Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


Would you like some cheese with your wine?

The answer to that question should be 'Yes'. 

A few weeks ago, by doing some easy 'share' and 'like' stuff on facebook, I won a gift basket from Tucannon Cellars, rapidly becoming one of my favorite wineries(and not just because they give me prizes!)

So, there were some cheeses, and crackers, which are tasty.  And then, there were three boxes of Chukar Cherries, and two very nice Reidel Wine Glasses.  Sadly, the wine was not included in the FREE gift basket, but I included it in the picture as an example of the rather fine wine produced by these folks(2011 Bareback Red:50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Mourvedre and 5% Petit Verdot.)

Perhaps the nicest thing included in the basket was two tickets to a Wine and Cheese tasting that Tucannon was co-hosting with Cheese Louise, a local gourmet cheese and wine shop. 

It was a great time, and an interesting learning experience.  Neither my wife or I had even been to a 'cheese tasting' that was much more involved than sampling cheese on a toothpick at Costco, and we didn't know that there was a 'way' to taste cheese. 

So...you pick up the piece of cheese, and you squeeze it...warming it between your fingers and releasing some of it's moisture.  Then you sniff it, before finally putting it in your mouth...but don't chew!  Let it melt and soften(or if's hard, rehydrate), before kind of 'smushing' it with your tongue.  Then you can chew and swallow.  If you are combining your cheese tasting with wine tasting, you have a sip of wine, swallow, then put the cheese in your mouth, and take another sip of wine as you are getting ready to swallow the cheese.

It's always fascinating to talk to someone that has a passion for something, and Bill Kreiger, the head cheesemonger and owner of Cheese Louise, has a passion for cheese.  He brought a wide variety for us to try...actually about three more than are on this list.

We warned before things got started that not all wines go with all cheeses...most whites, especially an unoaked Chardonnay or a Riesling, go good with most cheeses, but Red's are a bit more difficult to match up do to their stronger flavor.

I was kind of surprised to find out that my favorite cheese of the night was the Glacier Blue, a blue cheese made right here in Washington.  It started out slow, but kind of 'bloomed' in your mouth.

My wife's favorite was the Dry Jack...which I had thought would be my favorite when we first read the descriptions.  Jack cheese rubbed with a cocoa, pepper and olive oil paste?  Sounded like something that couldn't lose...it was just kind of dry for my taste.  I agreed with my wife in that the Dry Jack would have gone good in any soup that had called for cheese as an ingredient. 

It was a good night for smiles. 

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