Monday, December 6, 2010

Day Three Hundred - Maple Smoked Gouda Marriage Mondays

Happy 300th day to all of my devoted readers out there!

For this week's Marriage Mondays, I got inspired by Taylor Farm's Maple Smoked Gouda I tasted yesterday at Saxelby Cheese's booth at the New Amsterdam Market. Taylor Farm is located in Londonderry, Vermont and specializes in a wide range of goudas, jams, mustards, butters, and of course maple syrups. As Henry Tewsbury of Vermont Cheeses writes, "Even smoked Gouda from Holland does not compare with the excellence of this local product." An award winning cheese, this cheese is not harshly smoked or overwhelming, it has a mild creamy delicate-ness to it with a light smoky-ness. The cheese is crafted utilizing one hundred percent natural and sustainable farming practices and that sense of the local terroir really comes through in its taste. Smoked utilizing maple hardwood chips, this is a cheese that delights one and all.

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So what to drink with this delightful Maple Smoked Gouda?

Contestant Number # 1: Pilsner - Dry, golden, somewhat bitter but with lovely floral notes, pilsners are the most popular beer style worldwide -- think that classic American beer -- Bud! Brewed at lower temperatures than ales so that the bottom fermenting yeasts present in these lager style beers can succeed, these guys can age should you feel the desire to. Will the most popular beer style work with our special Maple this week?

Contestant Number # 2: Tempranillo - Originally a Spanish black grape that traditionally finds itself in a variety of Rioja style wines but also speaks for itself in wines named for its grape varietal. Tempranillo comes from the Spanish word, temprano or early, because the grape ripens a few weeks before other Spanish red grapes...Tempranillo's are some of the most reliable red wines to drink at a young age if you ask me. Full of red berry, plum, vanilla, clove, tobacco, and herbaceous notes; these are smooth wines with a nice little bite. Will it be the right sort of bite for our Maple Smoked this week?

Contestant Number # 3: Ice Wine - Our last contestant is a dessert wine that's composed of grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. How you may ask? Well that's because the sugars and dissolved solids do not freeze but the water present in the grapes does, making way for higher residual sugar content and much more concentrated and viscous liquid. This is in stark difference from other dessert wines where the freezing does not happen before fermentation therefore making an ice wine super sweet yet with a nice touch of acidity. Will our sweetest contestant win out this week?

Stay tuned till tomorrow to find out!
Stay warm folks.

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