Thursday, October 28, 2010

Connecticut Wines and Artisanal Cheeses

I'm a little late to the table in announcing this item, since it took place almost three weeks ago. Sorry about that. But, it's amazing to see the progress Connecticut wines are making! And again, it's nice to see a state where the state government gets it, and partners with its agricultural interestes and wine interests.

Nutmeg State’s First Cheese and Wine Festival Arrives Next Weekend
Published: Thursday, October 07, 2010
By Jaime Ferris

Housatonic, Beltane Farm Chevre with dill and Connecticut-made wine from Walker Road Vineyard. Photograph courtesy of Artisan Made-Northeast

...The face of farming has changed in Connecticut, shifting from dairy farming to niche farms that produce organic crops, meats, eggs and milk, many of which will be represented next weekend. Among them will be Beltane Farm of Lebanon, specializing in artisanal goat milk cheese, including an award-winning fresh Chevre, French-style ripened cheeses and feta. Ladies of Levita Road Farm, also in Lebanon, concentrates on fresh cow milk cheese and yogurt, while Cato Corner Farm, a small family farm in Colchester will bring its raw cow milk aged farmhouse cheeses, including Bridgid’s Abbey, Hooligan, Drunk Monk, a six-month-old Dutch farmstead cheese, and Vivace. A new cheesemaker, Woodbridge Farm in Salem, rounds out the cheesy quartet with its own raw cow’s milk and washed rind cheeses.

Cheeses of the Northeast, from Vermont’s sharp cheddars to New York’s goudas, will be introduced by Artisan Food Store, while guests will have the opportunity to match their favorite cheeses with wines from Hopkins Vineyard, Jones Winery in Shelton and Walker Road Vineyard in Woodbury. Don’t fear wine pairing, Mr. Camm said. Visitors will be given a basic understanding in this very precise process.

“People are easily intimidated by wine pairing, but we hope to provide them the basics,” Mr. Camm said, noting that his wife, Sally, is a certified sommelier. “It is our hope they will then go on to share what they have learned with family and friends.”

“We’ve tasted Connecticut’s Beltane Farm Chevre with a Hopkins Vineyard sparkling wine; Vermont’s Gore-Dawn-Zola with a glass of port from DiGrazia Vineyard [in Brookfield]; Connecticut-made, Vivace Bambino with Jones Vineyard’s pinot gris … . We are inspired by the quality of small-batch, artisan-made foods that we continue to discover in our area,” Mr. Camm states on the Artisan Made-Northeast Web site. “We have great respect for the food artisans’ focus on their craft and commitment to quality. Through their efforts, we get to experience a symphony of seasonal flavors that express the ‘terroir’ of a specific place.”

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