April Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubGrafton Cheese ClubGrafton Village Cheese
Clothbound Cheddar
Vermont, USA

Grafton’s signature Cheddar is wrapped in cheesecloth and cave-aged for 6-8 months, a traditional method used for centuries allowing the cheese to take on a deeper variety of flavors. Grassy, nutty notes dominate with some lemony accents and a smooth, lactic body. The texture is firm and creamy with a tendency to crumble.

AWARDS:

  • 2019 American Cheese Society – Second Place
  • 2019 International Cheese & Dairy Awards – Gold
  • 2019 Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition – Silver
  • Many others – click here

FOOD PAIRING: Serve as table cheese, alongside dried fruits, nutty bread, dark berries, or grainy mustards

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: For wine, pair with our April Wine Club Wine – Pierre Jean Sauvignon Blanc; or other ‘Old-World’ classics such as a Chablis, Pinot Noir or Riesling. For beer, reach for a Wheat Beer, Red Ale or off-dry Cider.

WINESTYLES: Silky
BEERSTYLES: Crisp & Clean or Fruity & Spicy

Grafton Cheese

© Photo by Grafton Village Cheese

ABOUT GRAFTON VILLAGE CHEESE:
The Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company was founded in 1892 by dairy farmers in rural agricultural communities who gathered together to make their surplus raw milk into cheese. This helped the community as they were able to take an abundance of creamy milk and turn it into a food that could be stored for a longer period of time. In 1912, a fire destroyed the original factory; it wasn’t until several decades later, in the mid 1960s, the nonprofit Windham Foundation restored the company, and a new era for the town was born. Today, quality and taste are the hallmarks of their company’s award-winning cheeses. Learn more about their story here.


Quicke’s
Devonshire Red Clothbound Cheese
Devon, UK

Quicke’s is handcrafted using milk from grass-fed cows, clothbound and naturally matured, typically for 6 months. This vibrant, full-flavored cheese has a distinctive taste on a classic Red Leicester, with crumbly texture, fresh, nutty flavors and a lemony creaminess. Best to be eaten within 7 days of opening. Once opened, wrap in greaseproof paper and store in air-tight container in the fridge. 

AWARDS:

  • 2020 Great Taste Award

FOOD PAIRING: Use in a Shepard’s Pie or with savory scones

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Pair with April’s Red Wine Club Wines or a fruity Pinot Noir. Also pairs well with sparkling wines, ciders and ales.

WINESTYLES: Mellow or Fruity
BEERSTYLES:
Crisp & Clean; Sour, Tart & Funky; or Fruity & Spicy

Quickes03-06-20MattAustin-120_820x

© Photo by Quicke’s

ABOUT QUICKE’S:
Established in 1540 by Andrew Quicke, when he fell in love with Devon village and built a better farm. Using traditional recipes, time-honored techniques and heritage starters passed down through the generations, Quicke’s continues to create outstanding clothbound cheddar. Made by hand in the old-fashioned way, slowly matured for a deeply satisfying flavor, their cheese celebrates the deep connection that has grown between the Quicke family and the land they have nurtured for almost 500 years. Learn more about their story here.


WineStyles of West Des Moines is excited to announce they have got their hands on a small amount of Hook’s Cheese Company’s special 15 Year Cheddar! While this is not featured in this month’s Cheese Club, we promise you don’t want to miss this. Ask how you can pick up this very special, limited cheese at your local wine store!

Monthly Cheese Club

Don’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

March Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubPour Me A SliceBeehive Cheese Company
Pour Me A Slice
Uintah, Utah, USA

‘Pour Me A Slice’ is sweet and creamy. Beehive Cheese partnered with their good friends at Basil Hayden’s to create a cheese infused with their Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. As you near the rind, the spiciness of the bourbon becomes more pronounced. This beauty will be enjoyed by bourbon and cheese enthusiasts alike.

