

Angel's Duck Salami 

Fermin Jamon Serrano 

Salumeria Bielese Spicy Sopressata 

 

Wine:

Groundworks Grenache 

Trios Proprietary Red

Vista Hills Pinot Gris 

Bwise Wisdom

 

Other Goodies:

AZ Bitters Lab! 

Mas Mole Bitters

Orange Sunshine Bitters

Figgy Pudding Bitters 

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Neal's Yard Stichelton and Chimay Grand Cru Reserve Cheese!

He Said...

I do love beer and it is no surprise that I also love cheese that is bathed in it.  A fresh wheel of Chimay Grand Cru Reserve arrived this week from the Abbey of Notre Dame de Scourmont in Belgium.  A true trappist cheese made by monks both influenced by French Cheese and Belgian Beer.  The regular washings with beer to this cow's milk cheese give it a sticky reddish rind and super creamy paste.  The flavor is tangy and slightly pungent especially when served at the proper room temperature.  Chimay cheese is a great companion to any Trappist, Saison, or Sour beer we have tried with it.  Enjoy! 

 

She Said...

Happy 2014!  We are looking forward to another year of wonderful cheeses new and old!  With our small cheese case we do our best to keep a constant rotation of cheeses going to cover all of the bases throughout the year.  Stichelton from Neals Yard Dairy has just arrived and taken our English Blue Cheese spot.  For those of you not familiar with Stichelton, it is a raw milk blue made in Nottinghamshire, England.  Stilton was originally made with raw milk but in 1989 the producers agreed to start making Stilton from pasteurized milk.  Not able to call a raw milk version Stilton because of name protection, the Wellback Estate and Neal's Yard Dairy call their cheese Stichelton.  They use the same traditional techniques as the original Stilton and great quality organic milk.  It is a spicy blue cheese with nutty and fruity undertones.  Any blue cheese is an excellent cheese to try for January when we are all trying to cut back a little on our portions after overeating during the holidays.  A little bit of blue goes a long way with flavor and it is oh so delightful!  

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Stichelton

Carmody

Point Reyes Blue

Mt. Tam

Reading Raclette 

Chimay Grand Cru

Boorenkaas Gouda 

Armenian String Cheese

Windsordale with Blueberry 

 

Meat: 

Fra'Mani Salami Toscano

 

Wine:

Rapido Pinot Grigio

Elio Perrone Moscato di Asti

Fattoria Viticcio Bere 

Left Coast Pinot Noir

Alberti 154 Malbec 

Edgebaston "The Pepperpot"

 

Other Goodies: 

Rustic Bakery-

Olive Oil Sea Salt Crackers

Rosemary Crackers 

Fentiman's Cherrytree Cola 

Dr. Brown's Cream Soda

Effie's Oatcakes  

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Fondue, Sparkling Wine, and Creamy Cheese!

He Said...

Krista and I are usually pretty tired by the time New Years Eve comes along but we still love to celebrate!  Last year we started a tradition of making fondue because it is so simple and easy.  Here is the traditional fondue recipe that we use, which we found with some variation in several of our cheese reference books.  You can use any great melting cheese but these are the three we suggest.  

3 Cheese Fondue Recipe

Ingredients:

1/3 LB Grated Reading Raclette Cheese

1/3 lb Grated Grand Cru Gruyere

1/3 LB Grated Vacherin Fribourgeois

2-3 Tablespoons Cornstarch or All Purpose Flour

1 Clove of Garlic cut in half crosswise

1 Cup of Dry White Wine or Apple Cider

1-2 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice

Splash of Cherry Brandy Like Kirsch (optional)

Ground Pepper

Pinch of Grated Nutmeg

Crusty Bread, Fruit, and/or Pickled Vegetables for Dipping

Combine the cheeses with the cornstarch. Rub the inside of your fondue pot with the garlic halves. Add the wine to the pot over medium heat do not boil. Stir in the lemon juice and brandy. Add a handful of cheese at a time stirring constantly. Wait till each handful melts before adding another. Season to taste. Enjoy. 

