Cheese Tuesday at L'Espalier - Flavor Added

Earlier this week I went to Cheese Tuesday at L'Espalier, and the theme for this month was cheese with added flavors. There were some really interesting flavors added, like lavender and pear brandy.

Dinner was in the Library, and started off with some of the Anniversary blend and fresh bread.

The first pairing was my favorite - 2005 Trimbach, "Cuvee Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre", a Gewürztraminer from Alsace, with Massachusetts butternut squash soup with Hoch Ybrig crouton. Wicked good.

The second course paired 2011 Commanderie de la Bargemone, a Rose from Coteaux D'Aix en Provence with a delicious bouillabaisse with Scottish salmon, sole, and clams.

The third pairing was 2009 Domaine du Grand Tinel from Chateauneuf-du-Pape paired with cassoulet du Languedoc with roasted lamb loin and garlic sausage, Maine yellow-eyed beans, and fermented black garlic. The lamb was cooked absolutely perfectly, and every bite was exquisite. Yum!

The final course for the night was Billecart-Salmon, Demi-Sec from Champagne, with L'Espalier's cheese sampler. I had been craving champagne all night, and this greatly exceeded my expectations.

The cheese sampler started with the wonderful Pecorino Senesi "Zafferano", a sheep's milk cheese with saffron added, from Tuscany. This was followed by Fleur Verte, a goat's milk cheese with herbs, from France, which Louis Risoli, the amazing Cheese Guy, brought around to show everyone.

The third cheese was Cocoa Cardona, a tasty goat's milk cheese with cocoa added, from the Carr Valley Creamery in Wisconsin. Barely Buzzed, a cow's milk cheese with coffee and lavender, was next. It was made at the Bee Hive Creamery in Utah, and definitely had a very strong coffee flavor!

The Original Irish Porter Cheese was next, a cow's milk cheese that incorporated beer, made in Ireland. I'm not a big porter drinker, but this was really good.  The next cheese, Caccio di Bosco, a sheep's milk cheese with black truffle from Tuscany, was amazing as well. 

Idiazabal, a sheep's milk cheese with smoke from Navarra, Spain, was excellent, but Rogue River Blue, a cow's milk cheese with grape leaves and pear brandy from Rogue Creamery in Oregon, was even better! A delicious s'more macaron finished off the night.


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