Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Emmi Le Marechal

File:Granges-près-Marnand, Sassel et Ménières.JPG

Le Marechal is an aged raw cow's milk cheese made in Granges-Pres-Marnand, Switzerland. Granges-Pres-Marnand is only 2.71 square miles, and most of the land there is used for agricultural purposes. Most of the people who live in this municipality speak French.  Granges-Pres-Marnand was brought into the spotlight in July, 2013 when there was a terrible collision between two trains there. Many were injured, and there was one fatality. Unfortunately, there's no good way to segue into a cheese review after stating something like that, so I will just have to make the rocky transition. 

Le Marechal, looking quite tempting.

Like many other alpine cheeses, Le Marechal is at its best when it's melted. The flavors soften, but the slight sharpness can still be detected. It differs in its stronger flavor and aroma. At first glance, it comes across all business suit and a tie, but underneath, there are some tattoos and piercings going on. It's edgier than traditional alpine cheeses. Le Marechal borders on a stinky cheese. The aroma is sort of like dirty socks, but less offensive. If you're like me, though, you can get into that smell. 

Despite the powerful come on, the flavor is nutty and rather mild compared to most strong-smelling cheeses. The Herbs de Provence rubbed on the rind before it ages for five months, penetrate the cheese and add an intriguing, spicy flavor. There's a richness about this cheese, possibly due to flax seeds being added to the diet of the dairy cows. 

No matter how you serve Le Marechal, it's enjoyable. Use it as you would Gruyere or serve it on a cheese plate. I could see it oozing out of a grilled cheese sandwich. It's a versatile cheese that will probably gain popularity soon. Melted or not, it pairs well with a nice Pinot Noir.

Long strings of melted cheese.

Le Marechal melted on sweet potatoes with eggs. Potatoes might have been better.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Lamb Chopper

First let me clear up some terminology, because I wondered about the name of this cheese. A lamb is a young sheep that usually hasn't produced offspring. Once the lamb reaches a year old, it can then be called a sheep. Ewes are female sheep and lambs, though a young one is often more specifically called a ewe lamb. A ram is an adult male sheep, and a ram lamb is a young male sheep. But Lamb Chopper is an adorable name and sounds much better than Sheep Sliver, Shard, Slice..Specimen? Eww. No, that last one sounds really bad. Yes, the name Lamb Chopper is much better, even though it may not be technically correct.

A flock of sheep

Lamb Chopper is a tangy but mild sheep milk cheese made by one of my favorite cheese companies, Cypress Grove. Truffle Tremor is another outstanding cheese the company produces. The Chopper is actually produced in Holland but under the direction of Cypress Grove's renowned cheese maker, Mary Keehn.

It's classified as a Gouda, but the Lamb Chopper tastes like a mixture of several types of cheeses. Similar to a Gouda, it is encased in a wax rind. This is one of those cheeses that's on the verge of being sharp, reminiscent of some hard Italian cheeses, but with a much softer but still rich flavor. It bites, but not too hard, and some lovely sweet, nutty and citrus notes can be detected after the initial tang drifts to the background. A touch of saltiness rounds out the complex flavors of this cheese that is aged 3-6 months.

The overall texture of this beautiful, milky white cheese is hard and dry with a bit of oiliness to it. For a hard cheese, it yields well to the teeth and has a soft quality to it. Vegetarians rejoice, because it's made with a vegetarian rennet.

Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper

As you can imagine, the Lamb Chopper is a great cheese for any sandwich, cold or hot. It's versatile because it's mild, but it has enough complexity to elevate any dish. Try is on a grilled cheese sandwich, with crusty bread and chutney, in pasta dishes or plain with fruit and a glass of Vouvray.

Monday, May 4, 2015

La Tur

A while ago, when I visited Cheese Importers in Longmont, Colorado, my mission was to find an unusual cheese to take home and review. After much searching, I happened upon an adorable little treasure.

La Tur has a wrinkly top rind with an oozing interior just bellow the surface.

It looks like a fancy cupcake!

La Tur is a creamy soft cheese from the Piedmonte region in Italy. It looks like a frosted white cupcake and is almost as much fun to eat. Stuffed inside a plastic container with a cupcake liner, La Tur is unique, unexpectedly elegant and complex. Three kinds of milk are used to create this intriguing cheese: cow, goat and sheep. This milky menage a trois is heated at the lowest possible temperature allowed by Italian law, so that naturally-occurring enzymes aren't completely destroyed. This ends up allowing the flavor of the final product to become more complex.   