“We love pioneers and explorers. That’s what makes our partnership with Basil Hayden’s so exciting. Basil Hayden Sr. began distilling his Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey in 1796 using his own mash based on what he had on hand. Unconstrained by the rules of traditional bourbon, he discovered what we now call “high-rye”. At Beehive Cheese, we can relate to breaking rules and going our own direction. Since our founding, we have produced unique and complex cheeses that are leaders in their category of American cheeses.” – Beehive Cheese Company LLC

FOOD PAIRING: Pair with toasted nuts, chocolate, berries, and charcuterie. 

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Drink along with any of Basil Hayden’s premium bourbons, medium to full-bodied red wines, ales of all kinds and ciders.

WINESTYLES: Mellow and Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Crisp & Clean; Sour, Tart & Funky; or Malty & Sweet

Pour Me A Slice_Basil Hayden's

© Photo by Beehive Cheese Company


Barely BuzzedBeehive Cheese Company
Barely Buzzed
Uintah, Utah, USA

This Utah Cheddar is rubbed with espresso and lavender, and is a winner of 20 major awards. Barely Buzzed is the perfect party cheese. It’s easy to pair, stunning to look at, and always the center of attention on the cheese board. The espresso and lavender rub imparts notes of butterscotch and caramel, which are prevalent near the rind, but find their way to the center of the cheese. This is a full-bodied cheese with a nutty flavor and smooth texture. Hours after it’s made, the special grind is rubbed on the rind. The 20-pound wheel ages for 6-8 months. As it ages, Beehive’s cheesemakers test each batch to determine the right time to introduce the wheel into the world. Learn more about the story behind Barely Buzzed here. 

FOOD PAIRING: Pair with Toasted Nuts, Chocolate, Berries and Charcuterie

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Drink with medium to full-bodied red wines, ports, ales of all kinds, stouts, and ciders

AWARDS:

  • 1st Place, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015 American Cheese Society
  • 3rd Place 2012, 2014 World Cheese Awards

WINESTYLES: Mellow and Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Crisp & Clean; Sour, Tart & Funky; Malty & Sweet; or Dark & Roasty

Barely Buzzed_Cheese Board

© Photo by Beehive Cheese Company


ABOUT BEEHIVE CHEESE COMPANY:
In 2005, Tim Welsh and his brother-in-law, Pat Ford, had a vision of opening a creamery in the mountains of Northern Utah. With no more than eight days of cheesemaking experience between the two of them when they first began, the two broke tradition without even realizing it. They enjoyed the freedom to experiment and created their own rules about what artisan cheese could be. With their families by their sides, they built a company grounded in independent thinking, connectedness, and authenticity. They partnered with some of the best cheese researchers and creameries the western U.S. had to offer. Today, Beehive Cheese continues to produce award-winning cheeses that bring family and friends together. Learn more about Beehive Cheese Company’s story here.

Founders - Pat and Tim

© Photo by Beehive Cheese Company


ABOUT THE FOUNDERS:
Pat Ford:

Pat Ford

© Photo by Beehive Cheese Company – Pat Ford

Pat Ford has grown Beehive Cheese into an industry leading maker through his relentless positivity and enthusiasm for customer service. His career in sales has spanned over several decades to include real estate development, business to business software sales, and a brief stint in fire truck sales. Service is very important to Pat. He’s been an active member of the American Cheese Society (ACS) for the last 15 years and served on the Board of Directors for six years. During his tenure on the ACS board, he played an important role in Pat Ford 19 the creation of the Certified Cheese Professional (CCP) program. When he isn’t busy traveling the world with his wife, Jeanette, you can usually find him driving a tractor (or mule) on his ranch. He’s a proud father of five and a grandpa to nine spunky, cheese loving grandkids.

Tim Welsh:

Tim Welsh

© Photo by Beehive Cheese Company – Tim Welsh

Before starting Beehive Cheese he worked in the fast-paced world of software and technology. He founded Beehive Cheese with his brother-in-law, Pat Ford. Tim poured every ounce of passion into making exceptional, award-winning cheese. Supporting local arts is very important to Tim. Tim has served on the Advisory Board at Red Butte Garden / University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He also serves on the Board of the California Artisan Cheese Guild. His charitable interests include the Ogden Friends of Acoustic Music Festival and their year-round events. Tim has traveled the world with his wife, Kari, and three sons—all of whom work at Beehive. He enjoys cooking, taking in a concert at Red Butte Garden, and snuggles with his two pups, Noodle and Gypsy


WineStyles of West Des Moines is excited to announce they have got their hands on a small amount of Hook’s Cheese Company’s special 15 Year Cheddar! While this is not featured in this month’s Cheese Club, we promise you don’t want to miss this. Ask how you can pick up this very special, limited cheese at your local wine store!

