Starting at 12 o’clock and going around clockwise (my favorites are marked with an asterisk):
- La Tur
- Sally Jackson Goat
- Fleur du Maquis
- Abbaye de Belloc*
- Everona Farm Piedmont
One of the things I sometimes forget is that cheese, like wine, is often best served at room temperature (as opposed to fridge temperature). The Brillat-Savarin really stood out in this regard. It was maybe a little over ripe, but at room temp it had the airy consistency of whipped cream, strong notes of butter, and a hint of lemon. The class could have started and ended right there.
La Tur and Selles-sur-Cher were also quite good. These are the cheeses of Stephanie’s youth in France, and ones she’d very much like to replicate with her crottin experiments. To my surprise, Sally Jackson Goat, wrapped in grape leaves, did not wow me like her Sheep cheese did in Leaf-Wrapped Lovelies. The herb crusted Fleur du Maquis was nice, worth trying if you get the chance—and make sure to eat the rind!
I love mountain cheeses like Comté, Guyère, and Emmentaler so much that if I could take Alpine Cheese and Alsace Wine over again, I would. But the Comté didn’t grab me this time. Instead it was the Abbaye de Belloc, a Basque sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees that really caught my attention.
And what about the wines? We started with a sparkling wine that I really liked, Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rosé. We also paired the cheeses with the exotic-sounding Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina, Quivira Grenache Rosé, and Colle Stefano Rosato as we worked our way around the plate. A class like this could only have been better if we had been sitting outside, on a Saturday, in Provence.