After popping open the lid of the container, an inviting aroma with just a hint of pungency escaped. I couldn't wait to dig in! As the cheese ages, the edges ooze more, and it becomes more pungent both in aroma and in flavor. Stored properly, the entire cheese gets softer and gooier over time.

La Tur's thin and fragile white rind is wrinkly and slightly fuzzy with a mildly mushroomy taste. The younger it is, the more the texture in the middle is flaky and less moist but not quite dry. The milky white interior coats the palate in a more gentle way than a fresh goat cheese, but there are some similarities. As soft as it is overall, La Tur still has substantial structure and texture, however, this is a cheese that invites you to grab a spoon and dive into the center.

La Tur Cheese
Fluffy, oozing, velvety smooth La Tur cheese on a plate.

In terms of flavor, the cow milk softens the tang of the goat milk and subdues the sharpness of the sheep milk, leaving the overall taste on the verge of something big without hitting any shocking notes. It's a nice balance of flavors and textures that leaves you wanting more.

In the early stages, I tried some on an almond, orange biscotti and accidentally created a masterpiece. Big cream and milky flavors in this cheese pair beautifully with a slightly sweet cookie, and the subtle tang is just enough to wake up your taste buds. The velvety smooth cheese practically melts in your mouth, so anything with a nice crunch makes a good accompaniment. Any slightly sweet cracker makes a great combination, but this cheese also pairs well with crusty bread, grilled fruits, quince jam or honey. Serve it with a fruit platter that includes berries or even bake it in savory dishes. Because of its subtle flavors, La Tur ends up being a versatile cheese.

La Tur with a crunchy cracker.

Try La Tur with Mondoro Sparkling Asti Spumante, a low-oak red wine or a Sauvignon Blanc.

Image result for Mondoro Sparkling Asti Spumante
La Tur pairs well with Asti Spumante.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bonne Bouche

Image from their website: Allison and Bob, founders of Vermont Creamery.

With over 100 awards received, Vermont Creamery in Webstervill, Vermont has made its mark both nationally and internationally. Though Allison Hooper and Bob Reese started small, their business has grown to a recognizable force in the cheese-making world without losing its dedication to promoting quality and sustainability. Allison and Bob's success story all started with some delicious goat cheese, but today the company produces butter, aged and fresh cheeses produced from both cow and goat's milk, and creme fraiche. With a team of dedicated individuals, Vermont Creamery continues to amaze cheese lovers around the globe.

Many times I had seen Bonne Bouche sitting in the cheese case at Whole Foods Market. It's a cheese I knew I wanted to try, but it can be on the intimidating side. This interesting little pasteurized goat's milk product looks like a small creature from another planet: wrinkled, pale, slightly fuzzy and speckled with ash. Though geotrichum-rinded cheeses can sometimes look a little funky, they usually offer some rich flavors. Some cheeses inoculated with the geotrichum fungus include: Camembert, Saint-Marcellin, Saint-Nectaire, Reblochon and many French goat cheeses.

It's not alive, but it looks like a small alien.

Bonne Bouche is lightly sprinkled with ash. Today's ash is often not real ash but a mixture of powdered charcoal and salt. Whichever is used, the real ash or the charcoal mixture, the light coating is designed to protect the surface of the cheese, add color to wash and bloomy rinds and encourage the growth of the lovely bacteria that gives cheese a richer, more robust taste. It's true that as Bonne Bouche ages, the flavors become more pronounced and pungent. The surface also looks less tame the longer it's left unattended. 

At the suggestion of someone who claimed Bonne Bouche is her favorite cheese, I took the plunge and bought one of the small wheels that sits inside a miniature wooden crate.

Wow this cheese is salty. People talk about the similarities between Bonne Bouche and French cheeses made in the Loire Valley, but I don't think I have ever encountered such a salty-tasting French cheese. I don't want to deter people from trying this wild creation, but be prepared for a salt explosion that becomes oddly addicting after several tires. Once you get past the quick burst of sodium chloride, some intriguing flavors emerge.

The texture of this odd little dairy product is remarkable. The cheese just oozes out of its rind in pure liquid pleasure. Here's where you want to close your eyes, feel the velvety interior coat your tongue and experience the full complexity of the Bonne Bouche, which translates to "good bite" or "good mouthful" but really means anything that tastes really wonderful. The rich, gooey insides of this cheese certainly do. You will notice mushroomy, earthy notes and a slight piquant bite, just enough to make your taste buds pay attention. With age, the more sour, pungent flavors come out of hiding, but it's actually a mild cheese overall with just enough of a tang to remind you that it is a goat cheese.

