November Cheese Club: Iowa

Cheese ClubParmigiano_ReggianoG. Cravero
Parmigiano Reggiano

Bra, Italy

This cheese is unlike your typical parmesan. It’s smooth, creamy, lush, sweet, buttery, aromatic, fruity and mouthwatering. Because it is so unique, this cheese is recommended to served alone, or as the star of your cheese board – not to be grated atop your dishes.  

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS:
This cheese pairs beautifully with a glass of Prosecco. It will also pair well with any of the wines from our November Wine Club Selections. For beer, look for a light Pilsner or Lager. 

WINESTYLES: Bold, Mellow or Silky
BEERSTYLES: Crisp & Clean

ABOUT G. CRAVERO:
Founded in 1855 by Giorgio Cravero, the Cravero family have been carefully selecting and maturing the very best Parmigiano Reggiano in their own cheese caves in Bra, Piedmont, Italy. For the past five generations, the traditions have been passed down from father to son, each perfecting the craft of cheese aging. Today, their cheese is packed up and shipped out to more than 20 different countries across the globe.

The Cravero family works with a select group of small-scale producers in the Tuscan Emilian Apennine region to buy their cheese; it’s this local pasture and forage that lends the milk to be so creamy, soft and subtly sweet.  After the selected cheeses have been aged for about 12 months, they are brought to the Cravero maturing rooms in Bra, where the magic really starts to happen. From here, the team pays close attention to the changing seasons for the next 24 months to guarantee the unique nature of their product.

In June of 2022, we (owners, Bryan and Andrea McGinness, a few of our WineStyles guests, and myself) had the opportunity to tour Cravero’s facility during our trip to Northern Italy with Cheese Journeys. We meet with the current owner, Giorgio Cravero (the third Giorgio since 1855), who showed us around, what he considered to be, his small family business. Their twenty-foot high aging rooms (or caves), house around 5,000 wheels of cheese – a capacity that seemed daunting to us, however, Cravero explained to be “tiny” in comparison to other affineurs (someone who practices the art of caring for, ripening and aging the cheese). Learn more about their family history here.

Information © G. Cravero – All Rights Reserved.


Cheese_springDon’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

Toma_cheesePoint Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.Cheese Club
Toma
Point Reyes Station, California

In Italian, ‘Toma’ means “wheel of cheese made by the farmer herself”; the perfect way to describe Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.’s most versatile, any time, any table cheese. Creamy and buttery in flavor with a grassy, tang finish, the Toma cheese is an all natural, semi-hard table cheese made from pasteurized, rBST-free cows’ milk coated in a waxed rind. It is made with microbial (vegetarian) rennet, aged for 90 days and is gluten free.

FOOD PAIRING: Toma makes for the perfect anytime snacking cheese. It is great for melting into or onto pastas, risottos, grilled cheese sandwiches, grilled vegetables, burgers or soups. Pair with savory or sweet foods such as peaches, fruit compotes, toasted nuts, or sautéed greens.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Serve with hop-heavy beers such as an IPA, and for wine, pair with our November Wine Club Wines: Estate Cellars Proprietary Red Blend or the Estate Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon.

WINESTYLES: Mellow or Bold
BEERSTYLES: Hoppy & Bitter

AWARDS:

  • 2017 World Cheese Awards in London – Bronze Medal
  • 2017 American Cheese Society, Farmstead – 1st Place
  • 2017 California State Fair – Gold Medal
  • 2014 Good Food Awards – Best Cheese
  • 2012 American Cheese Society, American Originals, Cows’ Milk Category – 2nd Place
  • 2011 California State Fair – Gold Medal
  • 2011 American Cheese Society, American Originals, Cows’ Milk Category – 1st Place
  • 2010 World Cheese Awards in London – Silver Medal

ABOUT POINT REYES FARMSTEAD CHEESE COMPANY:
Stretching along the California coast, just about 40 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. is a family owned and operated business passed down from generation to generation for over 100 years. Today, the creamery is operated by the four Giacomini family daughters, whom all left their various business careers and returned to the creamery to transition the business into an artisan farmstead cheesemaking facility. Together they work to produce the freshest, highest quality milk. Learn more about their story here.


Petite-BreakfastMarin French Cheese Co.
Petite Breakfast Brie
Petaluma, California

Since 1865, Marin has been making their iconic Petite Breakfast Brie. Skipping the aging room, this cheese is fresh and young, and has a tangy flavor with a spongy texture – reminiscent of creamy cheese curds. 

FOOD PAIRING: Versatile for hot and cold usages, such as pastries or salads.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: For wine, pair with a Sauvignon Blanc or this month’s Primary White Wine Club Wine: the Estate Cellars Chardonnay. For beer, grab something hazy or citrus wheat beer.

WINESTYLES: Rich
BEERSTYLES: Crisp and Clean

ABOUT MARIN FRENCH CHEESE CO.:
Since 1865, Marin French Cheese Co. has been producing artisan cheese that respects nature and their local environments. The cheeses are handcrafted and made with the highest quality milks sourced from local dairies. Being the oldest continually operating cheese company in California, Marin French Cheese Co. cheeses have distinctive, authentic taste that is true to their roots in Marin County.


Screen Shot 2021-06-28 at 7.24.47 PMDon’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 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 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 >