The Cheese Mongress

Sophie Taylor, better known as The Cheese Mongress is just about as passionate about cheese as we are about beer. Her love for cheese can only be matched with her love of pairing it. Below is her testomonial on cheese, beer, what goes with what, and what doesn’t.

There is nothing more tasty and refined than the bold & timid notes of a cold beer. However, these nuances can only be enhanced by the dubious art of pairings. With thousands of cheeses and newly emerging beer brews, astounding headway has been made in the pairing department.

As the @CheeseMongress I naturally think of cheese first, and then the accompaniment. The evolution of these nuances doesn’t matter as long as the result is an incorrigible feasting of flavors. One wants to align notes in both beer and cheese. For example, if the beer has nutty dark lager-y notes, one can pair with like-minded cheeses (aged Gouda, nutty runny cheeses, or anything with crunchy sodium crystals. If you have a strong stinky cheese or a blue, pair with timid or spicy ale. The idea is not to get two flavors that combat. One should open the door for the other, and bring out each other’s hidden qualities. Here are some examples.

Chimay Blue with a fresh chevre or goat Brie; this will bring out more caramel-y notes in both.

Brewery Ommegang Rare Vos with a 3-4 year aged Gouda or Beemster Vlaskaas; this will bring out the salty nutty flavors in both.

La Chouffe Golden Ale with either an aged cheddar or blue like Point Reyes or a bold Bayley Hazen.

Old Rasputin with Sheep’s Brie; this will bring out the fresh side of the cheese and deep notes of the beer.

New Belgium Trippel with a washed rind cheese like Taleggio, Winnimere, or Gorgonzola Dolce; these pairings balance each other out with the stinky nutty wash rind and the crisp coriander notes of the Trippel.

Dogfish Head Raison D’etre with 1 year aged Manchego & Quince paste; this combination is savory and sweet bringing out the eccentric raisin notes in the beer and the salty clean taste of the Spanish Manchego.

Stone IPA Indian Pale Ale with Piave Vecchio or Trugole; these two cheeses are sharp and nutty and will compliment the fresh crisp IPA’s character. The Trugole is a semi-soft melt in your mouth cheese, while the Piave Vecchio is aged for a year and closer to Parmigianino.

You may pair any with almonds or walnuts, hot crusty bread, crackers, and don’t forget honey with the blue!

As the @CheeseMongress I have been lucky enough to taste chunk after chunk of delicious cheese. I just launched my once a month tasting box that only serves to further the exploration of cheese. Check out my new tasting box of cheese and pairings delivered monthly to your door at http://member.ly/what-a-hunk-cheese-tasting-box.Each month’s box includes a note sheet with a story about the cheese and each pairing. This sheet will also suggest beer and wine selections and enlighten you with cheese terminology. Club members receive a monthly ration of a half-pound of fromage with three life-size pairings.

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2 Responses to The Cheese Mongress

  1. Dofino says:

    You really seem to know what you’re talking about! So let me ask you this, CheeseMongress – What goes best with Dofino’s Jalapeno & Havarti, or Havarti & Dill?

  2. Dofino! I love your Havarti, in fact I just made some mac n cheese with it and some aged cheddar – and a dash of toasted lager.

    An excellent pairing with Havarti cheese is walnuts. For beer I always go for something refreshing and light to balance out Havarti’s creamy delicious texture. I would do Blue Moon with those citrus hints that will compliment the Jalepeno. For the Dill Havarti that wonderful coriander New Belgium Trippel would be divine.

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