October Cheese Club: Iowa

© Photo by World HarvestReny PicotCheese Club
Cantar de Covadonga

Cantar de Covadonga is a white, crumbly, yet creamy blue veined soft-cheese named after the region in which it originates in Northern Spain. Covadonga is located just Northwest of the Picos de Europa, a mountain range in the Heart of Asturias, Spain. Originally coming from the Latin name, “Cova Domenica”, meaning the “Cave of the Lady”, the term became abbreviated to simply, Covadonga. This region in Spain is known for its wide range of cheeses, especially their blue ones. The Cantar de Covadonga is made from a blend of carefully selected cow’s and sheep’s milk and is aged for 3 to 4 months until it obtains its outstanding flavor. 

FOOD PAIRING: The Cantar de Covadonga makes for a great addition to any cheese board; or it can be enjoyed with burgers, mushrooms, chicken or on a salad.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: For wine, pair with a Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel or Pinot Noir. For beer, reach for a Stout, Porter, or IPA.

WINESTYLES: Crisp, Mellow or Bold
BEERSTYLES: Dark & Roasty or Hoppy & Bitter

Reny Picot was founded in 1960 in Asturias, Spain. Today, it is a Spanish Dairy Group with major global presence in the US, Mexico, France, Portugal, China and Poland. Their mission is to bring their flagship brand to as many parts of the world as possible, while still providing consumers with the very highest quality of dairy products. Learn more about their story here.

© Photo by Cheesey MarieLa Alberca
Queso Oveja al Romero

This rosemary coated Manchego-style cheese is made with Manchega sheep’s milk from the La Mancha region of Spain. The center is reminiscent of a dense fudge that softens on the palate while the exterior has spicy, herbal notes. The rosemary infuses into the cheese and is balanced by the sweet walnut tones of the cheese’s center. This Queso Oveja al Romero exceeds the expectations of any cheese lover.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: The Queso Oveja al Romero will pair beautifully with a Cava, or with this month’s Red Wine Club Selections – Alella Vinícola Ivori Aged Red Wine and Alella Vinícola Costa del Maresme. For beer, look for a lighter style such as a Lager or an Ale.

WINESTYLES: Mellow or Bold
BEERSTYLES: Crisp and Clean

Produced in the same region as Manchego, this style of cheese has been around just as long as Manchego itself. Creameries and families follow traditions of rubbing the cheese with Iberic lard and rosemary while the cheese matures. As the flavors continue to be absorbed, the cheese is brushed off, and more herbs are rubbed on until the process is complete.

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South Africa HPF Posmeester Merlot

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Blue Cheese

Grilled Flat Iron Steak

© SunnyBryd

Steaks and Merlot are a sure thing, especially with blue cheese, rosemary, garlic and a hot grill. Your Merlot will be mad for this meal.


  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pound flat iron steak
  • 3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper


  • Whisk together vinegar, garlic, 1 tablespoon black pepper, rosemary, oregano, and kosher salt in a bowl along with the olive oil. Place the flat iron steak into a resealable plastic bag, and pour the marinade overtop. Squeeze the excess air from the bag and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
  • Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Remove steak from the marinade, shake off excess, and discard the remaining marinade. Allow the steak to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes as the grill warms.
  • Mash together the butter, blue cheese, chives, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper; set aside. Cook the steak on the preheated grill to desired degree of doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Allow the steak to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain. Serve with a dollop of blue cheese-chive butter.
  • © Recipe courtesy from Kristin at Allrecipes.com


HPF Posmeester MerlotBold wine Style logoHermanuspietersfountein (HPF)
Posmeester Merlot

Walker Bay, South Africa


In the early 1800’s farmers imported a teacher named Hermanus Pieters to teach their children Dutch, the forerunner of Afrikaans. He would be paid in sheep which he grazed at a fountain under the Milkwood trees near the sea. The spot soon became known as Hermanus Pieter’s Fountein (HPF).  In 1855, the village was named after him – Hermanuspietersfontein.  Fast forward 100 years later, a wine cellar baring his name is the longest Afrikaans name for a cellar in the world and using Afrikaans-only wine names.  Operationally, their 350-ton urban winery combines European mindset and gravity concept to minimize handling and intervention in the winemaking process. “Good earth makes better wine” is HPF’s winemaking philosophy, the expression and sense of place is the soul of Sondagskloof.   Sondagskloof is sheltered in a mountainous area, 50 kilometers from the southern tip of Africa and was granted “Ward Status” (ie. AVA) in February 2007.  While the ward comprises of two farms, Hermanuspietersfontein is the only wine producer marketing the Wines of Origin Sondagskloof.

Elegant red blend with an aroma of red and purple fruit such as blueberries and currants.  Milk chocolate undertone and fruit freshness. Lush and juicy palate; supple and full with good length.

Appellation: Walker Bay, South Africa
Varietal: 85% Merlot, 14% Shiraz, 1% Mourvedre
Analysis: 13.8% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.5
TA: 5.35 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.2 g/l
Aging: 10 months French oak
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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