Contributing writer and friend, Sonia Nelson attended the Murray Cheese Class : The Harmony of Wine and Cheese on November 15th on Bleecker Street. A lightly dimmed class, array of cheese on black granite tablets and wine glasses along with the instructors, Sascha Ingram and promotions manager for New Zealand wine growers Ranit Librach greeted the ladies.
The wine and cheese selections were as follows:
- Staete Landt ‘Annabel’ Sauvignon Blanc 2010
- Kumeu River Chardonnay 2008
- Spy Valley Envoy Pinot Gris 2009
- Lake Chalice Riesling 2009
- Stonecrop Pinot Noir 2009
- Villa Maria Estate Cellar Selection Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon
- Praire Fruits Farm Angel Food
- Moses Sleeper
- Twig Farm Soft Wheel
- Meadow Creek Grayson
- Vermont Shepherd
- Dunbarton Blue
The general consensus on the array of New Zealand tastes were as follows; the Sauvignon had a citrus, salty taste – an obviously bold taste and rich. This in comparison to the Kimeu River Chardonnay which was fruit forward – hints of peach with a smooth texture. The oddity of the caramel flavour and taste of the Stonecrop Pinot Noir, made it the winner of the selections. Least favourite with an overwhelming sweet taste and petrol-like odour, was the Lake Chalice Riesling.
By the accounts given, the cheeses were every bit as tasty, stinky and decadent as they looked. Praire Fruit had an ammonia-smell-like rind, and oozy – a very indulgent cheese. This would melt quite well over a macaroni pie or make a perfect grilled cheese sandwich. The Moses Sleeper, a brie was of a camembert style; buttery and complex – perfect for winter. I am not a fan of anything that smells like feet but this cheese was a MUST EAT – it had a mild taste to eat, a deep contrast to the smell. The champion was the Vermont Shepard, made out of sheep’s milk which was sweet, flavourful and rich.
The class was informative, instructors lively and animated. No one wants a class that will make you snooze – especially a wine a cheese class. Everyday, a different Murray cheese class is being led by the evidently capable and knowledgeable instructors at their Greenwich location. You can see a list of the classes here and sign up for one or maybe more this winter. Bottoms up!