If I have learned anything in all of my years of cooking and entertaining, it's that people love a good wine and cheese pairing. If you're a wine lover, you probably love cheese too. I refuse to believe that one can exist without the other. I had some friends over recently to sip some vino and nosh on the special cheese I had delivered from Coach Farm in the Hudson Valley. If the concept of ordering cheese for a party is new to you, I respectfully ask that you give it a try. Not only is it a huge time saver, but it's also fun to say things like "oh it's a peppercorn blend I got from the Hudson Valley". People will think you're fancier than you really are.
Clockwise from top: peppercorn pyramid, soft goat cheese, triple cream
We had a standard soft goat cheese, a triple cream goat cheese, and a peppercorn blend goat cheese. Oh, did I mention that this was all goat cheese? Probably should have. Here's how the cheeses were received by my friends and I:
Fresh goat cheese button: thick yet soft, mild flavor with that classic tang. Great for spreading on crackers and salty pita chips.
Spreadable goat cheese sits nicely next to cheddar..
Triple Cream goat cheese disc: similar to Brie, this cheese was very mild and buttery with an edible rind – it paired well with the Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. This cheese also happens to be the winner of the NASFT Awards for "Outstanding Cheese or Dairy Product".
Triple cream on left, peppercorn on right
Peppercorn goat cheese pyramid: I'll be honest, at first I didn't really like this one. I took a piece on it's own and it was so strong and peppery, I thought it was overpowering; later on though, my friends were loving it, so I tried it again. I put a piece on a cracker and chased it with a nice sip of Barbera. Success! Apparently a strong cheese needs a strong wine to hold up to it.
Now don't get me wrong, I still had a place for other cheeses like cheddar and parmiggiano reggiano, but I had no clue goat cheese was so diverse! According to the friendly folks at Coach Farm, their goat cheese pairs well with beer too. Hmmm…do I smell a beer and cheese pairing party?! For more info on Coach Farm, visit their site at www.coachfarm.com. And to place orders, click here for the online store.
For those of you who are wondering what types of wine we served, ranging from most expensive to least: Rutherford Hill Sangiovese from my trip to Napa, a Muscardini Barbera and Pinot Gris from Sonoma County, Cabernet Sauvignon from Pindar in Long Island, and Flip Flop Pinot Grigio.