Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cheese for a Wednesday, pt. 9

This week has become "Wrapped and Covered" week. Everything I've brought into the house, shared with Darling Husband and tortured Perfect Dog with has been packed with something - peppercorns or grape sediment. Tonight, I visited with Andrew's Cheese with a very specific goal in mind - wrapped cheese. Cheeses wrapped in leaves during aging get a lot of flavor there, and I'm pretty sure the leaves help keep some moisture as well. Beyond my requirement for having wrapped cheese, I didn't have anything in mind. Goat cheese, blue cheese and many other cheeses come wrapped.

So I tell Andrew of my quest, and without blinking he says "Rogue River Blue." And with good reason! This award winner from Oregon was created by Tom Vella's son. Which didn't mean anything to me either until I learned that Tom Vella invented Monterey Jack! So we're dealing with cheese royalty here. This cheese is also the big brother of the Smoky Blue that I shared with you a few Wednesday's ago. It was, in fact, listed as one of the Best of 2009!

And here's why. This amazing blue cheese is wrapped in Syrah grape leaves and macerated in pear brandy during the aging process. It is so creamy, with just the right amount of tang. It just melts on your tongue. The blue and grey green streaks running through it are beautiful, you can definitely taste the pear and a little bit of sweetly salty nuttiness. With a little glass of port, this was the perfect way to end the day!

This grape wrapped blue isn't what I was expecting to walk away with this Wednesday, but I'm so glad it came home with me!

Sleep tight, wrapped in grape leaves and sweet dreams!

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