Meg is a graduate from Cheese School of San Francisco. That makes her the perfect Curd Nerd to share cocktail and cheese pairings with you!
Happy Cheese Lover's Day – one of my favorite days of the year! To celebrate, we Grove Gals want to give you some inspiration for how to pair some of our favorite cheeses with some of our favorite cocktails!
First and foremost, the MOST important thing to remember when you’re pairing cheeses is to HAVE FUN! While there are some tried and true pairings, there is no wrong answer… well, there might be, but everyone’s flavor palate is different so it’s okay to throw out the rule book and see what YOU like!
First drink up—White Claw
Black Cherry + Blue Cheese = The juicy yet slightly tart flavor—similar to a crazin’--is a perfect match for a blue cheese. So I’ve chosen one of my favorites – on both a taste and sentimentality note – is Point Reye’s Original Blue from Point Reyes Farmstead. I actually had the chance to visit this creamery when I was in cheese school and meet the stars—the dairy cows! If you’re ever in Marin County, CA, I HIGHLY recommend trying to visit them for a class, tour or tasting event.
- This cheese has a super creamy texture and a medium-strong flavor.
- While I love to smear this cheese on some Effe’s oatcakes which have a slightly sweet flavor, it’s also a great cheese for topping a salad, putting on a burger or steak or even mixing into scrambled eggs or mashed potatoes.
- Another fun pairing for this cheese is dark chocolate
If you’re not into Black Cherry … Or blues … think about pairing with a triple crème.
- A triple crème is a result of extra cream being added during the process resulting in at least 75% butterfat!!!! Not optimal for “New Year, New You” or summer-body goals but Amaaaaazingly delicious!
- So I chose a triple cream Fromager d’Affinois from France.
- Like a sparkling wine, the tart yet sweet flavor of Raspberry White Claw is a lovely accompaniment to this mild, silky and buttery cheese and the bubbles help cut through the fat of the cheese.
Cheese pairing with White Haven
Another Grove Gal favorite is White Haven Sav Blanc. It is a smooth, crisp and refreshing white with a nice, clean finish. This white demands a nice, smooth, creamy cheese so I chose two… both by Cypress Grove Creamery in CA
- Humboldt Fog—this is a soft ripened goat’s milk cheese that is super creamy and luscious with some floral, citrus and herb notes. Most notably it has this gray line of edible, vegetable ash which helps to neutralize the acidity of the cheese.
- Purple Haze—a fresh cheese pairs so well with a Sav Blanc. I’m guessing you all love a Boursin—as do I—but I wanted to take it up a notch with this slightly sweet and very tangy goat cheese that you may not know. Purple Haze, also by Cypress Grove is amazing! It is infused with lavender and fennel pollen so it is bright, fresh and tangy, and holds up beautifully to the crispness of the wine
and for dessert... White Russian
I bet you didn’t see this coming but some of us like to drink our desserts … and not just because we’re fans of “The Dude.”
Playing off the Kaluah flavor and balancing the sweetness of the cocktail, I recommend the espresso & lavender rubbed Barely Buzzed by Beehive Cheese Co.
- The outer rub imparts some flavors of butterscotch and caramel near the rind but the center of the cheese is smooth, full-bodied and nutty.
- If you’re not a White Russian fan, try this with a nice Port, Cider or Stout.
- Aged for 5 years, this Gouda is amazing for snacking and pairing with sweet treats like dried fruit, chocolate and… a White Russian!
- It’s a hard cheese with crystals and has a rich, sharp flavor, and a definitively different texture from the cocktail.
- If you’re not going to pair it with a sweet cocktail, add it to your dessert board to appease your friends who are savory fans.
Happy National Cheese Lover's Day!
Meg and The Grove Girls