Friday, September 3, 2010

Beer and Cheese Sept 2nd

At first I was going to post that this was the last of three cheese classes held at The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton (, but Angie Ortmann, aka STLwinegirl (, gave me the heads up that there will be THREE more classes planned for the fall - one for France, Italy, and Spain!

I was a little nervous about this class because I don't have much of a beer palette. My preferences lean heavily towards the lighter beers, even more so than white wines, so it's hard going in knowing that I probably won't enjoy the tasting as much as I normally would. I find that beer does not have as much give when it comes to being influenced by food.

But the moment I walked in, I saw a familiar friend, Midnight Moon, waiting for me in the first slot. I even called it out from a few feet away! Now I was surprised that my favorite went first because I think MM has a little bite at the end and would have been paired with something stronger than the first beers...the lighter, Belgium wheat beers. It was actually a good pairing because it calmed down the citrus/spice flavors.

The second pairing featured a young, pecorino toscana and that was a real treat because I've never had a soft version like this before. I think of parmesean when I hear pecorino! I also didn't realize it's a sheep's milk either. Unfortnately, because this cheese was so soft and young, it didn't have the bite to keep up with brown ales that it was paired with. Angie was trying to pair the nutty, tangy flavor but I think an aged version would have held up its flavor a little better to the beer.

We moved on to the IPAs next so an English Cheddar was paired with it but once again, the cheese was just not sharp enough to stand up to the beer. I would have liked something with more bite again. But the cheddar was still good enough that I bought some later (to go with my Midnight Moon)! hehe

I didn't recognize the name, Fourme d'Ambert, so I was surprised when I got hit by a blue cheese. I usually expect a blue for the last pairing with a dessert wine, but this one was mixed with two barley wine beers. Now here, the blue cheese overpowered the beer but I'm overly sensitive to blues.

Most interesting was the double creme paired with a beer that tasted more like a Rose wine! The rich, creamy flavor really broke up the tartness of the "beer" and was probably my favorite pairing of the night, although the Midnight Moon definitely stood out as the best cheese by far.

Here are the pairings:

Midnight Moon
DePreof La Grande Blanche and Boulevard Two Jokers Double Wit

Pecorino Toscana
Sierra Nevada Tumbler Brown and Corsendonk Brown Ale

Barbers English Cheddar
Southern Tier 2XIPA and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid

Fourme d'Ambert
Amager Batch One Danish Barley Wine and Hofstetten Barley Wine

Fromage d' Affinois Double creme
Drie Fonteinen Oude Kriek