We checked in with our lead cheese buyer, Kurt, to see what he was recommending for this New Year’s Eve. He put together a selection that hits all major milk types – cow, goat and sheep – while covering a range of textures and cheese styles. And, they all pair beautifully with sparkling wines!
Langres – When in doubt about which cheese to pair with a given wine, it is almost always safe to say, “something from the same region.” As it happens, we have a corker (pun intended!) for Champagne. Langres is a small format washed-rind cow-milk cheese that comes from the same region of France as its most famous style of bubbly. Traditionally, it is served by pouring a small amount of Champagne over the top.
Ekiola Ardi Gasna Fermier – “Ardi Gasna” translates as “sheep cheese” in the Basque language. On a trip to the Pyrenees in 2010, Ihsan, Valerie and Julie of our South End store, discovered this raw milk cheese. Sourced from a tiny farm, this is exactly the kind of cheese they were hoping to find. It has a firm texture with bright, rich flavors of sheep milk and hay.
Robiola di Capra in Foglie di Castagna – This is a pure goat-milk robiola from Piedmont wrapped and aged in chestnut leaves. When young, the cheese has a thick, cakey texture similar to a young chèvre, but with a beautiful density of flavor. As it ages, the cheese starts to mellow and, through contact with the leaves, it develops an earthy, wine-like aroma and flavor. Unwrapping the leaf covering makes it a dramatic centerpiece.
Strach’in – Brand new to our cheese case, there was much excitement when this cheese arrived. Strach’in is a super creamy, sweet cheese – essentially a small production Gorgonzola Dolce – and it pairs perfectly with something dry and bubbly. Consensus on the cheese counter is that this was an excellent addition to our repertoire of blues.