It has been a while since I wrote about the glories of the “It’s Not You, it’s Brie” cheese club, so I thought I’d toss the little fella a (milk) bone and share the latest selection write ups. Every month I put together a pick-up only cheese club in conjunction with Solano Cellars wine shop and wine bar, composed of three of my favorite cheeses that month, plus an accompaniment to pair with one of the selections. The following three cheeses are the picks from February (this month I was feeling the domestic love). I hope you have a chance to try some of these beauties near you, and there’s some additional info about the club at the end of the post in case you’d like to here more.
Cheese club descriptions:
Bohemian Creamery’s Caproncino
Bohemian Creamery is a two-woman organic goat and cow milk cheese dairy in Sebastopol that opened just two years ago but whose wheels are already on the cheese list at French Laundry. Broad in range, they make everything from an asiago style to a cheese shaped like a breast (so says owner Lisa) named Bodacious. Caproncino is a pressed, firm yet lush goat cheese, with sweet cream and light mushroom flavors. Want it a little earthier? Eat the rind- I always do on this one. Drink with a peppery, herbal Crab Franc like the La Tête Rouge “Tête de Lard,” or serve with the sweet olive oil Spanish flatbread included in the club.
River’s Edge Chevre Mayor of Nye Beach
I think we’re feeling comfortable enough with each other that we can talk washed rinds now. Washed rinds smell funky. Like socks, but the best socks possible, like Marc Jacobs limited addition cashmere knee highs. As a this style of cheese ages, a cheesemaker rubs down the wheels with a brine that promotes the growth of Brevibacterium linens- a good bacteria that produces a slightly stinky scent with one of the sweetest tastes known to cheeses. This one’s rubbed with water and Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale. Beneath the Mayor of Nye Beach’s orange-red rind is a velvety, thick goat cheese paste just waiting to soften. Leave out an hour before serving and try with an Arend triple Belgian beer (sold in house!).
Pedrozo Dairy Black Butte
The Pedrozos only make their Black Butte Reserve in the spring when their cows are grazing on the lushest Sacramento Delta vegetation- lots of rye grasses. The result is a stunning cheese with grassy, floral notes that develops walnut and brown butter flavors as it ages. Although made in simple, straight-foward traditional manner, it often outshines wheels sold at higher prices. Have in a rocking grilled cheese sandwich or enjoy with chestnut honey and hazelnuts after dinner, with a big California red like T-Vine Grenache or Marietta Cuvée Anglee.
Want to hear a little more about the club? Here goes:
“Do you remember when you were aching to take some of that oozing, buttery triple-crème you had at the wine bar home? What about that seasonal sheep’s milk Pecorino Foglie di Noce wrapped in walnut leaves and rubbed with olive oil you sampled in the Regional Italian Wine and Cheese Class? They remember you too.
In the tradition of Solano Cellars’s world famous wine clubs, Solano Cellars is starting a club that brings the world of artisan cheese into your home. Every month, wine bar manager, cheese instructor, writer, and author of “It’s Not You, it’s Brie” Kirstin Jackson, chooses her favorite three cheeses- some wine bar favorites and some club exclusives- for you to sample.
Every club comes with wine recommendations for bottles available on the shop floor and (there’s more!) write-ups similar to the descriptions found on Kirstin’s cheese blog. At least one of the club cheeses will be ripe and ready as Frog Hollow peaches in late July, and the other two will be happy to sit tightly wrapped in your fridge for a couple-three weeks. The club will total $25 and will be available mid-month, every month. Pick up ONLY.”