Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 862 : Matchmaking Vermont Style Recap...

No awkward silences here, no turning of the cheek to avoid a first date kiss, instead an informed pairing of Vermont wines and cheeses led by Sean Buchanan and Alice Feiring as part of the seminar series at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival. Buchanan was an executive chef at the Middlebury Inn  and then at the Stowe Mountain Lodge and currently is a business development manager for Black River Produce -- a local produce and speciality foods distributor. There he helps chefs maximize their use of local and sustainable ingredients focusing on stimulating the region through direct usage of local products. Buchanan is all about the locavore movement -- growing the local agricultural community to in turn stimulate the socio-economic climate of the Upper Valley. Feiring has been writing on many topics, most notably wine since 1988 and has a wine blog ( since 2004 wining the James Beard and Louis Roederer Wine Writing Awards for her penmanship. Feiring is a big proponent of natural, biodynamic and organic wines.

So what did Buchanan and Feiring put together for the pairings?

Pairing 1: Vermont Butter and Cheese's Bonne Bouche and Lincoln Peak's Black Sparrow with an under ripe peach - 

VBC's ash ripened aged goat's milk cheese that is bright, tangy, citrusy and chalky with a crisp local white wine - the harmony of terroir working perfectly!

Pairing 2 : Grafton Village Cheese's Bismark and East Shore Vineyard's Frontenac Rose with pickled red cherries -

Bismark is a semi-firm aged sheep's milk cheese full of nutty, buttery, creamy and sweet notes. The perfect snacking sheep's milk cheese whose depth increases as it ages. Frontenac Rose, despite its dark color, is light and fanciful and full of red berry notes. Each great on their own but I was not sold on this pairing until I introduced the fabulous pickled red cherries which were just the cat's meow.

Pairing 3 : Spring Brook Farm's Reading and Shelburne Vineyard's Marquette

Raclette style cheese made in Vermont? Well yes, since 2010 Spring Brook Farm has been crafting this raw Jersey cow's milk semi soft cheese. Fruity and nutty, yet buttery and round, this cheese is great on its own or melted and sandwiched between two pieces of bread as the best grilled cheese sandwich. Marquette is a dynamic yet approachable medium bodied red wine -- full of dark cherry notes, this is a lovely pairing.

Pairing 4 : Consider Bardwell's Pawlet and Snow Farm Vineyard's Vidal Ice Wine

Modeled on an Italian style toma, this raw Jersey cow's milk cheese is approachable and easy to love -- full of sweetness, with hints of butter, grassy-ness, and a nice floral finish. A great pairing partner for almost any beverage and a huge crowd pleaser of a cheese. Classic ice wine done well -- sweet with a syrupy floral bouquet. I'm not necessarily a fan of pairing ice wine with cheeses especially here but if I had to, I would perhaps pair the ice wine with a nice spicy piquant blue cheese not the Pawlet. The Pawlet begs for a medium bodied red or a range of beers. 

Pairing 5: Shelburne Farms Smoked Cheddar and Snow Farm Vineyard's Vidal Ice Wine

Raw cow's milk hickory wood smoked cheddar that is round, buttery and rustic with the most fabulous hints of campfire paired with the same ice wine as the prior pairing. Here I think that the sweetness and thickness of the wine actually plays off of the smoky notes of the cheddar and forms an interesting and dynamic pairing.

Pairing 6 : Shelburne Farms 2 year aged Cheddar and Eden Ice Cider Company's Newhall Ice Cider

Farmstead aged cheddar that's crumbly, caramelly, crystallized, nutty, and buttery is paired with the sweetness of the ice cider. Notes of apples and honey find their home with the flavor nuances of the cheese and the tasting is rounded out with a wonderful final pairing.

Overall a really fun Vermont matchmaking experience -- highlighting the brilliance of the local terroir. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive