The Joy of Cheese September Events

The Joy of Cheese Announces a Sheepy September

Sheep’s milk cheeses are among the most readily overlooked culinary delights.  Part of it is that the two best known sheep’s milk cheeses are the very salty Romano and the very peppery Roquefort.  Their aggressive flavors are the opposite of most sheep’s milk cheeses, which typically offer subtle, nuanced pleasures.

Sheep’s milk is fattier than cow or goat’s milk thus their flavors tend move in a very logical and accessible sequence.  They start buttery, finish with a hint of sea salt and in between, well that’s where the magic lies.  Many offer deeply herbal overtones and aspects of honey or vanilla.  They are remarkably versatile cheeses pairing equally well with red and white wines and many beers.

We will focus on sheep’s milk cheeses in four of our five events this month.  But before we labor the details, I’d like to call attention to the expanded Joy of Cheese web presence.  There is now a Word Press blog and Facebook page (yes, please “like” it), each offering a daily segment called Fromage of the Day, wherein we take a great hand crafted cheese, define it in a sentence, pair it in a sentence and then offer a sentence comparing it to a cultural artifact (i.e. if it was a Joni Mitchell song it would be… because…).  The up-to-date schedule is as always at

Forthwith, here are the events.

September 14 at 7:30 at d.b.a Brooklyn, 113 N. 7th St. (between Berry & Wythe): Pecorinos, Pyrenees, and Pilsners.
Yes, mind your P’s. This tasting will focus on a delightful series of sheep cheeses made in or inspired by the Basque and Tuscan traditions, and they will be paired with cool, crisp Pilsners. I’ll present seven extraordinary cheeses, and Ray Deter, owner of d.b.a will present seven Pilsners that we have chosen to match them. It will be a fun way to learn about both. The event will last till around 8:45. Tickets are $25 and available via Brown Paper Tickets,

September 15 at 7:30 at Culturefix, 9 Clinton St. (at Houston): Red, White & Beer.
Firm sheep’s milk cheeses are remarkably versatile when it comes to pairing with beverages and we will put seven of them to the test at this Joy of Cheese Workshop event. Each attendee will receive sample sizes of a red wine, a white wine and a beer, then they will be encouraged to test each out with six fantastic sheep cheeses and see which beverages pair best with them.   (There will be a seventh cheese, but that’s the mystery cheese and separate from the pairing endeavor). Tickets for this event are $30, which includes the samplings of beverages, and available via Brown Paper Tickets,

September 21 at 7:30 at The Clerkenwell, 49 Clinton St. (between Stanton and Rivington): Spain v. Portugal
Two great cheese making nations, nine amazing cheeses. At this event we will offer four cheeses from each country in side by side comparisons and see who comes out on top (the ninth cheese is that pesky mystery cheese). Vegas oddsmakers say the attendees are favored to win. Tickets are $25 attendees pay for their beverages separately. Tickets are available at BPT,

Then we are holding two events as part of New York City Craft Beer Week.

September 28 at 7:30 at d.b.a Brooklyn, 113 N. 7th St. (between Berry & Wythe) Pretty Things v. Funky Cheese.
Okay not all of these cheeses here will be of sheep’s milk nor will they be necessarily Spanish or Portuguese, but they will be delicious and funky and they should pair nicely with the beers of the Pretty Things Brewery in Cambridge Massachusetts. I’ll present seven cheeses and Ray Deter will present seven PT beers chosen to match them. Tickets are $30 and available at BPT,

September 30 at 7:30 at Stella Manhattan Bistro, 213 Front St. (between Peck Slip and Beekman): Belgian Beers and Iberian Cheeses.
It’s a natural! The crisp sweetness of many Belgian beers makes them an ideal match for the salty, vegetal flavor profiles of Spanish and Portuguese cheeses. At this event, I’ll present eight cheeses and Dave Herman (Porchetta, Spuyten Duyvil and a general all around beer authority) will present eight Belgian or Belgian inspired beers to match. Tickets are $30 and available at BPT,

In October our theme will be BOLD.

For more information, I’m at


About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
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