Making Cheese in a Tropical Setting, A Visit to Quesos Monte Azul in Chimirol de Rivas, Costa Rica

When we have visited Costa Rica in the past, we noticed that most of the cheese here falls into the “fresh category” but never really put much thought into why that might be. We usually just chalked it up to which foods are popular here and that a wedge of hard, funky cheese didn’t really fit in. Once we discovered the Monte Azul brand of cheese as something more relatable to our palates and one that was possible to pair with wine, we found out the information we had been missing. Cheese is different in Costa Rica for good reason! It just so happened that Monte Azul was near where we were staying so we arranged for a visit there. Our entry will share the things we learned that day. Read More…

Sparkling Wines and Cheeses, as we begin our California Wine Adventure

We continue through the month of February with more sparkling wine! We did this tasting with Always Five Star (Pam) and her husband, John, during our trip out to California. Their home on Seal Beach was our first stop in the state. And really who else would you expect us to drink sparkling wine with? They already had a cheese shop picked out for us to visit, Cheese Addiction. Sounds right up my alley! We didn’t need an occasion to eat cheese and drink sparkling wine but it just so happened that Pam hit 10k Instagram followers while we were there! Let the celebrating begin. Read More…

Co-hosting #WiningHourChat with Chris from Wine101 Hamden

We had such a good time the first time I was the guest on WiningHourChat, that Li, Maggie and Cara asked if I’d like to do it again. We had the idea to do it sometime in the Fall and I already new I’d be in New England then. This got me thinking that Chris from Wine 101 Hamden is also in New England and that we could cohost the chat. And so it began! Read More…

Wine And Cheese Surprises in Silicon Valley

When we arrived in San Carlos, CA, for Labor Day weekend, there was no question in anyone’s mind that we’d be enjoying lots of wine and cheese in the days to come. Our friend Kristy, a new mom, had been counting the days until we arrived since her wine drinking had been on hiatus during her “mommy to be” days. She planned a grand wine and cheese feast to start out the festivities with 4 cheeses and a bottle of rosé. Maria and Neil were ready! Such a delicious evening! Read More…

Kathy & Gale host Wine and Cheese night for the third time!

Cheeselovers Day is only a few days away. What better way to celebrate than with a pairing of 4 wines and 4 cheeses! We did the tasting for this entry back in the summer during our visit to Lake Erie Wine Country. One of our favorite things about wine and cheese in this area is the Reverie Creamery and Market in Mayville, NY. They have such a great selection of not only their own cheeses but many of the big hitters too. We’ve made a trip out to this shop a few times along with our annual wine tasting voyage around the lake. Actually the tradition now includes the wine tastings, the visit to the cheese shop, and a group tasting with family. Read More…

Dracaena Wines Cabernet Franc and Lazy Lady Farm Duet Cheese

This was the last bottle of 2015 Cabernet Franc by Dracaena Wines, and we got to pair it with some fancy cheese from Vermont! We purchased this bottle of wine direct from Lori during our visit out to Paso Robles back in the summer, . I knew I’d want to find a special cheese to pair with it so I hung on to the bottle for a bit. Since we travel full-time and have no wine cellar, we decided to send it off to my mom and enjoy it in New England in a couple months. Early on in our visit to New England, we planned a trip out to Vermont and we knew we’d find a nice cheese there. We purchased the Lazy Lady Farm duet cheese at our first stop of the day, Grafton Village Store. Grafton, VT not only has a cool cheese shop, there is also a covered bridge, tons of foliage, and an old library. We enjoyed so much wine during the Summertime, that we were happy to have this bottle saved for a later day. Without further ado, the pairing of Dracaena Wines Cabernet Franc and Lazy Lady Farm Duet Cheese. Read More…

Vinebox 3 with Campo cheese

Have you been following through our gift subscription to VineBox? Well this is our last entry of the 3-month subscription. Did you miss our introduction explaining Vinebox? http://wineandcheesefriday.com/vinebox-shipment-one/ We’ve really enjoyed this service and might even start it back up again if we end up staying at the same address for more than a week. Today’s entry has all French wines; one white wine, 2 red wines and another North Carolina cheese by Boxcarr Handmade Cheese. Read More…

Johnson Estate Vineyard Walk & Brunch, Westfield, NY

Neil’s mom, Linda, works at a vineyard in New York, so while we were planning our trip to the Erie, PA area we made reservations to attend the brunch at Johnson Estate. Although we’ve visited the Lake Erie Wine Trail a handful of times, we’ve never done an official vineyard tour there. I was so excited to learn about some of the grapes local to the area and what a bonus to have brunch and a wine tasting included!
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Garnacha y Valdeon, Spanish Wine and Cheese pairing with @JustTheBottle

When I was approached to be the guest on Just the Bottle we talked through a few ideas of what the theme would be. I had recently done two Spanish wine and Spanish cheese pairings, (http://wineandcheesefriday.com/rioja-with-sheep-cheese-a-little-piece-of-spain/ and http://wineandcheesefriday.com/white-rioja-and-goat-cheese-log/) that were well matched, so I suggested the idea. Christina, the hostess, happily agreed since she is a fan of Spanish wines. This was our chance to get better acquainted with a new region for wine and cheese. We’ve had Grenache from California and quite a few blue cheeses but neither one from Spain so when we came up with the idea of Garnacha and Valdeon, it was settled. Read More…

Wine Tasting in Pennsylvania 2018

As we began planning our time in Pennsylvania, I knew we’d take our annual trip out to the wineries with Neil’s cousin Diane. I created a list of all the places we’ve visited in previous years as well as some of the brands that had been shared with us at picnics and dinners. Then I consulted the Lake Erie Wine Country website, my go-to guide when we come here. The wine trail goes up and down Lake Erie through Pennsylvania and New York. This year I chose two wineries in Pennsylvania within 10-15 minutes from where we were staying as I figured this year could be more of a relaxed wine tasting trip. The first winery was Presque Isle Wine Cellars, which was not only close by but also their website suggested you could bring a picnic lunch and sit near the creek (locals pronounce this “crick”). The second winery, Penn Shore Winery and Vineyards, http://pennshore.com, also made note of relaxing with a glass of wine as you take in the vineyard views. Sounds like just the break we could use! Read More…