You are here
American Cheese and Wine Pairing
I've been traveling a lot these past couple of months and visiting cheesemakers wherever I've been. I continually shake my head at the extraordinary new cheeses being produced in the United States. I'll showcase those along with equally compelling American wines to teach cheese essentials (what you need to know to make cheese-buying simple) and the basics of cheese and wine pairing. Most of all, though, we'll just have fun tasting amazing cheeses and wines, many of which you probably won't have heard of.
Ferry Building Farmers' Market
I'll be cooking up a few cheesy recipes just in time for the holidays, using the late fall bounty and, of course, some of California's best cheeses. Come by, watch the demo, get a couple of delectable samples, take the recipes, and head out to the market for the ingredients so that you'll be able to make those same recipes at home. With the combination of cheese, cooking, farmers, and fresh-from-the-farm produce, I'm pretty sure life doesn't get much better than that.
First Annual Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival
If you thought the Dairy State was all about processed cheese, think again. Wisconsin is easily home to some of the nation's, indeed world's, best cheesemakers. This first-time event will showcase these cheesemakers, offering the public a rare opportunity to meet the cheesemakers and taste their cheeses all in one location. The two-day event also includes cheese tours, seminars, and special cheesemaker dinners. While some of the events are already sold out, the Meet the Cheesemaker evening alone is worth a trip to Madison.
Northern Italian Cheeses and Wines
Here's the good news: I'm teaming up once again with Italian wine maven Ceri Smith, owner of Biondovino wine shop in San Francisco to showcase the extraordinary cheeses and wines of northern Italy. The bad news is that I'm pretty sure the class is sold out. Nevertheless, there's always the waiting list, so give it a try.
Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting
In its sixth year, this extraordinary tasting opportunity is a can't-miss for anybody that loves wine, wants to learn more about it, wants to taste wines they've never had the chance to try, or all of the above. It's called the Top 100 because the wines being poured represent those that Wine & Spirits magazine has deemed to be the best 100 wines of the year. Some of SF's best restaurants will also be on hand offering small bites in between wine sips, including Flour + Water, Il Cane Rosso, Nettie's Crab Shack, RN74, and many others. Hmmmm... where's the cheese? Well, maybe next year. I'm not involved with this event other than as an attendee and therefore on my perennial hunt for great cheese wines, but it's such an amazing event that I wanted to include it here.
Nineteenth Annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Festival
Slow Food CHEESE
Every other year, Slow Food holds its CHEESE conference in Bra, Italy - the town where the Slow Food movement began. This is a beautiful event that takes over the entire small town of Bra. Producers of cheese from around the world attend and sample out their cheeses making it a memorable as well as educational event. And, Bra happens to be in the Piemonte region, home of Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto, Barbera and more, so you can add amazing wines to your Slow Food CHEESE experience too.
First Annual Vermont Cheesemaker Festival
I'm very excited to be a part of this first annual festival in Vermont. "I'll bring you the details as soon as I get them. Meantime, check out their site for some preliminary information.
With 1,200 members, the American Cheese Society's 26th Annual Conference is shaping up to be an amazing event. "Cheese in the Heart of Texas" is this year's conference theme, which is taking place in Austin, Texas. You can bet that there will be discussions about the state of the economy and how it relates to American cheese production. This is the conference to attend if you want to rub elbows with the Who's Who of the American cheese world. And the capper is the ACS Awards Ceremony and the Festival of Cheese, where you get to taste the award winners and, in fact, every cheese in all of the cheese categories (definitely a day when you want to fast before attending the Festival). Check out the ACS website for updates on the conference this spring.
Food & Wine Classic at Aspen
If it's June in Aspen, you can be pretty sure to find me there. Once again, I'll be at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this year leading the cheese seminars. And, I'm happy to be sharing the stage again with my good friend Brian Duncan from Chicago's Bin 36 (bin36.com). This year's themes: Great American Cheeses and The Cheese Course. I'll be bringing some amazing and little known new cheeses to the American Cheese table, while Brian and I will be focusing on slam-dunk pairings - those pairings that are sure to be a hit every time.