Look at the beautiful white interior as it escapes the confines of the rind.

People often suggest pairing this cheese with honey or something sweet, but I found it too salty for that. I prefer it with a crisp green apple or with slices of avocado on rye crackers. As far as wine, try serving Bonne Bouche with a Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre or a nice rose.

Sancerre pairs well with Bonne Bouche.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Field Trip to Longmont's Cheese Importers

The Cheese Importers in Longmont, Colorado.

My mom and I took a trip to Longmont where we visited the renowned cheese shop and bistro known as Cheese Importers. We decided to have lunch at the bistro before touring the extra large walk-in refrigerator where all the cheeses and pates are stored.

I felt let down when I discovered that the restaurant's online menu had changed, and they no longer offer a French cheese plate. Instead, all the cheese plates contain only Italian cheeses. I ended up putting my biases aside and tried what they had to offer, the Italian cheese plate, a salad and a glass of Pinot noir. My mom ordered the soup of the day and a pain au chocolate. We shared the basket of bread, the wine and the cheeses. My disappointment soon faded, not just because the wine gave me a rush of comfort and warmth. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how nice the cheeses were.

A pretty cheese plate served with fresh fruit.

Verde Capra
The first cheese I sampled was the Verde Capra. This one was calling my name right away. It had the air of a stinky cheese, but there were some nice blue veins running through it. This interesting cheese comes from the Lombardy region. It's classified as a blue cheese, but it's one of the few that's made entirely with pasteurized goat's milk. "Verde Capra" translates as "Green Goat". Reminiscent of Tallegio, it's tangy and pungent without being overwhelming. The texture is moist and creamy, perfect for any cheese plate. Slices of crusty baguette were the perfect accompaniment, and I loved how the Pino noir I ordered paired with it.

Verde Capra is a goat's milk blue cheese.

This pasteurized cow's milk cheese from the Piedmont region surprised me. It tastes almost like a very, very mild goat cheese without the intense tangy notes. The cheese is aged 4-6 months, giving it a flaky, dry texture that verges on gritty the more it ages, but there's enough moisture retained to keep a lovely creamy and milky consistency. The rind is intensely earthy, and the ivory interior is filled with notes of citrus and cream with just a tiny little nip of tang and salt. This cheese pairs wonderfully with berries and fruit. As mild as this cheese is, it lingered on my brain more than the others. I want to go back to this one and eat a large chunk while I imagine myself on a romantic picnic on a beautiful spring day.

Castelrosso is a lovely cow's milk cheese that's milk and milky.

Cacio de Roma
The last cheese on the plate was nothing extraordinary, but I say this only because I was so happy with the other two. Cacio de Roma is a nice cheese that pairs well with many foods and wines. This is a pasteurized sheep's milk cheese that has flavors and aromas similar to some alpine cheeses. It's smooth and even with a bit of a salty bite to it. I found it best paired with other foods rather than consumed by itself. On my salad, for example, it was very good, perfect, in fact. The flavors are light with some grass and straw notes shining through. Overall, it's a simple cheese that's not overly memorable, but it's one that will do well for snacking and in cooking, especially as a topping for pizza.

Cacio de Roma is a good snacking cheese that can be used in cooking.

Once my mom and I finished our meal, we went to explore the shop with its many imports and also spent time in the refrigerated section with its many cheeses. I could have spent days in the shop looking at all the imported goods from French soaps and perfumes to Italian pastas and vinegar to Swiss chocolates and candies. Of course, I couldn't pass up a chocolate almond bar sitting there waiting for me to pass by.

The cheeses were less exciting. I helped my mom put on one of the big coats for customers hanging by the door, and off we went into the cold to look at shelves full of cheeses, olives, pate, butter and cheese spreads. The French section looked a little bit sparse. There were no big stinky cheeses, no Roquefort, and I didn't see an abundance of the small, artisanal cheeses I love so much. I did, however, find another Italian treasure that I am looking forward to trying. As the goosebumps on my bare legs stood up hard, and I got to the point where I knew I needed to get to warmer places, I decided to make one more quick round. My mom and I had already spent quite a bit of time wandering around without finding any dairy products that looked outrageous, but right before we decided to head for the cashier with our array of goodies, an interesting little cheese stuffed into a plastic container caught my eye. I knew this was the one I had to try. Jackpot!

