Cheese, the high road

It’s confession time folks. If you give me the choice between a dessert and a cheese course at the end of a meal I will pick the cheese every time. I really enjoy the interplay between cheese and wine ( sweet or dry) and the cultural connection between wines and cheese from specific regions. There is a reason why cheese and wines from the Loire Valley (for example ) work with each other. This is the first in a two part post on my favorite cheeses and wines that are complimentary to them. The next post , The Low Road will have some recommendations that are a little easier to find .

For the advanced cheese lover store like Les Amis du Fromage and Benton Brothers are a gold mine. Both have amazing selection and super smart staff. If they don’t have the exact cheese I mention they will have 2 or 3 other options that will work just as well.

One of my all time favorites is a cheese called Brillat-Savarin ( bree-YAH sah-vah-RAN. Brillat-Savarin is creamy dreamy soft Cows-milk triple cream brie produced year round in Burgundy and Normandy , plush and just a hint of sourness. This is my go to cheese with great Champagne . If you have an older bottle of blanc de blanc it will sing. The stuff that dreams are made of.

Vacherin Mont d’Or (vasher-ANN-moan-DOR) is typically only available from fine cheese shops seasonally around Christmas. This cows milk unpasteurized washed rind cheese typically has a bumpy reddish brown rind and a big woodsy, mushroomy flavor with a slight bite and a strong aroma . The closest substitute is called Reblochon . This is your red burgundy cheese , the earthy mushroom character provide a flavor echo back and forth with Pinot Noir that will leave you captivated and speechless.

My wild card pick is a goats milk cheese called Clos du Berry. A full wheel of it weighs about 12 kilograms and it’s aged a year. Taste is very rich and a slightly sharp finish. Not overtly goaty . A Les Amis du Fromage exclusive. Try this with a sweet wine from the Loire, Quart de Chaume Coteaux de Layon or sweet Vouvray. FYI to find out about this one I emailed Les Amis du Fromage and they replied in less than an hour, now that’s service.

My advice is find a person at one of these stores and put yourself in their hands. Trust the experts. Explain your favorites and your budget and listen to their suggestions. You will more often than not have an amazing experience. Stretch your brain, try new things and step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes you have to swing for the fences !!!!


If you have any feedback we would love to hear from you on our Facebook page. .

Also check out our Houzz Page for design ideas and planning.

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food. Cheers

David Lancelot

By The Glass® wine dispenser

Wine Cellar Depot has a number of creative solutions for restaurants and bars for the display/storage and dispensation of wine. One of the most useful sales tools is a beautiful piece of engineering called the “ By The Glass® wine dispenser “.

This beautiful machine dispenses wine in preset measured amount at the correct temperature and preserves the wine remaining in the bottle for a minimum of two weeks. It can be integrated with a POS system and set up with a key card system for extra security.
There are quite a few advantages to this machine.
1. The wines are displayed in an attractive manner that highlites them in a bar or restaurant setting and has a lot of eye appeal.
2. The wines are stored in a manner that allows them to be consumed under ideal conditions with regard to temperature .
3. Zero spillage and accurate portion control.
4. The ability to sample wines to a customer , thereby moving them up to a higher margin wine with certainty that your guest will like the wine.
5. Less waste when wines are open.
6. It allows you to offer a wider variety of wines by the glass than normal.
7. It will demonstrate your commitment to a quality wine by the glass program.
In my former life as a sales consultant and supervisor at Marquis Wine Cellars in Vancouver I can personally vouch for the utility and effectiveness of the By The Glass® wine dispenser “. It was a powerful sales tool in moving customers towards wines they might not try under normal circumstances and also due to it’s high visibility it was great in guiding customers towards wine on sale .
The installation was co-ordinated by James Drummond and the after sales service was fantastic. The largest units will hold up to 20 bottles and are stunning when installed . James had a very handy return on investment calculator that can walk you through the savings that can be achieved with this system.

If you have any feedback we would love to hear from you on our Facebook page. .

Also check out our Houzz Page for design ideas and planning.

Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.
David Lancelot