Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day Two Seventy Seven - An Excursion to the North Fork

Today I took a trip out of the hussle and bussle of Manhattan to the North Fork of Long Island, home to the East Coast's largest concentration of wineries and for someone who loves local wines and cheeses, a must visit!!

Among the six vineyards we visited (Roanaoke, Palmer, Martha Clara, Lieb, McCall, and Pindar) was a special cheese discovery...yes the majority of the wineries had a cheese option with their wines but nothing quite like Palmer which offered a selection of Goot Essa (good food or good eating in German) cheeses. Goot Essa is made by a cooperative Pennsylvania Amish farmers. They make a variety of cheeses that are offered in 4 ounce blocks to pair with your Palmer wines. Of the cheeses on offer, I tried three and the word I would utilize to describe all of them is honest. You could tell that the people who make the cheese are about staying local and keeping simple. My favorite of the three cheeses was their aged cow's milk Swiss style natural rind cheese -- stinky, creamy, firm and all around satisying. But as the kind woman at Palmer informed me -- people who are drinking aren't interested in this cheese, it's a little too intellectual for the average amateur wine taster. But I loved it.

Classic, basic and most importantly honest is goot essa cheese but it sure is good and if you are wine tasting along Sound Ave in the North Fork, stop into Palmer and have some cheese and their sparkling wine made in the champagnoise style and fabulous for this region.

A worthwhile visit not just for the cheese made by Amish farmers but for their yumtastic bubbly....

Stay tuned for more North Fork tips and spots to visit!

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