Beer and Cheese Pairing Highlights July 20-24

coupoleI didn’t blog much about the beer and cheese pairings this week because a lot of it was tried and true stuff. Yes, the sweet florals of the Stillwater Debutante went nicely with the light farmhouse funk of La Tur. And yes, the triple cream brie was creamy enough and had a good presence of fungal and root vegetable flavors to pair with the malty character and floral hops of the Apostelbrau Bavarian Pale Ale.

But there were two pairings that stood out. Monday night, it was around 7:30, just enough time for one more pairing when I saw my coworker grimacing behind the cheese counter. I looked more closely and realized he was trimming pieces of Grayson. He absolutely hated the barnyard aromas from the cheese. I love that stuff, and fondly recall another time he was grimacing trying to put Epoisses out for taste. I grabbed the cheese, put it on the board with a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and watched ecstatic mayhem break out. Grayson isn’t as soft as Epoisses but I figured the clientele would be up for it. I put it on the board with Off Color Troublesome as had some leftover from a previous pairing. With one exception, a guy who picked it up brought it close to his mouth and said “no thanks” and disposed of the cheese, everyone loved it and my coworker was furthered dismayed. We sold the other pieces of Grayson meaning he’d have to cut a new wheel. Well, you’ll note I don’t call him the other cheesemonger.

Friday evenings are always fun. The tempo is slower and the clientele have typically shifted into weekend mode. We’ve brought in a lot of new beers and ciders and knowing that I had a Vermont Creamery Coupole to sample, I chose the newest cider, Slyboro Black Currant, an apple cider from Northern Spy apples with black currant juice added. I had tried the cider at a tasting of other ciders and it seemed a tad sweet. OTOH, we brought in Slyboro’s Hidden Star cider a few months ago and it moves really well. I figured the tang of the cheese and the sweetness of the cider would go well. As it turned out the cider didn’t taste so sweet on its own (in a sequence with European ciders is a different matter). And it’s color made it look like a sparkling rose, which segued perfectly into the talking point that cider is essentially wine made from apples. Too many of our clientele still think of cider as something their children drink. The pairing went well and even though both items were a lot for an impulse purchase (the cider is $17.99 and the cheese is $15.99), several units of each left the building.


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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