Ah yes, the age old tradition of wine and cheese tasting. These events provide a chance for folks to test their palates while having wonderful cheese and interesting wines. My idea of these types of get togethers revolved around cultured epicureans standing around, nibbling cheese, sipping the wine and giving witty bon mots.
The truth? Well, if last nights event was any indication, they’re a little less, shall we say, refined than that. That being said, they are still far more enjoyable than going on a beer brewery tour. But, since wine and cheese tastings involved actually swallowing the wine (unlike your more upscale wine tastings), the lot of us found ourselves having drunk two to three glasses of wine within an hours time.
No, that’s not a complaint, that’s a feature.
Beecher’s Cheese held the class last night, and I learned a great deal. I was able to taste cheese made with cows milk, sheeps milk, goats milk and water buffalo milk. I tasted various rind cheeses. I bit into a Fiscallini 18 month cheese that sang upon my tongue. I had a Rogue Oregon Blue that put me into a safe, happy place.
Then they brought out the wines. We had a glass of Apex II 2003 Sauvignon Blanc that was ..okay. A Viognier (whose name is on my notes which I do not have in front of me) which was wonderfully sweet and yet tart as well. Our last glass was a very clovey Apex II 2002 Sangiovese. Each of these glasses we tried with Beecher’s Flagship cheese, the Oregon Blue and an unimpressive Creamed cheese. We learned how to properly taste (sip of wine, bite of cheese, sip of wine), and gave our impressions.
If you love cheese (and I do), then I recommend going to to a pairing. If you have a good instructor, you have a chance to enjoy some wonderful cheeses and interesting wines…and get a little buzzed in the process. Now THAT is a real reason to get out there and participate.