The holiday season is finally upon us and we have all of your favorite winter cheeses back at Le Vigne! After hand-selecting a collection of seasonal, artisanal cheeses from all over the world, we brought the following assortment into the tasting room for our annual holiday sale. Now you can impress your friends with a festive cheese platter and use our pairing suggestions to make your next holiday party your best yet. So stock up on all your favorite cheeses sooner rather than later, because once they’re gone, they won’t be back until next winter!
Fromager d’Affinois Truffles
This elegant cow’s milk cheese from Fromagerie Guilloteau near Pelussin has been infused with Black Truffles from the Perigord in France. Slightly pungent, it develops a mild silky texture as it ripens. Created by Fromagerie Guilloteau, Fromager d’Affinois is unique in the world of double crèmes in that even as it progresses in age, it still maintains a firm paste in the center. Beneath the light, fuzzy rind is a gooey ring that becomes almost liquid at room temperature. Progressing further into the cheese, you find a smooth, rich cheese with the lovely taste of fresh butter and earthy mushrooms.
Wine Pairing: Try this cheese with a crisp white wine like our 2015 Le Vigne Viogner, or with your favorite sparkling wine for a mildly sweet yet earthy pairing.
Serving Suggestion: Spread onto a toasted baguette and serve with fresh fruit and nuts, or melt over a fillet of beef.
Melkbus #125 Winter Gouda
This cow’s milk Gouda from Holland celebrates the flavors and smells of Winter. It contains a mixture of spices reminiscent of the season, including nutmeg, pepper, mace, and cinnamon. Flavors of sweet cream with an essence of cardamom and nutmeg develop after 4 months. Dutch for “Milk Can”, each of our Melkbus Cheeses are made on individual family farms outside the village of Gouda. Historically, these farms were identified by a number which was imprinted on each milk can to be transported to the creamery for cheese making. Today, we celebrate this process by reviving the stamped milk can tradition and honoring the farms with their numbers in the name of our cheeses.
Wine Pairing: Pair with a dry Rosé such as our 2015 Le Vigne Rosé for a unique, flavorful snack.
Beer Pairing: Try this cheese with your favorite festive ale or spiced cider .
Serving Suggestion: Top a baguette with a smear of apple butter and a sliver of melted Winter Melkbus, or even melt it into apple pie crust for a truly delicious winter treat!
Le Roule Cranberry
Picture a jelly roll, but instead of cake and too-sweet jelly, it’s made of smooth, creamy fresh cow’s milk cheese from France, layered with sweetly tart dried cranberries. It makes a wonderful and beautiful addition to an elegant breakfast, luncheon, or dessert table, especially when sliced and surrounded by fresh fruit.
Wine Pairing: Match this creamy cheese with a sweet white wine like our 2015 Kiara Bella Moscato, or try with champagne for a delectable dessert.
Serving Suggestion: Spread onto a whole wheat cracker and make a mini-cheesecake, or serve with fresh, warm bread and your favorite seasonal fruits.
Beemster Santa’s Choice
This cow’s milk cheese is regarded as the signature Dutch cheese throughout the Netherlands, with its deep flavors developed through natural aging for over 18 months in historic cheese warehouses. As an aged cheese, tyrosine crystals (amino acids) can be tasted subtly. It is a sign of excellence to have these evenly distributed throughout the body of the cheese. Its firmness allows it to be served at room temperature for hours without losing its beautiful golden appearance.
Wine Pairing: try a full-bodied white wine like a bold Chardonnay, or pair with a robust Supertuscan blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Malbec.
Beer pairing: Enjoy with a bitter, hoppy craft beer or IPA.
Serving Suggestion: Make a killer grilled cheese topped with a thin layer of tomato sauce, or shave into a kale salad for a healthier option.
Sage Derby is a cheddar-type gourmet cheese made using leaf sage for flavor, and colored using chlorophyll (plant coloring) to give a green marbled finish. Finely chopped spinach is added for a subtle extra flavor. Originally consumed at harvest time and Christmas, this cheese was valued in the 17th century because of the health-giving properties of sage. It was then that the custom of adding sage to Derby cheese began. Today it makes an interesting and colorful addition to any festive cheese platter.
Wine Pairing: Serve with a bold, oaky Chardonnay for a savory pairing.
Serving Suggestion: This is a great breakfast cheese because it pairs well with many fruit juices, and is exceptional when served on toasted rye bread and topped with a fried egg.
Made of pasteurized cow’s milk, it is produced by the Long Clawson, Leicestershire. For the first time in 1970s, it was made by Andy Williamson at the Castle Stuart dairy in Inverness. Therefore, it was called Blue Stuart or ‘Inverness-shire Blue’. It is a semi-firm blue cheese described as a cross between Stilton and Cheshire. In a period of 10-12 weeks, it forms an orange-brown, natural rind and smooth texture. With a sharp, strong flavor and a bit tangy aroma, it is a vegetarian cheese having a fat content of 48%.
Wine Pairing: Try with a peppery Pinot Noir or a bold port, like our 2005 Sylvester Cabernet Sauvignon Port.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with honeycomb and crackers for a savory yet sweet treat, and pair with your favorite smoky nuts and fruit.