Monthly Cheese Club

Don’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

February Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubHook’s Cheese Company, Inc.
10 Year Cheddar
Wisconsin, USA

Hook's 10 Year CheddarThis 10 year cheddar won 1st place at the 2006 American Cheese Society Show, the only 10 year cheddar to get a 1st place in this, or any competition. It has more calcium crystals than Hook’s 7 year cheddar. It has a full, rich cheddar flavor with a smooth finish.

The 10 year cheddar has calcium lactate crystals. These have the texture of salt but have no flavor. More crystals develop as the cheddars get older. The 10 year has a rich, kind of creamy, slightly acidic but more of a fruity note to it.

FOOD PAIRING: Make a yummy cheese and charcuterie board with dried fruits, quince paste, olives, pate, cornichon pickles, grained mustard, peppadew peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, assorted salami and prosciutto.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, or Merlot; for beer, look for something a Cider or something malty and sweet, such as a Scotch Ale or an Oatmeal Stout.

WINESTYLES: Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Malty & Sweet


Hook’s Cheese Company, Inc.
Triple Play Extra Innings
Wisconsin, USA

Hook's Extra InningsA fantastic blend of three types of milk – cow, sheep, and goat.  Flavor notes that come through – Baby Swiss, Havarti and Gouda. Aged over a year.  At this point the Gouda flavor has become more prevalent and crystals have started to form.

FOOD PAIRING:
Dried apricots, dried cherries, sliced apples and pears; as well as flatbread, sesame breadsticks, olive tapenade, and shelled pistachios.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Zinfandel; for beer, look for something Hoppy and Bitter such as an IPA.

WINESTYLES: Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Hoppy & Bitter


Hook's Cheese Company

© Photo by Hook’s Cheese Company, Inc.


ABOUT HOOK’S CHEESE COMPANY:

In 1970 Tony Hook began apprenticing at a small cheese factory in Barneveld and got his cheesemakers license in 1972. In 1976, college sweethearts, Tony and Julie, formed Hook’s Cheese Company. At that time they only produced Cheddar and some Swiss. Since then, they have not only grown into a much larger factory, they have also expanded their lines of cheese. This duo continues to produce award winning cheeses including Colby, Monterey Jack, Maple Jack, Muenster, Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Parmesan, Swiss, Havarti, Gouda, Blue Cheese and many others. To learn more about the Hook’s family and the cheeses they produce, click here.


WineStyles of West Des Moines is excited to announce they have got their hands on a small amount of Hook’s Cheese Company’s special 15 Year Cheddar! While this is not featured in this month’s Cheese Club, we promise you don’t want to miss this. Ask how you can pick up this very special, limited cheese at your local wine store!

Monthly Cheese Club

Don’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

January Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubBlumenkäse
Switzerland

An alpine cheese covered with wildflowers from the meadows of Switzerland. This floral beauty isn’t just pretty on the outside, it’s packed with flavors of French onion soup and sweet carrots on the inside. The rind is decorated in a long list of herbs and flowers, including: winter savory, dill, garlic, caraway, lovage, marjoram, mint, leek, chive, parsley, juniper berries, onion, marigolds, cornflower, roses, and strawberry leaves. 

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Chardonnay, Viognier, Bubbles or Fruity Red Wines; for beer, look for something Hoppy and Bitter, such as an IPA.

