My son, Michael, is working at The Wine Specialist in Kitty Hawk. He often calls when there is a new wine or micro-brew on the shelf. He called yesterday to tell me about some artisanal cheeses that just came in and asked me to help spread the word.
Christine McMaster is The Wine Specialist. Originally from Rockville, Maryland, Christine moved to France when she was 20 years old. She learned about grape growing and wine making and received a certificate from the French Department of Agriculture. She moved to the Outer Banks, where she vacationed as a child with her family, and opened her store. Christine brings a level of knowledge and expertise to local wine enthusiasts. She will customize a wine or beer tasting for you in her bright and comfortable tasting “parlor” at her store at MilePost 4 in Kitty Hawk (next door to Capt’n Frank’s).
This assortment of cheeses will certainly pair well with a variety of wines and some may even stand up to a Stout/Porter Ale.
- Black Mountain Cheddar – a combination of garlic, herbs and white wine blended with creamy American cheddar makes a potent, assertive cheese. Pairs with dry red wine, such as a very affordable Morro Bay White Oak Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008, in stock for $10.99.
- Brillat Savarin Mini, – cow’s milk, triple-crème brie-style cheese from France. This lovely cheese is buttery, rich, creamy and decadent. Incredible on its own or served with a fruit jam on hearty bread. For a special event, serve Brillat Savarin with a bottle Pascal Doque Premiers Crus Champagne from France, in stock at $65.99. Brillat Savarin will also work very well with a Viognier, this one by Bonterra, 2009, is in stock for $19.99.
- Manchego Wedge – Perhaps the most famous Spanish cheese, Manchego is a D.O. (Denominacion de Origen) protected cheese, meaning that only 100% Manchego sheep milk is used in a traditional recipe. The breed has proven sturdy enough over the centuries to traverse the rocky, arid central plateau region known as La Mancha- where cows just can’t hang. It has a deep rich flavor and would go well with apple slices, ginger snaps and rich, fruity wines. Traditionally paired with Rioja.
- Purple Haze Goat Cheese – sprinkled with tender purple buds of lavender and fennel pollen, Purple Haze goat cheese is intense, floral and piquant. Serve this cheese at room temperature with crackers with this crisp Chardonnay from Argentina: Catena Chardonnay, 2008, in stock $22.99.