Yesterday, I was invited to an amazing wine and cheese tasting event called “Rinds & Vines,” which was hosted by Whole Foods Market. I absolutely love wine and cheese—I mean, it would be my last meal on earth—so I, of course, was in heaven.
The tasting event featured a number of the sustainable cheeses that Whole Foods carries in their stores, and, boy, was I in for a special treat—not only because I got to taste incredibly delicious cheeses, but also because I had the opportunity to chat with a number of the cheesemakers in person.
I enjoyed hearing all about where the various cheeses came from, how they were produced, and what happens behind-the-scenes in the cheese-making business. The sustainable aspect was especially interesting. The production facility and offices at Rogue Creamery, for instance, are powered by solar panels, and other cheesemakers shared similar sustainable practices.
When Monica and I arrived at the event (Theodora joined us later), we were asked to keep in mind our favorite cheese from the day while were we tasting. I loved this idea and kept a mental ranking of the cheeses I tried. It turns out that my favorite cheese of the day was the very first one I tasted: Wellspring Creamery Cranberry Orange Goat Cheese. Holy yum! It was sweet, creamy, and tangy. I really, really loved it. Must buy at Whole Foods.
That’s it—the cranberry-colored cheese log—at the back of the cheeseboard.
Other favorites from the day: Crave Brothers Petite Frere with Truffles.
This was a semi-soft cheese with a subtle truffle flavor. Truffles + cheese = yum!
My second favorite cheese of the day was so interesting, flavor-wise and how it was produced. The Rogue River Blue Cheese had flavors of brandy, truffles, butter, and hazelnuts. Interesting combo, right? The distinct mix of flavors was incredible, and my taste buds didn’t know what to think. Well, ok, they definitely loved it.
This cheese is made by wrapping it in grape leaves that have been soaked in pear brandy and then allowing it to age and absorb the flavors.
Rogue Creamy also recently introduced a new product called “Blue Heaven,” which is a cheese powder blend of Oregon Blue, Oregonzola, Crater Lake Blue and their special reserve blue cheeses. It reminded me a lot of the white powdered cheese pack that comes in Annie’s Mac & Cheese. I can’t wait to try it mixed into scrambled eggs and sprinkled on top of steamed veggies.
Here I am with Monica and Lindsay from Whole Foods. We love cheese!
A couple more favorites from the day: Cypress Grove Chevre Purple Haze, which was a goat cheese with lavender and fennel.
It was a totally unexpected flavor combination, but really delicious.
And, finally, my third favorite cheese of the day: Cowgirl Creamy Red Hawk. It was bold, creamy, and delicious. Whoa and yum.
Monica loved this one too!
All in all, it was a fabulous event. I tried so many new cheeses that I really loved, and now I can’t wait to buy some of them to enjoy at home!
Question of the Day
What’s your FAVORITE (OMG, the best) kind of cheese?
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