Monday, June 19, 2017


Milk’s Leap Toward Immortality

"For years, man thought the moon was made of cheese. 
In 1969, we went there and discovered it was made of rock. 
We haven't been back since. 
Behold, the Power of Cheese."

In 1546, John Heywood wrote in Proverbes that “The moon is made of a greene cheese.” But in 1546 greene meant new or unaged, not green in color.
As AWS members, your friends will expect you to be the pro when you’re asked pair the perfect cheese with the perfect wine. Have you ever found yourself standing in front of the cheese cooler at the supermarket, completely unsure of what kind to buy? Or, perhaps, the next AWS tasting is coming up and you’re in charge of providing the cheeses, but all you can think of is the moon? "Dear Heart" has retired from PennMac, but . . .
We can help!
We chose some of the world’s most popular cheeses to start your education about the coagulated, compressed, and usually ripened curd of milk separated from the whey. From Muenster to Chevre, find out how each of these cheeses is made and the flavors that you’ll experience. We’ve added a little bit of history and some nutrition facts to supplement your knowledge, so you can spout cheese facts at your next company Christmas party.
Muenster Cheese

How it’s Made:
Muenster cheese is traditionally made with cow milk, but can also be made with goat milk. Annatto, a sweet, nutty, natural seasoning, is added to the rind to give it an orange color.
Country of Origin: United States
Fat Content: 8g/oz
Flavors: Buttery and mild.
Pairs Best With: Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel

Havarti Cheese

How it’s Made:
Havarti is made with cow milk. Rennet is introduced to milk to cause curdling. The curds are pressed into molds which are drained and aged for about three months. (Adding rennet to milk is common in many cheeses.)
Country of Origin: Denmark
Fat Content: 8.4g/oz
Flavors: Buttery, sweet, slightly acidic. If aged longer than 3 months: salty, hazelnut flavor.
Pairs Best With: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir.

Feta Cheese

How it’s Made:
Feta cheese is made with sheep and goat milk. The cheese curds are aged in brine for several weeks at room temperature, then for two or more months in a refrigerated high-humidity environment.
Countries of Origin: Turkey; Greece
Fat Content: 6g/oz
Flavors: Tangy and salty. Mild to sharp taste.
Pairs Best With: Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Zinfandel

Queso Blanco

How it’s Made: Queso Blanco is traditionally made with cow milk. Sometimes it’s made by pressing the whey from cottage cheese, but more often it is made by heating whole fresh milk to near-boiling, adding an acidifying agent, and stirring until curds form. The curds are drained in cheesecloth for three to five hours.
Origins: Central America/Mexico
Fat Content: 6.8g/oz
Flavors: Mild and slightly sweet.
Pairs well with: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc

Colby Jack Cheese

How it’s Made: Colby-Jack cheese is made by combining Colby and Monterey Jack cheese before they are pressed.
Country of Origin: United States
Fat Content: 8.85g/oz
Flavors: Mild to mellow. Creamy. Lightly sweet to sharp.
Pairs Best With: Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Champagne

Brie Cheese

How it’s Made: Brie cheese is made with cow milk (whole or semi-skimmed). After draining the whey for 18 hours, the curds are taken out of the molds, salted and inoculated with cheese mold. The cheese is aged for four to five weeks.
Country of Origin: France
Fat Content: 8g/oz
Flavors: Creamy, buttery, and earthy. Overripe: Bitter and Ammonia-like. Under ripe: Chalky and flavorless
Pairs best with: Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Champagne

Swiss Cheese

How it’s Made: Swiss cheese is made with cow milk. Three types of bacteria are used in production, one of which consumes the lactic acid and releases carbon dioxide gas. This creates the bubbles/holes in the cheese.
Country of Origin: United States, but resembles Emmental cheese from Switzerland
Fat Content: 8g/oz
Flavors: Mild, sweet, and nutty.
Pairs well with: Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir.

Cheddar Cheese

How it’s Made: Cheddaring is a cheese making process that cheese must go through to become cheddar. Cheddaring gives cheese a dense, layered texture. After the rennet is added to the milk, and the mixture is heated, the curd is kneaded with salt and cut into cubes to drain the whey. The cheese is matured for up to 15 months.
Country of Origin: England
Fat Content: 9g/oz
Flavors: Sharp, pungent, and earthy.
Pairs well with: Pinot Gris, Cab Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Champagne, Sherry

Gouda Cheese

How it’s Made: Water is added to the curds after whey is drained. The cheese is then soaked in a brine solution and dried for a few days before a yellow coating of wax is applied.
Country of Origin: Netherlands
Fat Content: 8g/oz
Flavor: Young Gouda: fudge, nutty, mild; Old Gouda: fruity, sweet, butterscotch
Pairs well with: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Champagne

Bleu Cheese

How it’s Made: Bleu cheese is made with cow or goat’s milk. Cultures of the mold Penicillium are added to the mixture to produce the blue/blue-grey/blue-green spots and veins. Finally, the cheese is aged in a temperature controlled environment.
Origins: Europe
Fat Content: 8g/oz
Flavors: Flavors range from burnt caramel to herbs and butter. Mild to sharp.
Pairs well with: Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Port, Sherry


How it’s Made: Chevre is made from goat’s milk. It’s popular among people with low tolerance to cow’s milk. Also, goat cheeses are lower in fat, and higher in vitamin A and potassium. Made from pasteurized or unpasteurized goat's milk
Origins: France
Fat Content: 8g/oz
Flavor: Earthy, tangy, and tart
Pairs well with:  Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Blanc de Blancs Champagne

What type of cheese is made backwards?   Edam!

We hope that you never find yourself in this situation: