If last week was all about the funk, this week is all about the blues—blue cheeses that is! Blue cheeses are often the creamy, crumbly clutch players on any cheese board, combining tangy mineral notes with earthiness, and fruit, and even nutty flavors.
What makes a blue?
Let’s start at the beginning. All blue cheeses are made by mixing salt and a mold, usually Penicillium roquefortii (a relative of the stuff that makes the life-saving antibiotic), into the milk. Occasionally, the mold is pierced into the curds using a needle or mixed in, but the result is always the same. The Penicillium strains cause the characteristic blue to green colored veins that run throughout the finished cheese, and enzymes contained within the mold and the milk combine to make amazing flavors. Strong, subtle, or even spicy, with such a wide spectrum of flavor, blue cheeses can pair with a host of wines – that’s where we come in. Here’s our guide to pairing some of our marvelous moldy cheeses from Provisions with wines that will make them shine.
Stilton, a pasteurized cow's milk cheese from England, is one of the world's most renowned blue cheeses. Classic pairings for this include dessert reds and whites, but even lighter reds can work wonders when combined with this crumbly blue.
Made by American cheesemaking icon Chris Roelli, Dunbarton Blue is Roelli Cheese Haus' (WI) flagship cheese, and an unforgettable American original. For this one, look for something bright with a bit of sweetness to complement the cheese’s spicy flavor.
Named after Cayuga Lake in upstate New York, Cayuga Blue is made exclusively from Lively Run Dairy's own goat's milk! This 2017 American Cheese Society Awards winner has deep blue veins and complex mineral, mushroomy flavors. This one calls for lighter, earthier reds.
After almost 12 months of aging in their caves, the Rogue Creamery team carefully wraps each wheel in organic and biodynamic Syrah grape leaves that have been soaked in pear brandy. The result is a creamy, bright cheese with vanilla, woodsy, fruity, and even slightly bacony notes. A bold, powerful, and savory wine is key for this one!