 We also like have a little chocolate fondue for dessert.  We love Francois Pralus Fondue Chocolate with Pralines.  All you have to do is microwave it in the bowl that it comes in and dip fruit, marshmallows, and graham crackers.  These will be 25% off through New Years Eve!  

Happy New Year and Enjoy!  

 She Said...

As we wrap up the holiday season we always bring in the New Year with a celebratory POP of Champagne and Sparkling Wine!  We have stocked up on bubbly and are offering 10% off this weekend.  Our favorite pairing with bubbly is some of our richest and creamiest cheeses.  Something about the way those little bubbles whisk away the creamy cheese off your tongue seems like the best way to celebrate.  Sparkling wines go pretty well with all cheeses but we put together a plate of some of our favorites.  Our $20 creamy cheese plate will include a 1/2 baguette, blackcurrant jam, tangy Humboldt Fog, buttery Saint Angel, mushroomy French Camembert, velvety Nancy's Camembert, and spicy Roquefort blue cheese.  It serves 2-4 people snacking and we can serve it here in the shop or box it up to go.  We will have this available this Saturday, Sunday, and New Years Eve.  A reminder that we do close early on New Years Eve at 3pm.  Happy New Year! 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Appenzellar

Valdeon

Big John's Cajun Rubbed Cheddar

Meat: 

Wild Forest Mushroom Pate 

Beer: 

Nogne O Jolly Pumpkin Special

Mikkeller Chipotle Porter 

To Ol Mine is Bigger than Yours

Wine:

Sans Liege Groundworks Grenache

Phillipe Zinck Pinot Blanc 

Fabre Montmaya Malbec Rose

Saint-Hilaire 

Castillo Perelada Rosada 

Ca'Dei Zago Prosecco 

Scarpetta Brut Rose 

Champalou Vouvray Brut

Delamotte Brut

A. Margaine Special Club Brut

 Other Goodies: 

Effie's Oatcakes

Pistol Whipped S'mores Kits

Noble Bread sold every Saturday! 

Happy Christmas Holidays!

He Said...

Happy Holidays!!! This week I wanted to focus on a local company that I think would be great for the holidays, artisan mead producer Superstition Meadery. Mead is ancient alcoholic beverage made from fermenting honey along with a unique combination of spices, wine, or maple syrup. This particular meadery is a small batch producer out of Prescott, Arizona and makes for a great winter warmer to be shared with family and friends or as a truly special gift. These meads can be enjoyed on their own (my preference) or as a cocktail (krista's preference). Superstiton Meadery has some great cocktail recipes on their website. The first mead is their Orange Mead made with the most expensive spice, saffron, along with hopos and coriander that lends a great spicy element to the mead. Their next mead is the Maple Stinger, which is made with maple syrup. This mead has a balanced sweet flavor. Lastly, is their Aphrodisia which is made with 90% Arizona Zinfandel and 10% honey mead. In order to support this local company and expose more people to quality mead I want to offer 25% off of these meads through the holidays. We have limited supply so come on in. Merry Christmas everyone and I wish all of you a cheesy holiday season. Enjoy!

 

She Said...

Our case is now officially stocked up for the Christmas and New Years Eve Holidays!  With so many cheeses to choose from we find that it can sometimes be intimidating when trying to select cheeses for your holiday gatherings, especially when you are trying to create a plate with 3-6 cheeses.  I thought I would give some tips this week about how to choose a range of cheeses.  To start it is nice to have a young creamy cheese like a goat's milk or soft-ripened cheese.  Examples of these would be tangy Crow's Dairy Chevre, buttery Marin French Triple Cream Brie, or Mushroomy Camembert.  Next you want something in the semi-firm category that has some great nutty characteristics like a Gouda or Sheep's Milk Cheese.  Examples of these would be Midnight Moon, Prima Donna Gouda, or Manchego.  The last cheese should be strong like a spicy blue cheese or sharp cheddar.  Examples of this would be Colston Basset Stilton, Point Reyes Bay Blue, Flory's Truckle, or Widmer 10 Year Cheddar.  If you want to add a few more you can expand on these categories or add washed-rind cheeses like Chimay Grand Cru, Rush Creek Reserve, or Epoisses.  Its always good to serve cheeses at room temperature to get the fullest flavors to come through.  Take them out about 1/2 hour before serving them.  We like to put a savory and sweet accompaniment on all of our cheese boards.  For savory think nuts, olives, and pickled vegetables.  For sweet think honey, jams, and dark chocolate.  We have found that wines like fruity and dry Pinot Gris for whites and Pinot Noir and Medium Bodied red blends are the most universal pairings for cheese but there are always exceptions so don't take it to seriously if you prefer to drink something different.  Beer and Sparkling wine are also a safe bet because of the way their lovely bubbles wash away the creamy cheese leaving you wanting for another bite!  Wishing you all a wonderful Holiday!

