Cheese Tuesday at L'Espalier - Well Aged

I was definitely looking forward to Cheese Tuesday this month, and began things off right, with a pot of Anniversary Blend tea and L'Espalier's bread and butter. Yum!

The first pairing of the evening was 2010 Cederberg, Chenin Blanc, from Cederberg, South Africa. It went very well with the shaved vegetable salad with Apple Street Farm baby lettuces; walnut vinaigrette and 8 year Gouda crisp.

The second course paired 2011 Prager, "Hinter Der Berg" Grüner Veltiner from Wachau, Austria with parmesan-potato gnocchi with English peas; roasted garlic purée and Iberian ham. This was one of my favorite dishes; I love gnocchi.

For the third course 2007 Jadot, "Clos des Guettes" Savigny-Lés-Beaune, Premier Cru from Burgundy was paired with roasted Long Island duck breast with rhubarb and farro; charred Spring Vidalia onion and lavender glaze. The lavender glaze was absolutely amazing.

The theme of this month's Cheese Tuesday was Well Aged, and the cheese platter was all about comparing cheeses of different ages. It paired well with the 2010 Huet, "Clos du Bourg", Vouvray, Demi-Sec, from Loire.

The first cheeses compared tonight were both goat cheeses. Petit Billy from the Loire Valley in France was followed by one of my favorites: Coupole, from the Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery in Websterville, Vermont.

The next set of cheeses were both Pecorino Toscano, a sheep's milk cheese from Val D'Orcia, Tuscany. The first one, Fresco, is young, while the second, Vecchio, is older.

The third set of cheeses were cow's milk cheeses from Lombardy, Italy. The first was Taleggio Riserva, which was followed by it's older version, Taleggio Riserva Morbida.

The last pair of cheeses were the youngest and oldest versions available, made on 6/12/12 and 7/23/12, respectively. Both are Tarentaise, a cow's milk cheese made by Thistle Hill Farm in North Pomfret, Vermont. The whole night finished with a delicious 5-year-old Gouda, a cow's milk cheese from Holland.


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