Milk: Goats Milk
Rennet: Animal Rennet
Region: Arcata, California
Dairy: Cypress Grove
Cypress Grove Dairy was founded by head cheese-maker Mary Keen. Mary got her start in the business showing goats, where she came across the likes of Judy Schad (Capriole Farms) and Alison Hooper (Vermont Butter and Cheese Company). Many people refer to them as the “Great Ladies of Goat Cheese”.
Several stories about dairy founders begin with the realization that when animals breed, there is a surplus of milk. What to do with all that milk? Make cheese, of course!
This story begins in the late 70′s and early 80′s when goat cheese in America had a bad reputation. All that was available to us were poor versions of French cheeses that had died on the vine in the long voyage to the cheese counters of industrial super markets. So, the Great Ladies fought the fight and brought fresh and ripened goats milk cheese to the growing movement of farmers markets. The ladies won and paved the way for the many goat cheeses made in the states that rival their European counter parts.
Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog was born in the 1990s but its cousin, Truffle Tremor, did not come to us until 3 years ago. It’s a ripened goat cheese with that goat’s milk tang being enhanced by well-integrated black truffle. This cheese is elegant, earthy and soft with a creamy texture.
Vinchino- Vaglio Serra (VVS) ‘Valamasca’ Moscato d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy
Producer: Vinchino-Vaglio Serra
Region: Piedmont, Italy
This particular strain of Muscat is known as the Muscat Blancs et Petits Grains or in Italian Moscato Bianco. This variety of the popular Muscat grape family is most prevalent in Asti, a town in the province of Piedmont in northwestern Italy. Moscato d’Asti used to be known as Asti Spumante but during the 70′s and 80′s a lot of sub par ‘Asti Spumante’ was being passed around the clubs and the style fell out of favor. It is a somewhat sweet sparkling wine that has a medium body and a luscious mouthfeel.
This style was revived in the late 90′s as Moscato d’Asti, probably because American wine drinkers like to see the grape variety on the label. Ever since, it has enjoyed a renewed popularity, especially among novice wine drinkers and those who like fresh or saltier cheeses.
This particular Moscato has a rich, velvety mouth feel with lovely white peach, apple and honey, yet vibrantly acidic end without being too sweet or cloying. With an 8% Alcohol content, this is great for an aperitif and dessert!
Slight effervescence, bright acidity AND a tid bit of residual sugar found in the Moscato D’Asti makes for the most versatile of wines for pairing. The rich texture will not overwhelm the Truffle Tremor. The vibrant fruit and slight sweetness of the wine work as a compliment to the earthy, truffle flavor in the cheese.
Cesar & Jill