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 >

Fall for Great Beers this Season

BobBrewmasterInterview with Bob the Brewmaster

Our own craft beer enthusiast, Bob the Brew Master, has been keeping busy scooping out the latest in the world of craft beer. Today, he shares with us the latest trends and pairing ideas for autumn.

What are the best beers to enjoy this fall?

Fall means Oktoberfest. The cooler fall weather makes the craving for hearty more flavorful and substantial beers arrive. As the leaves gets darker on the trees, so does the trend of enjoying darker beers and flavors that are typically more toasty and malty.

What are the newest flavors we’ll find on shelves this season?alltech

More and more craft brewers are showing off their brewing talents with some great pumpkin ales, brown ales, black IPA’s, Porters and Stouts.  Warmth inducing, stronger flavor and higher alcohol beer is great for cool weather.    Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale is aged in fresh bourbon barrels, the sweetness of caramel and vanilla are imparted upon the brew and complement its spicier base.  This robust, limited release seasonal makes for a flavorful sipping beer to slowly warm up with as the weather cools.

Pumpkin Patch Ale Product ShotWhy do you think pumpkin and other strong flavors have taken over as the newest fall traditional beers?rogue_farms_pumpkin_patch_ale

Beer geeks are always looking for new unique flavors and extreme beers.  American Craft Brewers continue to push the envelope on taste and style with pumpkin ales, strongly hopped double or Black IPA’s, higher alcohol beers and chocolate and coffee stouts.   I’m especially impressed with Rogue Ales, who grow their own ingredients from “patch to batch”, just look for their GYO label (Grow Your Own).  Whenever you see the Rogue Farms label, you’ll know they are farming their own ingredients.   Such as their Pumpkin Patch Ale, made with their own hops and pumpkins grown at Rogue Farms in Oregon, and brewed with a touch of ginger, cloves, vanilla bean, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.  This craft beer pairs especially well with pork or desserts.

 What’s your favorite craft beer and cheese pairing for the fall?

I like to pair a nice hoppy IPA like Stone Ruination IPA with an aged Gouda or an Oskar Blues Ten Fidy with a Strong Blue or Asiago cheese.

Cheese for Summertime

MaxInterview with Max McCalman, Dean of Curriculum and Maitre Fromager of Artisanal Cheese

What is your perfect cheese/wine pairing for weddings?
Luscious triple crèmes like Brillat-Savarin or Pierre Robert, and a well-aged Gruyère from Beeler. Pair with fine Champagne — a match made in heaven.

Which cheese and wine pairings do you suggest for Father’s Day?
This is the time of the year when we begin to see the broadest variety of types of cheese. The Lauriers are lovely soft cheeses. To add a little sweet for your dad, include a variety of Gouda that has been aged four years. Pairing these two cheeses from opposite ends of the CheeseClock™ is simple, as they both are complemented quite well by lighter white wines.  Or try two-year-old Cheddar or the Terraluna. Pair either one of these two firm cheeses with a glass of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.

Which cheese and wines go best when preparing for a BBQ?
Try Petite Syrah, a Zinfandel or Primitivo, or a Tempranillo. These wines are best paired with sheep milk cheeses, such as Stella Royale and Pecorino Sardo.

Cheese_springWhat’s the best way to store cheese in summertime?
During warm weather it’s important to place it in a chilled storage container, especially a soft cheese.

Tell us more about the new cheeses and what wine they would pair with?
One of our newer cheeses is the Terraluna, which is produced in Utah and comes from clean raw Jersey cow milk. This cheese is in the cheddar family yet it is a little less acidic than most. It offers a deep flavor with a longlasting finish. It’s a versatile cheese partner with many wines, especially Pinot Noir. Another cheese in our caves is the Stella Royale. It is a traditional-style pressed sheep milk cheese from northwest Spain. The paste of the cheese is firm and granular and carries a distinct olive oil aroma just before it finishes with a nutty flavor. Stella Royale pairs well with Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc.