Wine and Cheese for the Thanksgiving Table

This Thanksgiving, we offer you these recommendations for Biodynamic, organic and LOCAL wine selections to pair with New England Farmstead cheeses.

Borealis
A blend of the “Northern Whites” (Riesling, Muller Thurgau, Pinot Gris and Gewurtztraminer), this is a versatile food friendly wine with a floral and fruity nose of apples, tropical fruit and some honey. Off-dry with forward moving acidity, this is a certain crowd pleaser that ranks top of the list with our staff  recommendations. Montinore is a certified practicing Biodynamic vineyard from Forest Grove, Oregon. $12.99

Pair the Borealis with either of these offerings from Bonnieview Farm (Craftsbury, VT):

  • Moss End Blue: Moss End Blue takes its inspiration from the tangy spice and cooling sweetness of the greatest of the world’s sheep milk blue cheese:  Roquefort.  It maintains a rustic cave aged rind, which imparts a delicate mustiness to its balanced salt, grass and mineral character.  Try this one with figs and almonds after the meal, paired with great conversation and a warm hearth.
  • Coomersdale Sheep’s Milk Cheese: Neil Urie is a 4th generation farmer who raises sheep in the Northeast Kingdom.  His Scottish heritage and love for raising healthy and vital animals has informed his cheese making process to the point of his making some of the most desired and hard to find cheeses in New England. 

Chateau Tire Pé-DieM 2009
An unoaked red Bordeaux blend (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc) fermented in cement tanks that features a medium body, soft tannins and good acidity. Having a glossy ruby hue, this wine packs aromas of ripe red fruit of red currants and plums, hints of juniper and a faint touch of cedar. Nimble in the mouth, this wine pairs well with a wide array of food, such as those found around the Thanksgiving dinner table. Chateau Tire Pé is a practicing organic vineyard from Bordeaux, France. $13.99

Pair the Pé-DieM with the Bonne Bouche from Vermont Creamery (Brookfiled, VT).
This tiny ash covered goat cheese may be the next big thing to come out of Vermont.  Already cleaning up national cheese awards (ACS 1st place), the quality of the milk, consistency of the wheels, and indulgent texture is a match that is irresistible.  Spice, acid, salt and cream all mix in your mouth with a wonderfully chewy bite that makes devotees out of skeptics.  This is the flagship cheese of one of the pioneers of US cheese making.  Not to be missed.

KEEP IT LOCAL WINE/CHEESE PAIRING

Westport Rivers Brut RJR 2006
A ‘traditional method’ sparkling wine with a nice round body, frothy effervescence offering bright fruit aromas of pear, apple, honey and yeast. The mouthwatering acidity will keep folks asking for more throughout the Thanksgiving meal. Exceptional care is given to this wine: after several years of aging, these bottles deliver high quality sought after in French Champagnes. Keep it LOCAL this holiday and serve Massachusetts’ finest (Westport, MA). $28.99

Pair the Brut RJR with these cheeses from Vermont:

  • Vermont Shepherd (Westminster, VT): Another very special and classic aged sheep milk cheese, this one from the Vermont Shepherd Farm. This wheel maintains a good amount of cream and moisture, lending a wonderfully curdled almost yogurt-like acidity to its paste.  Paired with a good salt balance and musty finish, you get a cheese that is extremely versatile yet not easily overwhelmed by competing food and drink notes.  Serve this cheese at room temperature, paired alongside a sparkling beverage. A match worthy of your most cherished company. 
  • Vermont Dandy, New England Sheep’s Milk Cheese (Townsend, VT): Anne and Bob Works of Peaked Mountain Farm are pioneers of VT sheep’s milk cheese. Their Vermont Dandy is a well regarded and rare New England farmhouse cheese that has been enjoyed for decades by discerning palettes and adventurous eaters alike.  Sheep milk cheese is prized for its characteristic depth of flavor:  Cheese from sheep milk has a distinctive mammalian or “farmy” tang that is prized by dairy enthusiasts.  Vermont Dandy presents a stunning mix of lactic sweetness, spice of grass and clover, melt in your mouth texture, balanced salt, and its signature “trampled hay” finishing flavor.

The notes above were prepared by Morgan Ward and Jeff Morin, our cheese and wine experts at City Feed and Supply.

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