Formaggio - Beer vs. Wine - The Battle!

I love going to Formaggio's classes. I always learn something interesting, and I always eat and drink very well. Thursday night was a beer vs. wine battle, to see which paired better with different cheeses. There were four categories of cheese: goat, cow, sheep, and blue, and each type of cheese was paired with a beer and a wine. Most people associate wine and cheese, but often beer can pair just as well, if not better.

The first contender for the beer side was Berkshire Brewing Company's Hefeweisen, made in New Hampshire, USA. This was paired with Cornilly Frais goat cheese from Pays de la Loire, France, and served with San Giuliano Sicilian Bitter Orange Marmalade from Sicilia, Italia. This wound up being one of my favorite combinations for the whole night!

A 2011 Gobelsburger Grüner Veltliner from Wachau, Austria was the first wine contender of the evening. It paired with St. Maure Belgique Cendree goat cheese from Wallonia, Belgium, and Raphael Confiture de Citron from Brittany, France. This was good, but the beer won this round!

Comté Les Granges was up next, a cow's milk cheese from Jura, France, that was paired with dried Blenheim apricots, possibly the best apricots out there. Pretty Things Jack d'Or from right here in Massachusetts was selected to pair with Comté, and this was a pretty great pairing.

Préféré de nos Montagnes, a cow's milk cheese also from Jura, France, with Gaec de Loziari Miel Maquis de Été from Corsica, France, paired amazingly well with a 2011 Chidaine Vouvray from Vouvray, France. This was another one of my favorite pairings of the evening, and so wine won this round!

This Feta is the first I've ever actually really enjoyed! It was a sheep's milk feta from Île de France, France, served with Quinto do Freixo Red Tomato Jam from Algarve, Portugal. The tomato jam was heavenly. This was served with High Watermelon Wheat beer from California, USA.

Summertime means rosé, in this case a 2012 Spaventapasseri Rosé from Piemonte, Italia. This paired with Brebis du Haut Bearn, a sheep's milk cheese from Pyrenees, France, that was served with Arraya Cerises Noires, also from Pyrenees. This was the hardest face-off yet, but I eventually settled on the wine. I'd eat both again, though, very happily!

Stone Brewing Company's Russian Imperial Stout from California, USA was the final beer contender. It paired with Mitiblu, a strong sheep's milk blue cheese from La Mancha, Spain. Served with the cheese was a piece of Poco Dolce Dark Chocolate Tiles with Caramel and Sea Salt. Blue cheese goes SO well with dark chocolate, so this was another great combination. It wound up getting most of the votes in the class!

But as good as that was, I slightly preferred this final combination: Quinto Infantado Tawny Port from Oporto, Portugal, and Colston-Basset Stilton from Nottinghamshire, England, served with La Vecchia Fig Compote from Piemonte, Italia.


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