Truffe de Valensole – Haute Provence, France (goat, ash coated and aged): Spicy, almost peppery, but not so much as to overpower the goat tang; flavor lingered, but not so much as to be unpleasant.
Wine: Mas Sainte Berther – Les Baux de Provence, France (Grenache, Mourvedre)
Tetoun – Haute Provence, France (goat): We were told that this went well with strong herbs like rosemary. I suppose that's good because both samples I tried were from the bottom of the cheese, which is coated in strong herbs like rosemary. Strong goaty flavor, but I have to confess not getting a clear read because of the bitter herbs.
Wine: Mas de Gourgonnier – Les Baux de Provence, France (Blend)
Ladotiri – Heraklion, Crete (oil cured sheep & goat milk): I was expecting something akin to parmesan, but it was a great deal milder, reminding me almost of the cheese bread that my aunt used to make when I was a kid. Loved the flavor of the olive oil coming through.
Wine: Achanes, Lidakis – Archanes, Crete (Kotsifali, Mandilaria)
Upecorinu – Corsica, France (sheep): The profile is a lot like Pecorino romano, but it lacked the bitter salt tang that usually makes me shy from the Italian unless I'm making a few specific pasta dishes. Robert said it was one of his favorite cheeses, and I think I understood.
Wine: Lyrakis Rosé – Iraklion, Crete (Kotsifali, Mandilaria)
Montgomery’s Farmhouse Cheddar – Somerset, England (cow): Though I like cheddar, I've not yet been moved by one. As cheddars go, this one's very good, but I'm not sure I can justify buying against the Pound when there are such solid offerings from the States. Color me jaded.
Wine: Chinon, Jean-Maurice Raffault – Loire Valley, France (Cabernet Franc)
Grain d’Orge – Jura, France (cow): True stinky cheese, with a scent that we were promised will linger on your fingertips for days. Aged camembert with an orange rind whose bitterness plays well with the sweet heart within. Not unlike livarot, and not for the faint of heart.
Wine: Collioure, Domaine Traginer – Banyuls, France (Grenache, Carignan, Mourvedre, Syrah)
Comté Marcel Petit "Le Fort" – Jura, France (cow, aged 18 months): I simply love Comté, and I keep finding new ways to enjoy it. In this case, the wine and cheese each made the other better. Robert had some great stories about buying this cheese and being judged "not ready" for some of the subtleties available in the style. I'm really looking forward to when they bring in wheels from some of the as yet unavailable fruitieres.
Wine: Arbois Vin Jaune – Jura, France (Savagnin)
Bleu de Termignon – Haute Savoie, Fance (cow): This is the infamous "90 year old lady with 9 cows" cheese. It's really interesting, though nothing you'd expect from a blue. Picture something more akin to a really mild cheddar with occasional bursts of what almost tastes like wine tannins. The wine was great on the initial swish, giving the pairing almost a honey flavor, but the flavor of the cheese washed away very quickly.
Wine: Moscato d’Asti, Elio Perone – Piedmont, Italy (Moscato "Sourgal")
Hillman's Harvest Wheel - Colrain, Massachusetts (goat): This was served drenched in honey. While it was good, I almost feel like I want to taste the cheese again so I can judge it on its own merits.