Cheeeeeese! Say cheese. Say wine. Wait, don’t say anything, your mouth is full.
So as you well know, last week we traveled south to visit lake houses, new houses, old friends, all the family, so many gremlins, a few pets, and I took cheese BECAUSE THAT IS WHO I AM. (much to Aaron’s chagrin.)
You also know of my borderline problematic obsession with Roth cheeses. I ALWAYS have Roth cheese in my fridge and/or mouth. But usually I’m cooking with the cheeses, rather than a full-on unruly nibble fest.
You’re like, “Could have gone all day without saying that last part, Bev.”
So I thought it might be a gas (not to be confused with, “I have gas.”) to host a simple cheese and wine pairing on our trip with my sis, her huzbee and mine, who absolutely hates cheese.
I’m smart like that.
Wanting to keep it simple, but slightly adventurous, I stuck with three cheeses, and three wines. A hard, a soft, and a stinky – with a white, a bubbly and a rosé. Obviously a rosé.
Let’s start with the Grand Cru!
Grand Cru is divine. Probably my favorite of all the Roth cheeses. Award-winning and sought after by the MASSES, it’s not hard to see why this is such a staple among cheese lovers. It’s not intensely hard like a parm, or a pecorino. It has heft to it, yet it breaks up nicely if you twist the block in your hands ever so slightly. The flavors are similar to a gruyere, in that classic alpine-style with nutty undertones, but smooth and mellow. Roth has three different varieties of Grand Cru – so if you can find all three, you must inhale all three. (I get mine at most grocery stores! Even Trader Joe’s has it. Boom.)
Next up – the HAVARTI.
Okay, Roth kills it at the havarti game. It’s unreal to me what this company can do with typically underrated cheese. CREAMY beyond legal description, but still holds up on the tongue with such gutsy freshness and depth of flavor. They have four versions, and you will not live your life to the fullest if you don’t devour them all. While the original is tried and true, my personal fave is the jalapeno! Remember when I did this with it? Yeah. You’re welcome.
Okay, and finally – the boldest of all – THE MONROE.
Hoooooly cow. When I say it’s a stinky cheese (<–which is a good thing), I ain’t messin’ around. DOUBLE CREAM, SOFT RIPENED, this handcrafted wheel should have its own Facebook page. I’m not going to lie, it’s intense. Definitely created for those cheese lovers who crave that beloved “dirty sock” scent, but satisfyingly creamy on the tongue. Slightly buttery, with a hint of distant citrus, it’s one of those cheeses that you get past the nostril assault, and then you dive in.
This is not a cheese. It’s a rite of passage for cheese adventurists.
Enter at your risk!
But do enter. IF YOU DAAAAARE.
Here’s Aaron telling us that if we make him eat even a single atom particle molecule of cheese he will throw us individually down a water well with a giant wheel of rotting donkey tails tied to our ankles.
The man despises cheese. This is my life.
Like, over and over and over. Geez, D. Stop hogging it.
So the wine! This is the thing about wine and cheese pairings. Anything goes. I learned this on a wine trip I took to Washington wine country last fall. So that makes me an expert. In my head.
This is what you do! SPECIFICALLY. Or else your hair follicles will be haunted with oak mites for the next 17 years.
You put a piece of cheese in your mouth, and take a small swizzle of wine immediately after. Swish and swosh the wine around in your mouth, WITH THE CHEESE still in there, and see what happens. See what flavors pop. How do you feel? Do you want to climb mountains? Sing from the treetops? Make out with a sloth? There’s your pairing.
My favorite combo, and we all agreed, went down like this:
The rosé (dry! always dry. never sweet. never ever ever) was BEAUTIFUL with the Grand Cru. Just wonderful.
The Sauvignon Blanc was FLAWLESS with the lusciously creamy Havarti. Simply stunning.
And the bubbles were this unexpectedly incredible partner to the Monroe. Added balance to that yummy stank, yo.
But try them all mix and matched with the different cheeses, and see what you think!
Do you ever do wine and cheese pairings? This kind of thing puts wind my sails, so I’d love to know how willy nilly you get with it. Also, baby cornichons and a good grainy mustard make for a delicious addition to cheese boards. And thinly-sliced meat! And your face. Natch.
This is my sister Barbara’s pretty hand reaching in for the GRAPE I WAS ABOUT TO GRAB.
Also, I’m including this photo in this post because a) I actually love it want it to live somewhere! and b) my sis has a PORTRAIT feature on her phone, and I don’t. How do I get it? Get a new phone slash life? On it.
(This post is definitely in partnership with Roth Cheese, but all opinions and cheese snarfings are totally my own. We coo?)