WINESTYLES: Crisp, Fruity, and Bubbly
BEERSTYLES:
Hoppy and Bitter

Blumenkases


Marcel Petite
Sagesse 24-Month Comté
France

Selected by Essex St. Cheese Co., Sagesse Comté (formerly “Symphony”) represents the highest level a wheel of Comté can achieve at Marcel Petite; only 2% of all production reaches this point. Sagesse Comté is selected in line with the Essex flavor profile, but is bigger and broader in taste with a darker paste and immense tyrosine crystallization. This is an unpasteurized cows’ milk cheese with a powerful depth of flavor, similar to a great piece of dark chocolate. Sagesse Comté is available only once a year.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Champagne, aged Chardonnay, or Pinot Noir; for beer, look for something Malty & Sweet such as a Milk Stout.

WINESTYLES: Rich, Mellow, or Bubbly
BEERSTYLES:
Malty & Sweet

MarcelPetiteSagesse

© Photo by Comté Marcel Petite


Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

December Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese Clubletivaz-cheeseGenillard Philippe and Marianne
L’Etivaz AOP
Ormont-Dessus, Switzerland

L’Etivaz AOP is a hard alpine cheese produced by hand in over 100 creameries in the Vaud Alps between May and October using raw milk, under an open fire and the traditional recipe. The long ripening process brings out the rich, powerful aromas which come from the large amounts of herbs the cows consume. This is an excellent dessert cheese, fondue, or cheese that will compliment many cuisines. Members will enjoy two distinctive varieties of the L’Etivaz AOP, both a floral and onion style.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: When pairing wine with this cheese, reach for a Crisp Chardonnay, a Fruity Barbera d’Alba, or a Fruity Pinot Noir. For beer, grab something light and crisp, such as a Hard Cider.

WINESTYLES: Crisp or Fruity
BEERSTYLES:
Crisp and Clean

PRODUCTION:
The Alpine pastures are situated at an altitude of between 1,000 to 2,000 meters. The raw milk comes from cows which graze on the natural pastures of the Vaud Alps and Alpine foothills. It is these pastures, rich in wild flowers, that create the aroma and provide the unique flavor of L’Etivaz AOP. To make the cheese, t
he milk from the evening milking is stocked in churns until the following morning, when the cheesemaker skims off the cream with a ladle. The evening milk and morning milk are then poured into a copper cauldron. The milk, enriched with lactic bacteria obtained from the production center itself, is gently heated to 89.6°F over a wood fire. The cheesemaker then adds the rennet, which consists of natural enzymes extracted exclusively from the abomasum of young calves. After stirring the milk for a few minutes the cheesemaker stops the mixer and allows the milk to rest so that it can curdle.

The cheesemaker then stretches a cheesecloth on a rod, slides it under the curds and lifts out the cheese mass which he then puts into a mould and presses. The wheel of cheese thus formed must subsequently be turned over several times. The producer then puts the L’Etivaz AOP casein mark on it as well as his initials in order to be able to guarantee traceability. The wheels remain in the press until the following morning. Weighing between 33 and 84 lbs., the wheels are rubbed with cheese dairy salt and kept at the alpine production center for a maximum of 7 days. For more information, click here.

 

 

Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

November Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubCrucolo Il Piu SaporitoRifugio Crucolo
Crucolo Il Piu Saporito
Scurelle, Italy

Crucolo “Il Piu Saporito”, which means “more tasty”, is a semi-hard, mild asiago cheese coming from the Trentino region in northern Italy. The milk to make this cheese is selected from the cows that roam the pastures beneath the Trento Mountains. Crucolo has a surprisingly tangy finish to its creamy flavor.

The center is white and buttery with diffused and uniform holes, making for a very characteristic cheese. The sub-crust is evenly distributed – an indicator of great attention to detail during the ripening period. The ripening process lasts over 60 days, and must be performed under optimum temperature and humidity conditions. In the aging period, the cheese forms are wetted and washed with water, then turned twice a week. The final product boasts flavors that are sweet, slightly sour, and perfectly salty with a slight bitter-spicy note.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Reach for our November Wine Club wine, Finca Buenaventura Aureo Cabernet Sauvignon, when pairing with this cheese. For beer, grab a Hard Cider or a Porter when pairing with this cheese.

