A while back I entered a contest on Facebook sponsored by the famous cheese shop in the village: Murray’s Cheese . The contest was to write why you wanted to go to a cheese festival in Vermont for the weekend with cheese experts from Murray’s. So my entry was about how I’d like to take my sous chef on a special outing to reward her great efforts…blah, blah, blah. I didn’t win the trip but came in second and was awarded my choice of a cheese class in the store. We chose a date and ended up cancelling due to a schedule conflict.
Ultimately, we chose the course entitled: RED HOT: SPANISH RED WINES AND CHEESE, for Friday the 16th. Turns out it was like an early Fall evening and we were very excited to be attending the class, tasting wonderful cheeses and the bonus was the Spanish Red Wines!
The instructors were Kerin Auth and Waldemar Albrecht. Kerin owns Tinto Vino a wine shop specializing in Spanish Wines. Waldemar is a fromager at large and previously worked at Artisanal a restaurant in NYC.
Each of them were excellent presenters, but together they were a dynamic duo, regular super heroes with vast knowledge and enough friendly banter to keep it interesting and not ever dry. They kept the class moving answering questions, acknowledging comments, always with an approachable manner.
We arrived early and got choice seats towards the front of the room and at the end of the tables as we are both left handed and didn’t have to worry about bumping elbows with other classmates. The cheeses were sliced and placed on cold slates in front of us with a warning not to indulge until the class started. They looked great and the fragrance they exuded was even more tempting. Then one by one they poured the wines into 5 of the six glasses in front of the cheese. The last glass was left empty, which made it very curious. Talk about temptation–red wines with great bouquets wafting from the glasses! We sipped some water and patiently waited for the even to start.
When the class started Kerin explained why we had an empty glass it was for the Cava sparkling wine to enjoy at the beginning of the course. Our experience with Cavas was not favorable as we have enjoyed Proseco for years and were anxious to try Cavas. This was a lovely pink bubbly with a light effervescent quality. We liked it very much. The next four were earthy reds that we mostly enjoyed with two being outstanding. In the list below #3 & #4 were our faves. The two we liked best were both oakey and minerally our favorite flavors in medium bodied reds. Amazingly cheese friendly! The last wine was a sweet syrupy dessert wine, after a meal with some of the wonderful blue cheese it was paired with it would be a winner. After so much wine and nibbles of cheese not so much!
- Torreoria Roasado NV ~ D.O. Cava ~ Cataluna
- Clos Lojen 2008 ~ D.O. Manchuela ~ The Meseta
- Raspay 2004 ~ D.O. Alicante ~ The Levant
- Pico Cuadro 2007 ~ D.O. Rivera del Duero ~ Castilla y Leon
- Augustus Cabernet Franc 2009 ~ D.O. Penedes ~ Cataluna
- Olivares Dulce 2006 ~ D.O. Jumilla ~ The Levant
The cheeses were outstanding didn’t dislike any of them:
- Monte Enebro–from Spain–a great goat cheese, perfect with the Cava
- Pyrenees Brebis–made in the Basque country–Pasteurized sheeps milk cheese, firm yet buttery
- Ascutney Mountain–Southern Vermont–Organic Jersey Cow’s Milk Alpine-style similar to Gruyere, not as sharp
- Gruyere–from Raw Brown Swiss cow milk from Switzerland, perfect
- Montgomery’s Cheddar–An English raw cow milk cheddar from a small family farm, crumbly like a parm
- Rouge River Blue–from Oregon made with pastured, raw summer milk very small production, perfect texture
We thoroughly enjoyed the class it was very well run, Murray’s staff were completely guest-driven and also very knowledgeable. We’ll definitely be back for more, probably a cave tour next time! Thank you, Murray’s for a wonderful evening!