In the end we purchased some country pate, chocolates, a pastry, the Italian cheese and a container of green olives.

Keep checking back for the details and review on the Italian cheese. It might take me a few weeks, because I have a few other cheeses already lined up to review, but I will eventually get to it.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Jasper Hill Harbison

Every now and then I stumble upon a cheese that everyone loves. There's no controversy around it. It's unique in its field, and people can happily agree that the taste, texture and appearance are exceptional. Such is the case with Jasper Hill's Harbison.

Vermont pasture.

Jasper Hill farm is located in Greensboro,Vermont. An underground aging facility hosts cheeses made on the premises as well as some made by other producers in the area. The milk used in Jasper Hill cheeses is gathered from pasture-raised Ayrshire cows that feed primarily on fresh grasses during the warm months and hay supplemented with a little bit of grain during the colder months. There are almost as many staff members on the farm as there are cows, and quality and cleanliness are of the utmost importance to the Jasper Hill team. Although the company is mostly known for its exceptional cheeses, it has implemented a sustainable whey-fed pork program using leftover whey from the cheese-making process to feed a small drove of pigs raised for eating purposes.

On a recent shopping trip, I became distracted by the beautiful cheeses on display at Whole Foods Market in Boulder. As I was browsing, one of the ladies working behind the counter asked me if I had tried Harbison. Another employee had mentioned this cheese to me a few weeks earlier, so it was already on my rapidly growing list of cheeses to try. I was intrigued and asked her to describe it. Even though she had trouble putting together a vivid description, her eyes lit up when she mentioned how good it is, so much so that I felt compelled to buy some based solely on her facial expressions and overall excitement. I could see that this was a cheese that had impressed her and put a smile on her face. I had high expectations, but I wasn't sure what to expect. All I knew was that it was bound to be good.

Young Harbison holds its shape but still oozes slightly at room temperature when not constrained. 

It was. It blew me away. Did Christmas just explode in my mouth?

I can see why describing this cheese is difficult. It stands alone in a unique category. While it's described as a semi soft cheese, it's much smoother than most other semi soft cheeses, more like a creamy savory pudding that melts on your tongue. If you heat it, the cheese oozes into a rich pool of heavenly liquid. Any heat softens its more pungent notes. If you were granted a wish that any cheese could magically flow out of a fountain, this is the one you would want to choose.

According to the Jasper Hill website, "Harbison is named for Anne Harbison, affectionately known as the grandmother of Greensboro."

Unwrapping the elegant little wheel is much like uncovering a small treasure. The outer surface of the cheese is like Brie with a bloomy rind, but Harbison is artfully wrapped with strips of wood from spruce cambium, the inner bark of the tree, on the sides. Inside the spongy white exterior and firm rind sits a super soft ivory-colored paste. Grab a spoon and dig right in!

The flavor of this exquisite little gem evolves, each new taste distinct and different from the last. The mushroomy and earthy flavors of the rind give way to delicate straw and sweet citrus flavors not unlike a Camembert's, but more complex. Herb, juniper and pine flavors quickly follow, and a lovely pine-nut essence lingers on the palate long after the last bite.

Harbison can be served as is. You can also serve it with crusty bread, mini pretzels, delicate crackers or fruit, or on toasted rye bread.

Liquor Mart
Liquor Mart in Boulder has an outstanding selection of wines, beer, champagne and more.

Kevin Downs, Assistant wine manager at Liquor Mart in Boulder, Colorado, suggests the following pairings for this cheese:

Harbison is a very complex, full flavored cheese so the wine should be rather big but not clash. I think reds would just not work because of the creaminess of this cheese. Whites of choice would be an off dry Riesling such as Kung Fu Girl, at $9.99 and I also think that those racy Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand would work well, with the citrusy acidity and the grassiness of the nose would mingle nicely with the earthy citrusy notes of the cheese. Try Ana ($11.99) or the sophisticated Dog Point which sells for $18.99. I would also try a flavorful and minerally Southern Franch white like Little Jame’s Basket Press from St Cosme ($16.99) or Moulin de Gassac’s Guilhem Blanc for only $10.99. Cheers!

Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with the complexity of Harbison. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Gjetost or Geitost is a traditional Norwegian cheese.
When I was much younger, I was a world class mountain runner. At age 16, I set the women's record at the grueling Pikes Peak Ascent in Colorado. Of course with all the training I was doing, I had to consume a lot of calories. During one of my better mountain running seasons while I was in college, I fell into the habit of eating large amounts of Geitost cheese on Carr's Whole Wheat Crackers, which are more like biscuits or cookies than crackers. The combination is delightful and downright addicting. When I could find it, I preferred the Ekte Geitost, the pure goat's milk type, to the regular, half cow's milk and half goat's milk, version. This hasn't changed. I'm all about the pure goat milk kind which is usually darker in color. My training partner at the time preferred the regular Geitost on a baguette with a pat of butter.

Carr's Crackers with Gjetost is a great combination.

Gjetost or Geitost, a type of Brunost, is one of those cheeses that people either love or hate. There's little in between with this odd dairy product. It's distinctive not only in its unmistakable taste but also in its strange appearance. It's brown, brun in Norwegian. Yes, you read that right. It's brown cheese. The raw sienna color comes from milk sugar that has been caramelized when whey is cooked for several hours during the cheese-making process. The more water evaporates, the more the texture of the cheese ends up like fudge, only harder and slightly drier.

It's brown cheese!
Gjetost comes in rectangle blocks or thick round tubes. This slice from a tube is cut in half.
Norwegians are smart about not over indulging and serve thin slices of this cheese on rye bread or cook it as part of the topping of a cheesecake, but there's nothing quite like biting into a thick piece of Geitost in a way that leaves teeth marks in the remaining chunk of cheese between your fingers. The creamy, chewy, dry texture makes you smack your lips, and the dairy residue coats your mouth in a way that allows your taste buds to bask in its full flavor. That intriguing flavor lingers even if the zing of the initial taste dissipates.

Ekte Geitost has a more robust, pungent taste with a hint of the country that emerges after the first bite. It's definitely goatier than the regular version. Be careful with the Ekte Geitost, because a few versions can taste rather fishy. Fortunately, those kinds are rarely imported. To find them you probably have to travel to the Fjords.

Ekte Geitost or Gjetost is made with pure goat milk.
Despite the cheese-making process being fairly simple with no molds added, no washing of any rinds and no special aging, Geitost ends up being a unique and lovable cheese with a distinct tangy, sweet, caramelized peanut butter taste. In the same way Nutella is used for finicky kids at breakfast time, Geitost is often served to children in Norway who are picky eaters. The sweetness of the cheese is a draw, and there are calcium, vitamins and other minerals hiding in there too. Just a dash of saltiness can be detected, which is a nice contrast to the mostly sweet flavor. Unfortunately for vegetarians, the rennet used is animal based.

Prim is a Gjetost paste that's made when the whey isn't cooked as long.

Serve Geitost on crackers or bread. Cook it in sweet tarts, or eat it plain with some sliced green apples. You can also try it as a fondue, dipping cubes of cake, fruit or cookies into the melted mixture.

Gjetost cheesecake is a sweet dessert that isn't found often in the United States.

Liquor Mart
Liquor Mart in Boulder has an outstanding selection of wines, beer, champagne and more.

Kevin Downs, Assistant wine manager at Liquor Mart in Boulder, Colorado, suggests the following pairings for this cheese:

Just when I think Lize can’t come up anything more unusual, she comes up with this one. While the classic match for goat cheese is Sancerre, the wonderful Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley, I don’t think it would work well because of the sweetness of the cheese.

If I were to do a dry wine, one thing that comes to mind is a Fino sherry. This is a dry, fortified wine from Spain and it has a very nutty flavor that I think would work very well with the sweetness. Hartly & Gibson make a nice one for only $13.97 and Barbadillo is pretty much the same quality at only $11.99. Barbadillo also makes a non fortified still white wine from the same grape as sherry is made from, Palmino. It sells for $9.99 and would be ideal.

Because of the sweetness of the cheese and the funky “goatiness”, I think a Riesling would work very well, Like Kungfu Girl, at $11.99, or Clean Slate for $9.99. Gewurztraminer, especially from Alsace, is intensely aromatic with lychee and spice on the nose and palate and a touch of sweetness. This wine would stand up well to this cheese. Ziegler, at $14.99 does a great job with theirs. I’m going to find this cheese as soon as I can as it sounds absolutely fascinating!


A Riesling pairs well with Gjetost.

Monday, January 26, 2015


Roll out the red carpet; it's time to meet the king of cheeses. Sorry Roquefort and Brie, but the crown goes to Epoisses, a cheese so sublime, it might just take you to the peak of pleasure.

