Cheesy goodness at my front door? Yes, please!
My six-month relationship with a fellow gourmand went south a while ago but, as always, I keep the good parts–and the Cheesemonger’s Picks of the Month Club from Murray’s Cheese in NYC is very, very good. Exquisite, in fact.
For $75 per month I get four heavenly cheeses delivered to my home on the second Thursday of the month. I then procure wines from Vino!, my favorite wine shop, where their wonderful wine experts take a gander at the Murray’s recommendations and help me select bottles that will delight my picky taste buds without breaking my delicate budget.
Place the cheeses on a board, add some toasted nuts, charcuterie, fruit, crackers, bread, olives, jam, and whatever else I have on hand, and voila! We’ve got a tasty way to share an evening with friends.
My fiancee Tom and I have made a ritual of trying the cheeses. I enter with the wrapped wedges and rounds on a board while Tom sings a “Pomp and Circumstance”-style march. Then, one by one, we read aloud the description of each cheese before tasting it. This month’s guest, a neighbor and new friend, did not appreciate this portion of the evening, but did it stop me? Ha!
Reading about the cheeses, for her, was like taking one’s medicine, or having to eat all the peas on your plate before getting dessert. Nerd that I am, I love learning about each cheese–how it’s made, where it comes from, what flavors to expect and seek as I roll the morsel about on my tongue.
With each cheese we taste, we sip one the paired wine. This leaves us with several bottle of opened wine to drink within the next few days–darn it!
This month’s cheeses were all yummy. The stilton was creamy and peppery, and paired beautifully with a rose brut. We didn’t have port, which was also recommended, but it would have tasted superb–any sweet wine would do, in fact.
The comte, which I absolutely love, was smooth and nutty.
The Moliterno al Tartufo was rich and surprisingly non-grainy for a pecorino, and the layer of truffle paste sent my taste buds right over the top.
Cabernet sauvignon–the 2014 Cadareta, a Columbia Valley wine–provided the perfect al Tartufo accompaniment: elegant and with a clean finish, not jammy or loaded with tannins as Washington cabernets can be.
But the winner of this month’s tasting was the Vermont Creamery Cremont, so buttery soft that I couldn’t remove the entire round from its plastic case. I lifted out creamy wedges to serve, instead. Fluffy and mild, the cremont had us coming back for extra servings. I had to stop myself from using a spoon.
To accompany our cheese-feast, I served sliced ham from local Ramstead Ranch, the juiciest and most tender ham I have ever tasted; Italian dry salame; crackers; fig jam; local apples; toasted walnuts, and white beans in truffle oil. Let’s eat!
Speaking of which, I’m off to the fridge for a tasty lunch of cremont. Spoon in hand.