Could I handle one more day of Gouda gobbling and Robiola ravaging?
The answer? Why yes!
The morning began with an espresso and a tour from a premier cheese, wine and specialty food boutique honoring European tradition.
Here lies Cheese Plus, a dreamy, specialty store stuffed with fine uncompromised, slow artisan products that honor tradition.
Nominated for Outstanding Retailer of the Year by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Cheese Plus goes well above and beyond your market needs. Its success is greatly attributed to a remarkable labor of love from its Proprietor, Ray Bair.
arouse your senses and go to the dark side of fresh gourmet chocolates sourced from single-sourced beans
The afternoon lectures included a charming Debra Dickerson, Head of Cheese Sales from Cowgirl Creamery, but not before she left us with a parting gift.
The triple creamy and dreamy, signature Mt. Tam.
Note the cheese paste at each of its three phases of aging. From left to right we have the least to greatest ripeness. The morsel to the far right is perfectly ripe, spoonable, and ready to go down like dessert.
Now drunken with frenzy, we reached the final cheese horizon.
The last and *teary-eyed* of the tastings included a smorgasboard of fromages fit for wine pairings.
a beautiful sight, before the gooey unveiling of the Selles-sur-Cher's cow milk treasure center.
We traveled the world over from Burgundy, France to Holland, to Lombardy, Italy for cultural matches to the fine wines of Sonoma Chardonnays, the Rieslings from Rheingau, Germany, and the bright flavors of Loire Valley, France Cabernet Francs.
a sprinkled ash, silvery rind of goat's milk with an ivory paste
Cheesemonger Stephanie Stickle slicing and dicing our final tasty flight
wines fit for pairing
A 2010 Lioco, Sonoma County Summer Chardonnay (American Canyon, California)
A 2009 Antic Wine Co., Sonoma County Zinfandel (Suisun, California)
2001 Domaine les Roches, Chinon, Cabernet Franc (Loire Valley, France)
A 2009 Leitz Out, Riesling (Rheingau, Germany)
fresh figs, and the final cheeses plated clockwise
No cellophane wrapped toothpicks around these parts!
So in the end, I learned the following at Cheese School:
1). Close your eyes and trust your spectacular sense of taste.
2). Honor thy cheesemaker.
3). There's no such thing as a free lunch, but there's always free cheese in a mousetrap.