The Eighth Date of Christmas: Remembering our First Date and the Seduction of Cheese

On the eighth date of Christmas my true love shared with me…a “first date” memory. Our first “date” (billed as a “business meeting” about doing a wine TV show–haha) was in New York City at a restaurant specializing in cheese–one of my other fermented-product passions.  My husband John still says, “You had me at ‘smell this’.”  It was a gorgeously-aged, toffee-scented sheeps-milk Gouda which still remains one of our favorites, and it smells as good as it tastes.

So tonight I have acquired some new cheeses to try as well as some favorites, whose best wine partners we know. There are no better cheese and wine pairings than:

Ewephoria or Bollerina (aged Goudas that you can get at Dean & Deluca) or Midnight Moon (available widely at Whole Foods) with barrel-fermented California Chardonnay. We are drinking Ramey Hyde Vineyard but Wente Riva Ranch is a lot less pricey and similar style.

Fleur de Maquis (from Corsica and Murray’s Cheese in NY usually has it along with Dean & Deluca) with majestic Napa Cab – This is OMG and a great foodie gift to a Cab lover. They’ll remember you fondly with every bite and sip.

Spanish Manchego (aged sheeps’ milk) with Rioja Reserva – You can find good Manchego at price clubs and Rioja Reserva is not hard either but worth venturing beyond your grocery store if it doesn’t carry Rioja.

Enjoy this video of our Paris bread, charcuterie and cheese “date”–lovely destinations to add to your bucket list. You could not top our Paris “bucket list” experts Daniel Boulud, Patricia Wells and Dorie Greenspan, nor their recos: Poilane is the Paris bread standard; Gilles Verot is the Paris charcuterie god; and Marie Quatre’homme the cheese goddess.  Look ’em up and pay hommage!

1 reply
  1. Susan Simmons
    Susan Simmons says:

    Better late than never!! Hi Andrea: During the past three years, I’ve been been widowed, retired and, most recently, gotten my certification as a Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators. Today I was introduced to your work. What a pleasure! Can’t put it down!

    My hope is to start giving wine classes at the local senior center and I’ll draw heavily on your lessons. Thank you so much, Andrea! Cheers! Sue


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