Welcoming 2012: A Cheese Plate for New Year’s Eve

Strach'in

Strach'in

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!

LangresLangres – 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.

Leaf-wrapped RobiolaRobiola 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.