WINESTYLES: Bold
BEERSTYLES:
Fruity and Spicy

ABOUT RIFUGIO CRUCOLO:
The company takes its name from the place where it was built, and still today is the restaurant Rifugio Crucolo, on the “top” of the mountain in the heart of Val Campelle- halfway between the Valsugana and the Lagorai mountain range.

The Crucolo Refuge has entered the register of historic businesses, as it has remained in the same family management since 1782. Thanks to the love and loyalty of customers, the Crucolo company continues to grow each year. Today, they are exporting their own brand of cured meats, cheeses, and liqueurs worldwide.


GarrotxaSant Gil d’Albió
Garrotxa
Catalonia, Spain

Gorratxa, pronounced ‘ga-ROCH-ah’, is a semi-ripened cheese with a natural flowery rind. Made with pasteurized goat’s milk, it is creamy and compact texture in the cut. This moist and cakey Catalonian import is fast becoming Spain’s most famous goat cheese. Crafted in the foothills of Northern Spain, Garrotxa offers a white pepper piquancy and looks like a river-stone. Its milky, delicate taste is not at all typical of a goat’s cheese. The full-bodied cheese is rich in flavor with a soft paste and a moist, creamy, yet almost flaky, texture. It is covered by a velvety grey mould coating that lends it a woody aroma, yet the rind is not ideal for eating. Garrotxa’s flavor is reminiscent of damp earth underlined by slightly nutty & herbal essences.

HOW IT IS MADE:
Made with pasteurized goat’s milk, then aged for several weeks in caves to ensure the delicately, cakey texture won’t harden up.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS: For wine, pair with a Cava or the Finca Buenaventura Aureo Chardonnay from this month’s Wine Club. The clean, lactic qualities of the cheese strike harmoniously with the fruitiness of these two wines.  For beer, look to pair with a Farmhouse Ale or Sour from our Sour, Tart and Funky or Fruity and Spicy sections.

WINESTYLES: Silky, Nectar, or Bubbly
BEERSTYLES: Sour, Tart and Funky, or Fruity and Spicy

ABOUT SANT GIL D’ALBIÓ:
Sant Gil d’Albió is a family business in Catalonia, Spain, with 35 years of experience in the production of artisanal cheeses. Currently produce close to 90,000 kg (about 198,416 pounds) of cheese a year; their products are made in an artisanal way, producing only the highest quality of cheeses. Sant Gil d’Albió exports about 40% of their production, mainly shipping to the United States and throughout Europe.

Sant Gil d’Albió is a dynamic, growing company; expanding their range of products and modernizing their facilities, without forgetting their roots. They are a leading company in the production of artisanal cheese in Catalonia, receiving various awards for the quality of their products, including Garrotxa cheese, Lactium d’Or 2019 award.

The family business is part of the ‘Lal de Cabres Catalanes’ label, a group of farmers and cheesemakers that defend the consumption of products made with local milk. They continuously maintain the quality of all cheeses and ensure all products are sold at a fair price.


Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

October Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubApple Smoked CheddarCarr Valley
Apple Smoked Cheddar
La Valle, WI

This white cheddar is apple smoked and then hand rubbed with paprika. It has a light smoky flavor that balances very well with the flavors from the paprika.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Merlot and Shiraz grape wines will bring out the mature flavor of the cheese. For beer, reach for a Hard Cider or a Porter when pairing with this cheese.

WINESTYLES: Bold, Fruity, or Nectar
BEERSTYLES:
Dark and Roasty; or Fruity and Spicy

Carr Valley Cheese

Photo by Carr Valley Cheese: Apple Smoked Cheddar

ABOUT CARR VALLEY:

Owned and operated by the Cook family, Carr Valley Cheese Company is over one-hundred years old. Nestled amongst the rolling hills and lush pastures of central Wisconsin, they remain one of Wisconsin’s traditional cheese plants, famous for making cheese the old-fashioned way!