 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Reading Raclette 

Humboldt Fog

Mt. Tam 

Grayson 

Camembert

Saint Angel 

Epoisses Bourgogne

Cabrales 

Marin Triple Cream Brie 

Barber's Cheddar 

Wensleydale w/cranberry

Boschetto Tartufo 

Beemster XO 

Crow's Dairy Peppercorn Chevre

Ewephoria

Balarina Gouda 

Owl Creek Tomme

Walhonding 

Wabash Cannonball

Brillat Savarin with Truffle

Fourme D'Ambert

Green Hill 

Roquefort 

Rush Creek Reserve 

 

Meat: 

Angel's Duck Salami 

La Quercia Prosciutto 

Fra'Mani Salami Toscano 

Salumeria Bielese Spicy Sopressata 

Smoking Goose: 

-Pig & Fig Terrine

-Gin and Juice 

-Culatello 

 

Beer & Mead: 

The Bruery 6 Geese-a-Laying 

(we also have the retired 5 golden rings)

The Bruery Rugbrod 

Superstition Meadery: 

Maple Stinger

Orange Mead

Aphrodisia 

New Belgium Cigar City 

Crispin Georgia 

 

Wine:

Hook & Ladder Chardonnay

Grayson Zinfandel 

Heron Cabernet

Foris Pinot Gris 

This is E11 Big Bottom Cab 

La Torre Chianti 

3 Wine Co Old Vines Zinfandel 

Novelty Hill Cabernet

Novelty Hill Chardonnay 

Alberti 154 Malbec 

Boci Sweet Kiss Lambrusco 

Rapido Pinot Grigio

Scarpetta Pinot Grigio

Copain Pinot Noir 

Delamotte Brut Champagne 

A. Margaine Special Club Champagne 

Champalou Vouvray Brut 

 

Other Goodies: 

Peppadew Stuffable Peppers 

Orange Blossom Honey 

Habanero Basil Mustard 

Pistol Whipped 

-Salted Caramel Sauce

-S'mores Kits 

-Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies 

John's Premium Tonic Syrup

Divina Green Olives stuffed with Garlic 

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday! 

Bresaola and Rolf Beeler Cheeses!

He Said...

I love pig, but this time of year I welcome some cured-beef in my life with the addition of Bresaola. The Bresaola we have just received is created in New York by the great people at Salumeria Biellese. These guys have air-dried some beef from Black Angus top rounds. The cows are grown on small farms in Pennsylvania. We are using it for our last Raclette Day of the year this Saturday between 12-3. Raclette is a gooey belly warmer that consists of melted Raclette cheese over potatoes, cornichon pickles, and cured beef.  Bresaola certainly takes it up a notch. Bresaola also makes a great addition to cheese and charcuterie plates by adding variation to the traditional pork salami. Traditionally in Italy Bresaola was revered and eaten simply on a bed of arugula and shaved Parmagiano-Regianno that is sprinkled with fresh lemon juice and olive oil. I have personally enjoyed it on sandwiches, wrapped around softer cheeses, and diced with eggs for breakfast. Enjoy!

She Said...

