Lastnight I was feeling a little spontaneous, and found myself at Le Gourmet Depot in Snohomish, WA at a class on successfully pairing Wine & Cheese. The picture at left shows the take-home goodies from my adventure. The class was $25, there were nearly 20 people participating, I met some fun foodies, and decided when it was over, that it was a great way to spend a couple of hours 10 minutes from home.

Le Gourmet Depot is located in beautiful downtown Snohomish, and is a perfect venue for cooking classes, talking food and trying new things (which we love). I waited like a kid outside a candy store, anticipating the opening of Le Gourmet Depot while shopping at the farmer's market over the Summer. The shop is housed in Patrick's Building between The Crepe Escape, a new Coffee and Crepe shop, and Clayful Creation, a paint-your-own pottery studio.

OK, now to share with you what I learned about Wine & Cheese pairing, and what this experience reminded me about life. First, the menu:

MENU

  • Lantz Cellars 2009 Yakima Valley Sauvignon Blanc with White Toque Mediterranean appetizers
  • Furion Cellars CAstille Horse Heaven Hills 2007 Grenache with Spanish Manchego Cheese aged 6 months, Fig Bread and Orange Blossom Honey
  • Martedi Wines 2008 Sangiovese served with Orrechette Pasta and Triple Cream Gratte Paille
  • Dubindil Winery Columbia Valley Syrah 2008 with Chicken Tenders wrapped in Proscuitto with Fromager D'affinois Sauce
  • Martedi Wines Tuesday Cellars #11 Red Wine 2007 with Bosc Pears, Carmelized Onions and Oregon Blue Cheese on Focaccia Bread

You'll notice that all of the wines are local, with Furion and Dubindil located right here in Snohomish. The Orange Blossom Honey was so good, 2 out of my 3 kids ate it for breakfast with Goat Cheese. My favorite was White Toque's Fig & Goat Cheese wrapped in Phyllo Dough. You can buy this at the shop, heat and serve for your next gathering. I also really liked the Fromager D'affinois Cheese. It was creamy like Brie, but with a flavor that paired well with the Chicken Tenders.

MY NOTES

Here are a few things I jotted down while listening to Laura, the manager, explain some interesting details:

  • When pairing a high fat Cheese, you usually pair it with a Wine containing higher acidity
  • Sangiovese is the varietal Italians make Chianti from, but we can't call it Chianti because we are not in Italy
  • Sangiovese is usually served with Pasta
  • Martedi means Tuesday
  • Wine & Cheese are living things, meaning that the more they age, the better  and more flavorful they become (a spirited conversation ensued about relating this fact to people. You can imagine!)
  • More wine makers are using Stelvin screwcaps because one batch of suspect corks can ruin an entire Vintage

INSPIRATION

Oftentimes when it comes to food, it's about the experience. I think that's what food people love about cooking & eating: it brings people together. It might be about pairing Wine and Cheese, or going out for Coffee with friends, or creating something new for your family and exposing them to the wonders and variety of food, or helping out at your local Food Bank. You don't have to be a professional chef or have a perfect palate to reap the benefits beyond the food itself. The class made me think about my friendships, relationships & community.

I hope you were inspired to go out and try a new Cheese or Wine, call up some friends or help out in your community. Leave me your comments if you have tried any of these Cheeses!

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Tags: &, Cheese, Foodie, Friendship, Pairing, Wine, Wines

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