Dec 052014
Sheep's Milk Cheeses with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes & Marcona Almonds + Rueda (and Madeira...)

This pairing all started with a dim memory of how I used to do these slow-roasted, oven-dried tomatoes all the time. And why didn’t I still do them? And when did I stop? What new obsession took their place? Anyway. Imagine the most uninspiring Roma tomatos. You know, the ones that are available year-round and smell and taste like… nothing. Organic or no, they’re mostly blah, right? Now imagine that […]

Aug 102014
Marinated Bocconcini + Crisp Italian Whites

Bocconcini (“little mouthfuls” in Italian) are traditionally served as part of an antipasto selection, but I wonder if they’ve been forgotten lately in all the burrata craze? And I guess I can understand. What chance do these little mozzarella balls stand against the dreamy, creamy center of burrata? Or against slices of 100% mozzarella di bufala, for that matter. Bocconcini are typically made from a blend of buffalo and cow’s […]

Jul 202014
Humboldt Fog "Caprese" + California Sauvignon Blanc

Here’s a take on a classic caprese salad — that popular combination of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. All I’ve done is swap out the mozzarella for thin slices of Humboldt Fog, mostly because I had the other ingredients but no mozzarella, but also because Humboldt Fog is an all-time favorite cheese. The first time I tasted it was at a Sonoma winery visit years ago, and it was definitely […]

Jun 292014
Pleasant Ridge Reserve + Donelan Syrah Cuvée Christine

This is a sublime wine and cheese pairing — Pleasant Ridge Reserve alpine-style cow’s milk cheese with an absolutely lovely New World Syrah. Pleasant Ridge Reserve is made by the Uplands Cheese Company in Wisconsin. Their cows are reportedly happily grazing away on ridgetop grasses and fresh herbs — and I believe that only a happy cow could produce the kind of milk that ends up tasting this good in […]

Mar 162014
Quick Pairings - March 2014

For every one evening that I really put some effort into cooking dinner with groceries that I specifically gathered for the meal, I’d guess there are about five nights that involve some combination of salad/cheese/bread/wine, depending on what’s on hand, one of my layered bowl concoctions that typically include leftover brown rice, quinoa, or similar, topped with whatever I can forage from the fridge or pantry, or takeout or delivery […]

Feb 232014
Bowmore 18 + Camembert

When it comes to blended Scotch, I’m a Black Label gal all the way. It’s comforting, familiar, restorative, widely-available, and I reach for it on a pretty regular basis. (In fact, I buy the economy-size jug and am sorely tempted to drink it thusly.) But single malts are another thing altogether. Complicated, challenging, and a bit hit-and-miss for me, if I’m honest. It seems to depend on so many factors […]

Feb 092014
Stilton, Port-poached Figs, Chocolate & Port (of your choice) + Valentine's Day

I’ve said it before, I like the silly sweetness of Valentine’s Day — commercialized, greeting card holiday, or no. (And significant other, or no, for that matter.) Any tradition that demands some combination of chocolate, flowers, dinner, wine, “be mine” or “kiss me” sweetheart candies, candlelight, and throwback valentine cards is okay by me. And to that list of traditional ingredients, I happily add Port, a wedge of Stilton, and […]