If you haven't already bought your pass, do so! You'll get to be part of the celebrations highlighting Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chefs as well as catch a glimpse and even possibly meet the winner of this season's Top Chef (my personal highlight since I'm a Top Chef freak). As if all of this weren't enough, the event is held in breathtakingly beautiful Aspen.
James Beard Foundation Awards Gala & Reception
This is the Oscars of the food industry, so if you're in New York, splurge and buy yourself a ticket. You'll get to see all the luminaries of the food world decked out in their finest and taste a bounty of amazing food prepared by chefs from coast to coast. This year's theme: Women in Food, which includes not only chefs but also winemakers, cheesemakers, and other artisans.
Duckhorn Vineyards Open House
I’m very excited to team up with the folks at Duckhorn Vineyards for their annual open house. I will be pairing the delicious wines from all three of their brands – Duckhorn Vineyards, Goldeneye, and Paraduxx – with the perfect cheese companions. The winery itself is absolutely beautiful now that they’ve added a vineyard view wrap-around porch where visitors can enjoy the great wine and food, and winemaker Bill Nancarrow will be on hand to do a guided tasting through some of their Library Wines. Come spend a glorious day in the wine country with some of the world’s best wines and cheeses. It’s gonna be great!
The 31st Annual Conference of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP)
On Friday, April 3, Dan James of James Ranch in Durango, Colorado www.jamesranch.net; Meg Cattell of Windsor Dairy in Windsor, Colorado www.windsordairy.com; and I will be presenting a tasting called "Say (Colorado) Cheese!" at this conference for food industry professionals. Colorado isn't top of mind when you think of- American cheese, but there are many excellent producers in this state. We'll learn about the history of the state's dairy industry as well as the current goings on in cheesemaking. By the end, everyone will be saying Colorado cheese!
American cheese and wine
American cheese and wine is the theme (and my passion) for this upcoming class at the fabulous Cheese School of San Francisco. I'll be leading a sampling and discussion of world-class American cheeses paired with equally excellent American wines. These classes sell out quickly so it's best to sign up soon.
California's Artisan Cheese Festival
Come to Petaluma in Sonoma County for an artisanal cheese extravaganza. Spectacular cheeses from California, Oregon, and Washington are the stars of the show where you'll get to meet the cheesemakers, sample their cheeses, taste wines from local, small producers, and attend cheese seminars conducted by the cheesemakers themselves as well as by cheese educators and retailers. I'll be among the presenters and will be conducting two seminars. The first one is "Cheese Essentials", in which I'll be leading a tasting of the eight basic styles of cheese paired with amazing wines. The second is "Slam Dunk Pairings" in which I'll be presenting cheese and wine pairings with Sommelier Christie Dufault. You'll walk away with tips that will help you look like a cheese and wine whiz at your next party. Make sure to buy tickets for the Festival soon, which is held at the lovely Sheraton in Petaluma. It has sold out well in advance the last two years.
Winter Artisan Cheese Fair
Join me for a veritable cheese extravaganza on Day One of the Winter Artisan Cheese Fair hosted by Cheese Plus in San Francisco. Several cheese producers from the West Coast and cheese book authors will be on hand to sample cheeses and, in the case of the authors, sign books. I'll be signing my book, Laura Werlin's Cheese Essentials, which was photographed primarily at Cheese Plus. Come by and say "hi" and buy some great cheese while you're there too!
Cheese, Port and Madeira pairing
Join spectacular cheese guy, Raymond Hook, and me as we team-teach the Cheese School's first-ever class on cheese, port and Madeira pairing. Madeira is a lesser-known beverage from Portugal than port, but for some (including me), it is without a doubt one of the best companions for many types of cheeses. The cheeses we select will be from several countries, but mostly we'll show you the best pairings for two of the best and oldest beverages in the world.
Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and what better and easier way to entertain than with cheese? I'll demonstrate a couple of simple holiday recipes using cheese and along the way, impart tips for easy entertaining with cheese. I'll also answer a few of the most-asked questions about cheese, including how to buy it, particularly in intimidating circumstances, how to pair it with wine and other beverages, and how to store it.
All American Cheese and Wine Pairing
Time to reprise the all American cheese and wine pairing class at this cheese temple of higher learning.
A Southern Season
Come join me for a night of Cheese Essentials with wine plus nibble on a couple of cheese-centered dishes I'll demonstrate for the class.