It’s the season of love, and this year, we’re thinking beyond traditional symbols of romance. For us here at Complexity we say that wine and cheese are our love language, and we want to share that love with our fellow wine and cheese-loving community. This month we have put together a collection of cheeses and a special Complexity treat, that will not only fill your hearts with a smile but sure to make your valentine/galantines a memorable one.
Point Reyes Bay Blue
Point Reyes Bay Blue is a standout blue cheese with a progression of flavors the cheesemakers developed. It is a naturally rinded cheese and was created with Stilton in mind. Bay Blue is has a fudgy and slightly crumbly, marbled with a blue-green veining throughout the paste. This cheese starts with a sweet cream then transitions into mellow earthy mushroom notes and then finishes with salted caramel; reminiscent of the coastal climate, where it is created. Point Reyes is located just an hour north of San Francisco along the California Coast. Production for Blue Bay begins at 3:30am when milk is pumped to the cheese room in time for the morning’s cheesemaking as the sun rises over a herd of Holstein cows that graze the pastures overlooking Tomales Bay. Bay Blue is perfect for pairing with a glass of Vintage Port, a robust Cabernet, or barrel-aged Scotch. Enjoy it with drizzled honey, shaved onto grilled peaches or melted on mushroom risotto.
Clauson White Stilton with Mango and Ginger
White Stilton with Mango and Ginger, Long Clawson 'Carnival' Cheese is a delicious dessert cheese; the most popular of the fruit blended White Stiltons. The crumbly refreshing White Stilton cheese combined with the spiced pieces of crystallized is ginger, make a carnival of flavors and colors. It is a blended cheese which incorporates mango and Australian Buderim ginger to impart a sweet, savoury intense flavour to the traditional Stilton cheese. Stilton on its own is extremely creamy and delicious but the addition of fruit accords the cheese a new dimension. As you recognize this unusual combination, let the fruity flavours of mango and spice of ginger mingle as it melts. Produced by Long Clawson Dairy in the United Kingdom, White Stilton with Mango & Ginger is perfect for a breakfast or dessert cheese. Pair it with some pears and walnuts and Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc.
Old Chatham Creamery
This incredible cheese from Old Chatham Creamery in New York is an ash ripened three milk cheese. This innovative Fromage a’ Trois’ is a layered ash-ripened bloomy-rind, presented in a stunning heart shape. Two distinct layers are revealed when this heartbreaker is cut-the top is made from a blend of sheep and goat, and the bottom is ultra-filtered cow milk. This is the East Coast’s answer to Humbolt Fog but has its own distinct personality. It has a bright acidity and is balanced with nutty triple-cream richness that gets better as the cheese continues to age. Pair it with almost any wine. Yes, that is exactly what we said; ANY wine. The beauty of this cheese is that its complex layers love wine just like we do.
FUN CHEESE FACT
Whoever may believe that cheese couldn’t be a symbol of love doesn’t know the story of Queen Victoria. During the celebration of her wedding to her first cousin Prince Albert in 1840, Queen Victoria received the gift of a 1250-pound, 9-foot-diameter cheddar. She was taken back by the demonstration of admiration of her people and documented it was the “fondest of gift ever received”. It was produced by a cooperative of cheesemakers from two villages, according to Steven W. Jenkins in Cheese Primer. “Perhaps baffled by how to serve it, she sent the cheese off on a tour of England,” Jenkins writes. “When attempts were made to return it to her, she refused to take it back.” As ungrateful as that may sound, she felt sharing with her people connected her to them, but we can understand that most folks wouldn’t want cheese back that traveled around the country either.