The New York Magazine Article

Yes, it's Rogue River Blue!

Yes, it’s Rogue River Blue!

On the Saturday before the Super Bowl, New York magazine writers Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld spent an hour at my cheese counter talking shop both about cheese and about journalism.

I figured nothing bad could come of that, and indeed something very positive has.  It was an eight page story in the issue of the magazine with Alec Baldwin on the cover, and this slideshow at Grub St.  http://grb.st/1c4QnJx

Yes, it’s a big positive because the shop I work at is featured as are many cheeses that we carry, but it has potential to be a much bigger game changer.  It could begin an important change in the way people shop for cheese.

I think there are three levels of shopping when it comes to something like cheese and it’s best illustrated by the parallels in wine and beer.  Level one is someone who just drinks a mainstream mass market beer or wine (Bud, Yellowtail, whatever).  Level two are the people who have forsaken the mass market but have settled on Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada or a particular bottle of Bordeaux.  Level three are the people who are into exploring; they go to beer bars eager to see what’s new or visit wine shops with an eye toward expanding what they know.

In cheese thousands and thousands of people have advanced from level one (supermarket crap) to level two, but far too many of them are stuck at Manchego, St. Andre, Cave Aged Gruyere, Taleggio, or yep, Humboldt Fog rather than moving deeper into the cheese case and discovering the wonders that await them.  I understand the reluctance.  A wine or beer that doesn’t agree with your preferences is still an alcoholic beverage.  A washed rind cheese that is past its prime is for most people just a smelly mess.

Rob and Robin’s article whether in print or in the nifty slide show via the Grub St. link, offers people a solid checklist of other cheeses they should be checking out.  It’s like a road map into level three.

I’d say the fact that I’ve had far more customers in the last week ask about Winnimere than complain about the price of my Roquefort is a solid sign that a change is gonna come.

Posted in beer, cheese, culinary, food, foodie, whiskey, wine | Leave a comment

March 4 at Gastronomie 491, Winter Warmers: Cheese and Beer Pairings

New Yorkers rarely arrive at a consensus on anything, but I think there’s more than general agreement that this winter is brutally cold.  There are few better way to combat the cold than with great pairings of  cheese and beer.

Crooked Stave Hop SavantPlease join us  March 4, we will switch the beverage to beer and offer six dynamic pairings of cheese and beer.  Maggie Fuller of 12% Imports, possibly the leading importer of small producer craft beer, will select and discuss beverages from her amazing portfolio and I’ll match them with great cheeses and a topical joke or two.  Tickets are $20 and available via this link, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/581314

Gastronomie 491 is located at 491 Columbus Avenue between 83rd and 84th.  Both events figure to run until a little after 8, just enough time to shop for your favorite cheeses and then shop from our beer case which is next to the cheese case.  We hope to see you for some amazing pairings.

For more information contact me at thejoyofcheese@gmail.com

Posted in beer, cheese, culinary, food, foodie, Fromage of the Day FoD, gourmet, Upcoming Events, whiskey, wine | Leave a comment

Fromage of the Day, 02.18.14: Hoch Ybrig

Hoch YbrigFromage of the Day, 02.18.14: Hoch Ybrig.  Nutty, grassy and malty, this raw cow’s milk cheese is from Switzerland.  It pairs wonderfully with your favorite Nebbiolo, a Local Option Morning Wood, a Castanon Cider, or a Macallan 30.  The next Joy of Cheese event is a wine and cheese pairing February 25th at Gastronomie 491.  For details visit, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/581263

Posted in beer, cheese, culinary, food, foodie, Fromage of the Day FoD, gourmet, news, Upcoming Events, whiskey, wine | Leave a comment

The Joy of Cheese and Gastronomie 491 Present The Winter Warmers Series

New Yorkers rarely arrive at a consensus on anything, but I think there’s more than general agreement that this winter is brutally cold.  There are few better way to combat the cold than with great pairings of cheese and wine or (and, if you prefer) great pairings of cheese and beer.  On two upcoming Tuesdays, Gastronomie 491 will offer a night of each.

Please join us February 25th at 7 for the first of our Winter Warmers series, which will offer six delicious pairings of wine and cheese.  Nikolai Santurian, the new owner of West Side Wine, the amazing boutique wine shop, just a few doors down from Gastronomie will select and discuss the wines.  I’ll choose and introduce the cheeses.  Tickets are $20 and available via this link, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/581263

Crooked Stave Hop SavantOn March 4, we will switch the beverage to beer and offer six dynamic pairings of cheese and beer.  Maggie Fuller of 12% Imports, possibly the leading importer of small producer craft beer, will select and discuss beverages from her amazing portfolio and I’ll match them with great cheeses and a topical joke or two.  Tickets are $20 and available via this link, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/581314

Gastronomie 491 is located at 491 Columbus Avenue between 83rd and 84th.  Both events figure to run until a little after 8, just enough time to shop for your favorite cheeses and then either brave the chill to West Side Wine, a few doors to our south, or shop from our beer case which is next to the cheese case.  We hope to see you for some amazing pairings.

Posted in beer, cheese, culinary, food, foodie, gourmet, news, Upcoming Events, whiskey, wine | Leave a comment

Fromage of the Day, 01.20.14: L’Amuse

L'AmuseFromage of the Day, 01.20.14: L’Amuse.  Tangy, salty and sweet, this aged gouda is from Santaport du Noord Holland.  It pairs with your favorite  Single Malt Scotch from Islay,  an Omnipollo Fatamorgana, a Vincent Sauvestre Chablis, or a Castanon Cider.  The next Joy of Cheese event is a cheese and wine pairing at Premier Cru on the 21st.  Details are here, http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/514271.

Posted in beer, cheese, culinary, food, foodie, Fromage of the Day FoD, gourmet, Upcoming Events, whiskey, wine | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Fromage of the Day, 01.16.14: Montgomery’s Cheddar

montgomerycutFromage of the Day, 01.16.14: Montgomery’s Cheddar.  Complex, earthy and sharp, this is one of THE cornerstone classic cheddar from England.  It could make you forget that Americans make cheddar.  Monty’s pairs with your favorite Nebbiolo, an Evil Twin Christmas Eve in a New York City Hotel Room, a Four Roses Small Batch, or a Farnum Hill Dry Cider.  If it was a Rolling Stones tune it would “Satisfaction,” yeah it’s that fundamental.  The next Joy of Cheese event is a cheese and wine pairing at Premier Cru on the 21st.  Details are here, http://www.localwineevents.com/events/detail/514271.

Posted in beer, cheese, culinary, food, foodie, Fromage of the Day FoD, gourmet, news, Upcoming Events, whiskey, wine | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fromage of the Day, 01.14.14: Blu del Moncenisio

blu di MoncenisioFromage of the Day, 01.14.14: Blu del Moncenisio.  Creamy, smooth and earthy, this cow’s milk blue is from far northern Italy.  It pairs well with your favorite Chianti Classico, a Tournay Trippel, an Elmer T. Lee, or an Eve’s Cidery cider.  If it was a Tortoise recording, it would be TNT, bright and diverse.  The next Joy of Cheese event Thursday the 16th at the 92nd St. Y.  It will feature particularly strong beers and great cheeses to match.  For ticket information, visit http://www.92y.org/tickets/production.aspx?performanceNumber=99854&utm_source=92Y_HP&utm_medium=cal_buy&utm_campaign=Institutional

Posted in beer, cheese, culinary, food, foodie, Fromage of the Day FoD, Upcoming Events, whiskey, wine | Leave a comment