Chateau D'Epoisses
Epoisses originated in the village of Epoisses in Burgundy. It is said that the magnificent dairy product was first made by the monks at the Abbaye de Citeaux or one of the sister Abbayes in the sixteenth century. Eventually, when the community at the Abbaye Citeaux left, local farmers in the area began making Epoisses. Today the creamerie at the Abbaye de Citeaux is back up and running, making cheese with the eponymous name, but it's one that's rare and not as majestic as Epoisses.

Production of the once popular Epoisses dwindled during and after the Second World War, but in 1959, Robert and Simone Berthaut, two farmers in the region, decided to jump into the cheese-making business and focus on making this extraordinary cheese. Since then, artisanal fromageries in and near the area produce it, but under AOC regulation, only cheeses made in specific communities in the Cote-D'Or region in Burgundy can claim the true title of Epoisses.

During his time, it was reported that Napoleon was fond of Epoisses, as was the famous epicurean Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin years later. In fact, it was Brillat-Savarin who dubbed this cheese the king of cheeses, with good reason. It's a cheese that will make you swoon.

Napoleon was a big fan of Epoisses.

Sometimes the anticipation of eating something is at least as good as the moment the luscious food touches your tongue. Such is the case with Epoisses, a creamy, cow's milk creation that could easily pass as food for the Gods. There are both pasteurized and unpasteurized versions, but most of the imported kinds are pasteurized. The milk used is generally from cows who have grazed on the lush grasses and herbs in the area.

Epoisses comes in a wooden container.

Inside the elegant wooden box that protects the delicate little disk of fromage sits a slightly golden and orange-red, brandy wash-rind or smear-ripened cheese that's classified as stinky but is more on the verge of alarming any nostrils than actually offending them. Just looking at the beautifully formed wheel makes your mouth water. The rind glistens just a little bit, inviting you to poke, sniff and examine it more closely.

The rind is wrinkly and somewhat smelly, but the cheese inside is divine.

To say Epoisses is a soft cheese is an understatement. The smooth, velvety paste has just a hint of firmness to match its more textured rind, but it melts beautifully in your mouth, flooding your taste buds with a mild, nutty and downright decadent milky flavor. If you close your eyes while sampling this cheese, you might imagine hints of bacon and blanched almonds. There's also an undeniable light sweetness that emerges only briefly and quickly dissipates. As the cheese ages, the aroma and flavor intensify, moving the Epoisses more into the stinky cheese category. The pungent flavor is subtle but not completely lacking. It doesn't match the cheese's more powerful aroma.

Does this make your mouth water or what?

Serve Epoisses on crackers, raisin bread, crusty French bread or on a spoon straight out of the container. Try cooking Epoisses in a ham and apple tart or adding it to your favorite mac and cheese recipe. You can't really go wrong no matter how you serve this outstanding gem.

Epoisses can be hard to find. Some cheese shops only carry this luxury item during the holidays, but a few places have it in stock more consistently. I lucked out this December when I stumbled upon the very last wheel of Epoisses in the case at Whole Foods. It seemed like there was a single stream of light shining down on it at the time. The cheese was definitely calling my name. I quickly grabbed it and placed it in my shopping basket. Sometimes it's the little pleasures that bring the biggest smiles.

Liquor Mart
Liquor Mart in Boulder has an outstanding selection of wines, beer, champagne and more.

Kevin Downs, Assistant wine manager at Liquor Mart in Boulder, Colorado, suggests the following pairings for this cheese:

Lize came up with a cheese that is almost impossible to match with wine this time! Most would suggest drinking it with a red Burgundy, especially an old one, but I find that a cheese like this totally eviscerates that wine. If I was to do a red, I’d find as earthy and funky a wine as I could find. Santadi’s Grotto Rosso ($14.99) from Sardinia would be a reasonable choice as would Alexakis Kotsifali-Syrah from Greece $14.99). Some suggest an old Chateauneuf du Pape. 

Whites usually work better with all cheeses, but here it’s a tough call as well. An Alsatian Gewurztraminer will work, such as Trimbach or Ziegler ($13.99) or perhaps an off dry Riesling such as Kung Fu Girl ($11.99) or Monchoff Estate ($14.99). 

Sauternes from France or another botrycised dessert wine such as Tokaji from Hungary work the best…the sweetness and earthy acidity working quite well with the powerful flavors of this cheese. This is actually one cheese that I might suggest an alternative drink. A strong Belgian ale or a big IPA beer works very well with this cheese. This is a wonderful cheese and is meant to be experienced regardless of what you have with it. Enjoy!

Tokaji from Hungary pairs well with Epoisses.