Local wine and cheese? I think yes! We gathered round to the explore and taste some of the best local cheeses and wines. I had never really payed much attention to local foods, I don’t think any of us that day really had really stopped to think about it. Usually, one goes to the store and buys french imported wines, cheeses, baked goods etc.
However, there is a huge movement to promote local food and we wanted to be apart of that, even if just in a small way.
So we gathered outside to enjoy the sunshine and explore new cheese verities and wines from Northern Californa. I was blown away by just how amazing some of these goodies where. We are so lucky to have some amazing cheeses and wines that are local to our area.
First off, there were so many wonderful cheeses that I don’t think any of us could pick a favorite, every time I asked someone ” what was your favorite?” they just look around and said ” all of them ” with a big smile. Cheese can do that to people!
Let’s be honest, at a first glance you might think that goat cheese is well, for the hippies who live out in the country but, that is most certainly not the case here. We had the chance to try two of Cypresses goat milk cheeses and wow! There really are no words for how amazing this cheese is.
Humboldt Fog is one of those delicious and really rich tasting cheeses that pretty much goes with anything. Each wheel features a distinctive ribbon of edible vegetable ash, I absolutely love the slightly smokey tones, it gave it more of a deep taste that I always look for in a good cheese. I think this is one of those types that are perfect for a party or event, you don’t need too much to feel totally satisfied and it is an incredibly aesthetic cheese.
I have no idea how this cheese got its name but, I’d like to think we could all sit outside in a field on a warm summer night, looking at the stars and eating this cheese. It is so fulfilling and just so happened to be a very popular one at the table. It does not reak of goat milk at all, so if I wasn’t told it was I would have never guessed. I genuinely love this cheese and would recommend it to anyone looking for a goat milk option while still having all that pizazz. It is also Aged six months or more for that quality taste.
Fun fact: Cypress Grove has been around since the 1980’s and is located in Humboldt County. You can find most of their cheeses on their website, they also have a great and handy wine pairing and recipe guide.
Stepping outside of the world of goat cheese I wanted to share with you these amazing cheeses from Marin French Cheese. They are crafted so lovely that anyone would make the switch from imported to buying local. I have to say the Petite Cendrée ash was probably one of my favorites, It was slightly similar to the regular Petite Triple Cream Brie but with just a hint more flavor and pop to it. If you are a fan of the Cendree cheeses then be sure to check this one out. I am pretty sure you will love it!
Brie, well, of course, we all love brie and why not? I think Marin French cheeses’ brie would be the perfect one to cover in some pastry dough, add a bit of cranberry sauce and bake in the oven. It has the style and texture that is very versatile. Perfect for picnics too! It was Crowned World Cheese Awards Champion in 2005.
Overall I would definitely suggest checking out this local creamery and exploring all of their wonderful cheeses! I love that fact that they are local to northern California. It is important to support the farms we have especially when they have such good cheese!
Fun fact: Located in ( yep you guessed it ) Marin! Their farm has been around for years and years and this company dates back to 1865 and is one of the oldest cheese companies around. They also have cheese tastings and a store at their creamery marinfrenchcheese.com.
Yes, there was more goat cheese! hurrah! It seemed that everyone at this event was totally in love with the goat cheese. Although I never thought it would be a popular hit, I think it totally was!
Laura Chenel has some incredible cheeses, most can be found in your grocery store ( which I love! ) making buying local totally easy for the everyday person. First off hands down the favorite was the marinated Cabecou, which oh my, is just delicious. I think that with the olive oil and herbs it adds that great Italian feel and taste to it which seemed to bring people back for more. My personal favorite was the original cheese, there is something about a simple plain cheese that can just enlighten your taste buds. Paired with a good wine or on a great baguette, there is something so delicious about it.
They also have some great goat brie, I mean hands down one of the best goat bries I have tasted yet. Strong and full of life this cheese is definitely a winner at any party. If you are into flavored cheese then you might really enjoy their fig and grapefruit cheese. It is both sweet but also has a bit of pop to it.
Fun fact: Since the 1970’s they have been located in Sonoma and is a sister company to Marin French Cheese. Their cheese has made a splash in the foodie scene since the 80’s. You can find their cheese in most grocery stores.
Let’s move into the wines, of course, there are a lot of local wines but these are the type that can also be found at your local grocery store ( which is yet again, a great thing to start buying local ) I love opening a good bottle of wine and enjoying it with some cheese. So here are some of the ones that we had and were local.
Beringer Rose Wine – Although a rose can be tough to find and it seems like there are less local ones than say a popular white or red. You can still find some great ones, as of course Northern California is home to Napa and with that comes tons and tons of wines. Everyone seemed to like this one best so I thought I would mention it first, with the slight fruity notes and a little hint of totally delicious. It paired nicely with all the cheeses. I always think rose wines are a popular and good choice because they pair nicely with a lot of things. This one was a personal favorite.
Cupcake Chardonnay – Not everyone is a white wine fan, and that is fine. Some people like to have a simple wine that is not too strong, fairly basic and perfect for whatever you are tasting with it. In this case, Cupcake was a perfect choice. It is light and very airy which I think can be perfectly paired with the right cheese. I have to admit I do love their label, it is a very cute bottle to have on the table!
Apothic Crush – There are so many reds in California, it is like finding noddles in Asia! But with that said we get the chance to try so many different blends and styles. This was perfect for those who wanted something richer in taste. We paired it up with most of the cheeses and everyone seemed to enjoy it! I think reds are a great base wine, depending on the type, smoky, fruity, etc. I personally forgot to try this one as I was obsessing over the amazing cheeses, but the bottles were gone pretty fast!
With all of that said I hope everyone has the chance to get out and taste some local foods and wines. There is something so great about exploring your own backyard! I also think that in our day and age so much food is imported, and is a great thing to support local farmers and winemakers to help the thriving Farm to Table movement.
So host a party or event, start a movement amongst your friends to think local! 🙂