A special shipment of cheese arrived at Southwest Cargo today that for me really makes it officially the holiday season!  Rolf Beeler cheeses from Switzerland are here!  This year we received Vacherin Fribourgeois, Tete de Moine, and Riesling Sylvaner cheese.  Vacherin Fribourgeois (vasher-ANN-FREE-boor-ZHWAH) is a large wheel of raw cow's milk cheese carefully selected and aged for 7-9 months by Rolf Beeler.  Like all Alpine cheeses Fribourgeois has a dense creamy texture and makes a wonderful addition to Fondue, Gratins, and Raclette dishes.  The flavors are nutty and meaty with a lot of umami.  This is a cheese that likes a spicy wine or dark beer.  Tete de Moine (Tet deh Mo-ahn) is a monastic alpine cheese which name translates to "Monk's Head".  The flavors are very similar to Vacherin Fribourgeois but it is a firmer texture and typically eaten with the use of a Girolle.  A girolle is a cheese tool that pulls a delicate layer of cheese off the top of the wheel to create a lovely flower of cheese and a bald "monk's head" effect on the rest of the wheel.  We do have a few of these tools at the shop for sale if you wish to really impress your party guests!  Ultimately you just want to go for a thin shaving of Tete de Moine that you can use a cheese planer tool or regular knife because it seems to bring out all of the flavors in the best way.  The last Cheese, Riesling x Sylvaner, is one that I have not yet tried (which is why we ordered it) It is a cow's milk soft-ripened cheese washed with Riesling and Sylvaner wine to impart a light apple flavor.  Sounds great right!  Come in tonight for the Riesling and Cheese Flights and taste Rolf Beeler cheese!

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Fromage de Meaux 

Rush Creek Reserve 

Tomino in Sunflower oil with herbs 

Black Mesa Ranch

-Chipotle Goat Cheese Log

-Fresh Herb Goat Cheese Log 

VBC Cremont

Mt. Tam 

Bay Blue 

Red Hawk 

Saint Angel

Carr Valley Marisa

Wensleydale with Mango & Ginger

Beemster XO  

Fossil Creek Goat Harvarti 

Kokoborrego Owl Creek and Walhonding

Tete de Moine

Vacherin Fribourgeois 

Riesling Sylvaner

Wabash Cannonball

Grand Cru Gruyere 

 

Meat: 

La Quercia Prosciutto Americano 

Fra'Mani Salami Toscano

Salumeria Bielese Spicy Sopressata

Salumeria Bielese Bresaola 

Salumeria Bielese Finnochiono 

Fermin Jamon Serrano 

 

Beer: 

New Belgium Cigar City

Crispin Georgia 

Bell's Two Hearted Ale

Left Hand Milk Stout

 

Wine:

For A Song "Melody" 

Faust Flagrantia Riesling Spatlese

Faust Kabinett

Faust Gretchen

Rudesheimer Berg Rottland Auslese 

Kaseler Nies'chen Beerenauslese 

The Ned Pinot Gris 

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 

Pali Alphabets Pinot Noir 

Castillo Perelada 5 Fincas 

 

Other Goodies: 

Black Mesa Ranch

-Hot Spiced Pecans

-Sweet Spiced Pecans

Tracy Dempsy Bacon Brittle 

Rustic Bakery Crackers

Cowgirl Creamery Cooks Book 

Fallot Dijon Mustard 

Blackcurrant Burgundy Jam 

Nonna's Arrabiata Sauce 

Three Little Figs Peach Bellini Jam

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Italian Beer and Dunbarton Blue Cheese!

He Said...

We are excited and proud to be contributing to Fibber Magee's Beer and Cheese Night this Saturday December 7th between 3-8pm. This great Irish Pub is offering 3 different pairings of 3 beers and 3 cheeses. The event should be a lot of fun with some great beers on tap and of course some tasty cheese. In honor of the unbeatable combination of beer and cheese I wanted to take a moment to talk about a few beers that would be great for the holidays and make perfect gifts for beer geeks. For something different I am focusing on beers from Italy, where they are experiencing their own beer renaissance. The first beer is Birrificio Montegioco's Demon Hunter. This beer is part of their Extra Strong Category and warms the gullet with figs, walnut, berries, and caramel. This beer has a strong mouth feel but with enough hops to help clean the pallet for another sip. Also thumbs-up to the severed demon head on the label. Another current favorite is Birra del Borgo's collaboration with Dogfish Head called My Antonia. They call this one an Imperial Pilsner with an ABV of 7.5%. It is a crisp style beer that features biscuity and grassy aromas with yeasty, citrus, and floral hop flavors. The last one is Loverbeer's D'Uvabeer. This beer is from the Piedmont region and is brewed with local red grape must for a citric/sour red berry fruit combo that goes wonderfully with pungent washed rind cheeses. Enjoy!

