Monday, August 06, 2012

Wine, Cheese and Food, Oh My!

Last month LW and I went to McCrossen's for July's wine/cheese/food event. We sat at the bar and enjoyed a nice range of Rieslings and other treats. It began with a glass of Riesling, S.A. Prum "Essence," 2011.  My notes on this opening wine were spare, but included my observation that it had a little fruit to it and an effervescent apple aspect to it.
Our first cheese was the Edel de Cleron, an oozy French cheese that I much enjoyed, which was paired with a Reuscher-Haart, Piesporter, 2010. I noted that this second wine was much sweeter, kind of like my initial stereotype of what a Riesling was before L. of McCrossen's began her campaign of educating the likes of me into the subtler varieties of the grape. Sort of a third cousin twice removed from a Moscato. The cheese had a little bit to it, and yet a smooth finish in the end.
R., the cheesemonger of the event, seems to have a fig tree in his each food course had a definite fig presence. I know it's pretty blasphemous, but I'm not actually as smitten with figs and the majority of people who love food. That said, I still enjoyed the arugula-fig salad with fennel marmalade and vincotto.
Next up was a Rippleton sheep's cheese from New York, which I believe may have been the first cheese from this farm to be out in the world...but I may have gotten that confused with some other cheese altogether. It was paired with a Fritz Hasselbach, 2008. The cheese was solid. The wine had a mineral/lime element to it. I kept giggling at the idea of a person coming up to a wheel of cheese and exclaiming 'Sir Rippleton, I presume!'
For the food element of this course we got a "White Gazpacho" with figs, candied walnuts and grapes. When McCrossen's first posted the menu for this event on Facebook, I inquired on exactly how a gazpacho could be white. T. chimed in saying that it was a mix of a number of things, all of which were not actually food ingredients. I believe there was a good helping of failure in it, according to him. So when we first arrived I did try to get a little more information from him, but T. was in fine form and mixed the truth of gazpacho's origin story (bread and water and maybe almonds) with no actual information about what was going into this particular version. Eventually it was allowed that it included honey dew, almonds, bread, cucumbers and lemon or lime zest. It was definitely a step up from gruel, which was T.'s smarty pants answer at first. That said, I think that I may just prefer gazpacho the old fashioned way.
Somehow I missed taking a photograph of the Tomme d'Aydius, a goat's cheese from France that I noted had a "semi-hard, crackling rind." Make of that what you will. The wine was Hexamer, Meddersheimer Rehingrafenber 'Quarzit' Reserve, 2010. Try to say that one time fast. Now three times. This had a little bubble to it when it hit the tongue. The food was a piece of sauteed foie gras with pickeld figs laid across a 'brioche soldier.' I am one of those people who almost always loves foie gras and so this was a hit for me.
Next up was a nice slice of Birchrun Hills Farm Eve's Apple Blue, to which I believe R. did something extra fancy. But now I'm totally blanking on it. Wrapped it in fig leaves? Maybe. The wine was a Karl Erbes Saptlese "Urziger Wurzgarten, 2010. My  notes on the wine were simple "sweet, sweet, sweet."
The final food course was grilled pork with blue cheese baked figs and mint. Succulent, juicy tasty pork. The blue cheese/fig pairing may have been my favorite of the fig aspects.
And that's a wrap. Afterwards we went on our merry way to dart night, where my team lost.


Huckleberry said...

I'd love to go to one of these! Plus, I do love figs. Especially with gorgonzola cheese, lightly grilled.

And in case you *really* want to know (which, I guess, you might not):

Rehingrafenber is usually spelled Rheingrafenberg ("Mountain of the Rhinecounts" in an overly literal translation; wikipedia says that the "Rheingrafen" were a noble family and then loses me.)

cc said...

They are always fun! I may have just typed that name too is a doozy for an American eye (we don't have quite so many syllables ha ha).