Here in Vermont, the calendar change to January means the beginning of a new year, new resolutions and lots and lots of cold temperatures. That cold weather is what gives Stowe its endless amounts of great skiing. After a long day on the slopes there’s absolutely nothing better than warming up around the fireplace with a nice glass of wine and there is no food that screams “VERMONT” more than our incredible cheeses. Here at Stowe Mountain Lodge we always have a variety of local artisanal cheeses to enjoy, but the best way to enjoy them is with the perfect bottle of wine. Our goal is to help you start your January just right with the perfect wine pairings for Vermont’s beautiful cheeses.
Jasper Hill Creamery Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese & Royal Tokaji “5 Puttonyos”
This is a pairing made in heaven. Jasper Hill starts with perfect raw cow’s milk and then ages it 4 months. The richness that the penicillium adds to the cheese is perfect for the Tokaji. A classic wine whose history dates back to the 17th century, Royal Tokaji features the natural sweetness of grapes that have been affected by botrytis, extremely similar to the penicillium and the cow’s milk. The 5 Puttonyos skews to the sweeter end of the spectrum but still has bright acidity that cuts into the delicious almost fudgy texture of the Bayley Hazen. This is the perfect way to end a perfect day in Vermont.
Bardwell Farm “Rupert” & Lo Fi “Jurassic Park” Chenin Blanc
“Rupert” is an absolutely incredible alpine-style cheese. Raw cow’s milk aged over 6 months leads to incredible sharpness and complexity. I love to pair this with some opposite flavors. Santa Barbara’s Jurassic Park is one of the United States’ premier vineyards creating complex grapes that Lo Fi winemaker Mike Roth does incredible things with. Lo Fi’s chenin blanc is incredibly funky. Bright and exciting with a deep richness that plays beautifully against the sharpness of the cow’s milk cheese, this is the kind of Chenin Blanc that will make you forget just how many tumbles you took today.
Von Trapp Farmstead “Oma” & Duplessis “Montmains” Premier Cru Chablis
This is another pairing where opposites really do attract. Oma is a creamy cheese made with organic cow’s milk which has been aged 90 days. This leads to a delicious buttery flavor with that “stinkiness” you want in a washed rind cheese. The most beautiful pairing to me is something crisp and bright and to me there isn’t much on Earth drinking as crisply as Lillian Duplessis’ Chablis. This is a wine with the perfect acidity to cut against the richness of the cheese. This Duplessis is like Goldilocks, not too oaky, not too metallic, just right for sitting next to a fire with a perfect cheese plate.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Tasting Notes for all the finest wine pairing choices!
- Tim Wallace