 

She Said...

Another cheese treasure arrived a few weeks ago from Wisconsin that I can't believe I haven't mentioned yet! Dunbarton Blue is made by 4th generation cheesemaker Chris Roelli for Roelli Cheese Haus just east of Shullsburg, Wisconsin.  After closing the family's commodity cheddar factory, Chris channeled his Swiss cheesemaking roots and opened a small artisan factory in 2006 where he created the original recipe for Dunbarton Blue.  Wanting to do something a little different he created a blue using the cheddaring process.  Blue cheeses are typically made by piercing the cheese with holes so that the tasty blue molds in the controlled cave environment work their way into the cheese and travel between the loose curds.  By pressing the curds tight like an English cheddar the blue molds are only able to go where the pierced holes are and can't make their way through the dry pressed curd.  The result is a sharp cheddar with a hint of blue flavor.  This is a great party cheese because it will satisfy blue cheese lovers and is a gateway blue for those who typically shy away.  It also happens to look beautiful on a cheese plate.  Come in and try it! 

 

This Just In 

Cheeses: 

Saint Angel

Cantalet

Crow's Dairy Natural Chevre

Black Mesa Ranch

-Natural Chevre

-Jalapeno Chevre 

Humboldt Fog 

Beemster XO 

Grayson

Abbaye De Belloc 

St. Nectaire

German Limburger

Smokey Blue 

 

Meat: 

Tender Belly Bacon

 

Beer: 

Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour 

 

Wine: 

Caduceus Nagual de Naga

Delamotte Brut Champagne

A. Margaine Special Club Brut Champagne

Rapido Pinot Grigio

New York Malmsey Madeira 

San Lorenzo Il Casolare Blanco

Boci Sweet Kiss Lambrusco

San Martino Silir Aglianico

Franco Serra Barolo 

Enrico Prosecco Splits 

 

Other Goodies: 

Pistol Whipped Pastry - 

Mini Cheesecakes 

Peppermint Marshmallows 

Annette's 

-Beer Brittle

-Firey Beer Brittle

-Chardonnay Brittle

-Tequilla Lime Brittle

Edward Wohl Cutting Boards

Slate Cheese Boards

Assorted Wine Gift Bags  

RJ's Raspberry Licorice 

Maille Cornichons 

Effies Oatcakes 

Effies Nutcakes

Rancho Gordo Beans

-Christmas Lima

-Cranberry

-Yellow Eye

-Midnight Black

-Cassoulet Beans

Black Mesa Ranch

-Milk Chocolate Rubble

-Vanilla Bean Caramels

 

Noble Bread sold every Saturday!  

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you will be enjoying Thanksgiving Day with family, friends, and good food!  We are thankful for all of your support!  

We do take American Express now and are participating in Small Business Saturday this year.  Thanks for thinking of us for all of your holiday shopping and entertaining!  

Troy & Krista 

 

This just in: 

Cheeses: Mt. Tam, Grayson, Abbaye de Belloc, St. Nectaire, Nancy's Camembert, German Limburger, Saint Angel, Widmer 10 Year Cheddar, Barber's Cheddar, Smokey Blue, o'Bannon, Robiola Rochetta Tre Latte, Brillat Savarin with Truffle, Rush Creek Reserve, Roquefort, Comte, Dunbarton Blue

Wines: Le Gouil Cotes du Rhone Carianne, Scarpetta Brut Rose, Champalou Vouvray Brut, Bellstar Prosecco, Bugey-Cerdon Sparkling Wine, Fattoria Viticcio Bere Red, Pali Alphabets Pinot Noir

Beer: Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour 

Meat: Spicy Sopressata, Cantimpalo, Wild Boar Sopressata, Gin & Juice, Pig & Fig Terrine, Stagberry 

Other: Belinda's Pickles, Askinosie Colaboration Bars and Chalkboard gift box