Carr Valley Cheese has won numerous awards over the years and continues to offer delicious and unique Wisconsin Cheeses. Certified Master Cheesemaker, Sid Cook, has won more top national and international awards than any other cheesemaker in North America. As a fourth-generation cheesemaker, he received his cheesemaking license when he was 16, and now owns and operates four cheese plants and eight retail cheese stores in Wisconsin. As a company, Carr Valley Cheese began in 1902, and today is best known for producing high-quality, artisanal aged Cheddars. Using cow, goat, and sheep milks, Sid enjoys creating new cheeses, and Carr Valley now produces more than 50 original varieties.

APPLEWOOD SMOKED CHEDDAR AWARDS:

  • 1st Place 2016 Los Angeles Int. Dairy Competition
  • 1st Place 2005 American Cheese Society
  • 2nd Place 2007 World Cheese Competition
  • 2nd Place 2012 American Cheese Society Competition

Maytag White CheddarMaytag Dairy Farms
7 Year Aged Cheddar
Newton, Iowa

This 7 Year Aged Cheddar has a robust cheddar flavor and an assertive tang that can be slightly acidic or even lactic. It showcases dense, fruit notes and a slightly earthy flavor. The aging process takes the cheddar from a smooth creamy texture to a drier, more crumbly style. This is the 2nd most popular cheese in America and is very versatile. Traditional food pairings include apple pie, or a salted caramel for a nice contrast.

HOW IT IS MADE:
Made from cow’s milk, Maytag 7 Year Cheddar has gone through the traditional process of “cheddaring” which involves stacking the blocks of cheese on top of one another to press out moisture. The aging process makes the recognizable cheddar flavor of this cheese even more pronounced and concentrated.  Typical “grocery store” cheddars only age 2-3 months, while this cheddar is aged for 7 years.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS: For Aged Cheddars with earthy undertones, look for the yin and yang. This cheese pairs well with hoppy bitters and dryness, like an IPA Beer and a Cabernet Wine; or full bodied red, stout, or scotch.

WINESTYLES: Fruity; Nectar; or Bold
BEERSTYLES: Dark and Roasty; Fruity and Spicy; or Hoppy and Bitter

Maytag Family

Photo by Maytag Diary Farms: Maytag Family

ABOUT MAYTAG DIARY FARMS:

In 1919 E.H. Maytag, the son of Maytag Appliance company founder F.L. Maytag, purchased a single Holstein cow to provide fresh clean milk to his children. E.H. quickly developed a passion and determination to breed champion Holstein-Friesian cows that could supply milk to the community while also winning blue ribbon upon blue ribbon at livestock shows across the United States.

Cave Wheels

Photo by Maytag Diary Farm: Cave Wheels

Upon E.H.’s death in 1940, his sons Fred and Robert Maytag assumed leadership of the farms and Fred pursued his idea of creating a uniquely American blue cheese made from cow’s milk. Maytag Dairy Farms collaborated with Iowa State University to pioneer the first great American blue cheese that would compete with classic European cheeses such as Roquefort, made from sheep’s milk. The cheese plant and caves were completed a year later, and the first wheels of Maytag Blue Cheese were formed in October of 1941. Fred’s son Fritz Maytag assumed leadership in 1962 and helped guide the small family company for the next 50 years. In 2003, Fritz was awarded the James Beard Foundation Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional, and in 2008 won the Beard Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement. Fritz now serves as Chairman Emeritus and a director with his brother, Ken Maytag, and their sister, Martha Maytag Peterson.

Today, Seventy nine-years after the first wheels of Maytag Blue Cheese were made, the family tradition continues. Each wheel is handcrafted on the family farm in the rolling hills of central Iowa. Maytag Dairy Farm is still owned and operated by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of E.H. Maytag. His legacy is the pleasure and joy taken from good food shared with people you cherish.


Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >

August Cheese Club: Iowa

cheese_club_logo-1240x1240Abondance CheeseAbondance AOP
Rodolphe Le Meunier
Haute-Savoie, France

Abondance, is a semi-hard, traditionally French, mountain cheese produced in the Abondance Valley of Haute Savoie, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. The cheese is made exclusively from unpasteurized cow’s milk sourced from its own breed of cattle, Abondance, as well as Taurine and Montbéliarde. Abondance features a slightly grainy and creamy paste with floral, vegetal, and nutty aromas. On the palate, there’s a beautiful balance of sweetness to acidity; it tastes intensely fruity and buttery with a hazelnut flavor.  Before eating, remove the natural rind its gray layer underneath.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS:
Abondance cheese pairs wonderfully with a dry white wine from the Savoie region; or a light red, such as a Gamay Beaujolais or a light Pinot Noir.  Additionally, this cheese pairs well a crisp, pale lager or a kolsch.

WINESTYLES: Crisp and Fruity
BEERSTYLES: Crisp and Clean

PRODUCTION:
Abondance cheese has had an Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) designation since 1990.  AOC designations were created to ensure products with long histories and strong senses of terroir will guard their identity and uniqueness in the marketplace. With this designation, a cheese producer cannot call a cheese Abondance if it is not made within the confines of a singular region, or according to traditional methods and specifications, similar to wine AOCs like Bordeaux, Bourgogne, and Champagne.

Abondance was originally made by monks at the Abbaye d’Abondance (Abondance Abbey) in the 12th century. In the late 1300s, the monks were the official supplier of cheeses to the Avignon popes. This rich, ivory-yellow cheese is made in the area’s mountain chalets from batches of raw milk that combine morning milk with milk from the previous evening. The milk is heated in a copper cauldron to 90° F to warm the curd that is formed, without cooking it. The curd is then cut, drained, put into a round wooden mold, and pressed for a day with a weight on it. It is then salted either by hand, or soaked in brine, then cave aged on spruce planks for six months at a temperature of 54° F and a humidity level of 95%. The cheese is brushed with brine and turned while aging.

Tomme d’Abondance

Comté Fort Saint-Antoine CheeseComté Fort Saint Antoine
Marcel Petite
Jura, France

Comté Fort Saint Antoine is a semi-firm, unpasteurized, aged, cow’s milk cheese from the Jura and Franche-Comté regions of Eastern France. Century-old techniques are used to make Comté, which is the most produced and consumed cheese in France. Made with unpasteurized cow’s milk, from Montbeliarde Cattle or French Simmental (or crossbreeds of the two), the taste is complex, nutty and caramelized with a lingering, but not sharp, flavor. The combination of sweetness and saltiness give this cheese an intriguing flavor. This mature Comté is firm but supple, with a buttery and oily texture. It is traditionally sold in huge blocks and matures for a year before it is ready for sale. The natural cave atmosphere of the fort allows this longer aged Comté to have a rich, nutty, fruitier and more flowery taste than its younger aged counterparts. Considered one of the finest cheeses in the world, a wedge of Comte reveals a pale yellow interior and a texture that can vary from silky, flabby to crystalline.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Comté Cheese is very versatile and pairs beautifully with a Chablis (Chardonnay), a Champagne, or a Pinot Noir. It also pairs well with a light lager, a blonde ale, or a pilsner.

WINESTYLES: Silky, Bubbly and Mellow
BEERSTYLES: 
Crisp and Clean

PRODUCTION:

In 1966, Marcel Petite discovered a defunct military fort in a forest of Haut Doubs, at 3600 feet altitude. The fort’s structure of cut and vaulted stone, covered with a thick layer of soil, providing ideal conditions for “affinage lent” (slow maturing). Petite realized that his Comté cheeses should be aged in their natural environment, near the mountain cheese dairies where they are made. This hard mountain cheese is matured to perfection in the silence and darkness of special caves where the cheese gets its unique taste, texture and color. There are several maturing cellars in the region where Comté is ripened for a minimum of 4 months to 18 or 24 months. Comté generally will get its name from the cellar where it was ripened, such as Comté Fort Saint-Antoine. Today, over 100,000 wheels are ripened for 10 to 20 months, in the Cathedral of Marcel Petite Comté.

Comté was one of the first few kinds of cheese to receive an AOC status in 1958. It is one of the most popular AOC cheeses in France with around 40,000 tons of annual production.

Comté Cheese Production

© Comté Marcel Petite

Comté Production

© Comté Marcel Petite

 

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