Manchego Cheese, A Delicious Cheese to Pair with Wine

Pair Mancheo cheese with wine!

My favorite to-go-to cheese for pairing with wine is the Manchego cheese sold at our local Costco store. I discovered Manchego a couple of years ago and find that its flavorful but delicate taste pairs well with white or red wines. Some suggest pairing the cheese with Sherry. Manchego taste profile does not overpower the yummy taste of the wine.

Curious about the origins of Manchego cheese, my research provided some interesting information about Manchego:

  • Manchego is produced in the La Mancha region of Spain.
  • The cheese must be produced with milk from Manchega ewes.
  • Manchego may be made with unpasteurized or pasteurized milk.
  • Traditionally Manchego cheese is aged for six months to 24 months.
  • The rind of the cheese is a dark gray color with a slight zigzag weave.
  • The natural rind of the cheese can be washed, covered with paraffin  and dipped in olive oil. Other clear materials that are approved may also be used on the rind.
  • Manchego cheese has  Spain’s “Denominación de Origen” protection.
  • The EU has designated Protected Designation of Origin for Manchego cheese.
  • Studies have shown that Manchego cheese was made back during BC’s Bronze Age.

The length of time for aging the Manchego cheese results in different flavors.

Decorative Manchego cheese rind

A few weeks ago, we served Manchego cheese with wine. Our guests decided that the rind on the cheese was edible; later an internet search revealed that the rind of the Manchego cheese is considered inedible. Fortunately our guests suffered no ill effects from eating the rind; however, I would not recommend eating the Manchego rind.


Finger Lakes Cheese Trail

Have you heard about the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail? The trail consists of eight destination farms including: Dutch Hill Creamery, Engelbert Farms, Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery, Jerry Dell Farm, Muranda Cheese Co., Shtayburne Farm, Side Hill Acres Goat Farm and Sunset View Creamery.

If you are planning to visit any of these cheese makers, plan extra time to visit some of the many wineries in the well-known Finger Lakes region.

Cheers, Kathy

While in New Orleans for the Super Bowl, Stop at St. James Cheese Shop

If you will be in New Orleans for the Super Bowl, be sure to check out St. James Cheese Shop. The shop is located at 5004 Prytania Street.

The shop offers a wide variety of cheeses as well as offering sandwiches and other menu items to go. Before opening St. James Cheese Shop in New Orleans, the owners, Richard and Danielle Sutton, worked at a renowned cheese shop in London’s St. James neighborhood.

Cheese lovers will discover a variety of cheeses from around the world. In addition to cheeses from several states, cheese is also available from Germany, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland and Spain.

Check  out the St. James Cheese Shop website.

Note: I have not been there but it sounds wonderful for cheese lovers.

Cheers, Kathy


7 New Year’s Cheese Resolutions

Considering this is only the 4th day of 2013, there is still time to create a list of resolutions for the New Year. Below is a list of several cheese related suggestions to add to your 2013 resolutions. Enjoy!

1. Tour a local artisan creamery. Not all creameries are the same; check before you go to make certain the creamery produces cheese and that they offer tours.

2. Discover different artisanal cheeses. Each month try a different type.

3. Keep a cheese journal. As you try different types of cheese, keep notes including how you used the cheese, where the cheese was made and where you purchased it.

4. Make feta cheese at home using milk that is pasteurized at the minimum FDA requirements. (Most milk is pasteurized at much higher temperatures.)

5. Attend at least one cheese festival. Frequently cheese vendors will also be available at wine and food festivals.

6. Support your local farmer’s market by finding one that has locally made cheese.

7. Check cheese making websites for recipes to add to your personal cookbook.

Oregon State University Selling OSU Beaver Classic™ Cheese

Cheese produced by Oregon State University students is now available for purchase online.  The OSU Beaver Classic™ Cheese is an alpine-style cheese. The description of the cheese notes that the cheese is produced with milk from the Oregon State University’s dairy herd. The OSU Beaver Classic™ Cheese characteristics include “creamy, buttery and caramelized notes.”

The cheese is sold through their online site. The cheese packaged in 5.3 oz wedges is shipped on Mondays using flat package rates.

More information is available online. Check out the Oregon State Marketplace website for this special cheese.

How Old is That Cheddar Cheese?

Amazing decades old cheese has been discovered in Wisconsin. A very aged Cheddar cheese was discovered in a cheese shop that was about to close. In the Oconto cheese shop, the owner discovered several old boxes of cheese that had been obtained from County Line Cheese years earlier. These recently discovered cheeses include 28, 34 and 40 year old cheddars.

If you are a cheese lover, find out about the opportunity to taste some of these old cheeses at the Ultimate Cheese Flight at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart in Milwaukee on October 6.

For many more details read, Cheese lovers rejoice: Recently discovered 40-year-old cheddar to be sold by Barry Adams in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Wine Bloggers Conference Offers Argentine Food and Wine Pairing

Be sure to check out the blog written by Terry about the pairing of Argentine food and Wine. The appetizers were wonderful and appeared to be quite simple to make. One of my favorites was made with sweet potatoes, goat cheese and beets.

Terry’s blog features photos of these incredible food pairings. The blog is available at

Cheers! Kathy

Finally Success with Cheese Making

Our first attempt at cheese making had mixed results. We were told that Mozzarella was easy to make. It didn’t turn out well. It had the consistency of peanut butter. However we also made Ricotta from the leftover whey. That did turn out right and we enjoyed the Ricotta.

We decided to give our cheese making another try. This time we made Feta. One difference was the milk we used. On a recent visit to Trickling Springs Creamery in
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, we picked up a gallon of whole milk. Unlike milk sold in most stores, Trickling Springs heats their milk to slightly above government regulations. Most store brands of milk is heated to well over government regulations. The theory is pasteurizing to the government specs does not destroy the milk’s proteins and enzymes as does pasteurizing at much higher temperatures.

With milk in hand, we proceeded to make the Feta. Wow! It worked. The Feta turned out great. We also made Ricotta from the left over whey. It only made a couple tablespoons of Ricotta, but we think that is better than just throwing the whey out. Was this experience just luck?

We went to Mom’s Organic Market in Jessup, Maryland to purchase milk. This store’s milk is pasteurized and bottled at Trickling Springs Creamery. Our results were the same. We easily made about a pound of Feta cheese and a couple tablespoons of Ricotta. We are anxious to make some hard cheeses, but are waiting for cooler weather. The milk we used to make cheese seems to be a factor in how it turns out. We should try to milk Mozzarella from Trickling Springs Creamery milk.


Feta cheese

Vermont Cheesemakers Festival July 22 is Sold Out!

The Vermont Cheesemakers Festival on July 22 has sold out! In fact, it sold out by the end of June.  I imagine there are a good number of people disappointed they did not purchase their tickets early. Those who do have tickets for the 2012 festival will discover 40 plus cheesemakers, 20 wineries/breweries, 20 artisan food producers, 2 tasting seminars, 1 cooking show and 1 cheese making demo.

Anyone inerested in attending this event in 2013 should keep an eye on the website: Vermont Cheesemakers Festival website.