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Sartori Black Pepper – May Cheese of the Month

I know, guys, I know.

WHERE HAVE I BEEN???

I know I’ve been MIA for the past couple weeks, and for that I do apologize.

BUT.

With great absences, come great new things to the Vineyard Market! We’ve been getting some exciting new things into our stores, as well as bringing back some cult-favored oldies–and I cannot wait to share it all with you in the coming weeks.

For now, however, I’ll ease you all back into it with one new item that I’m sure some of you have anticipating since May 1st: our newest cheese of the month! While it’s a bit of a late reveal this time around, the cheese is still just as amazing. Say hello to Sartori Black Pepper BellaVitano.

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If Sartori is sounding familiar to you, you may recall all of our past blogs featuring this wonderful creamery. Started by Paolo Sartori and Louis Rossini is 1939, Sartori brings authentic Italian traditions to Wisconsin-made cheeses. A family-run operation to this day, the company has produced classic cheeses with a twist–such as their Asiago with Basil and Olive Oil–as well as created their own unique cheese called BellaVitano.

BellaVitano is Sartori’s original creation: a pale yellow-cream color, this cheese is crumbly, yet creamy, and so full of flavor. Sort of like a Cheddar-meets-Parm, BellaVitano is the base for many of Sartori’s flavored cheeses, including Merlot and Espresso.

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Now enter: Black Pepper BellaVitano, our May Cheese of the Month. This time around, Sartori has started with their delicious and unique cheese and then added cracked black peppercorn for a delightful little bite. While the flavor is most pronounced on the actual rind, it is nicely imparted throughout. Each piece of this cheese is super moist, creamy, and savory with that hint of a little something else (you know, black pepper).

Black Pepper BellaVitano would make a fantastic addition to any cheese platter–I just added it to mine the other night! My boyfriend loves snacking on it with some Dalmatia Fig Spread and an IPA. I personally love it with some crusty French bread and a glass of Pinot Noir, but hey, potato-potahto right?

How do you love to eat this month’s Cheese of the Month?

Sartori Citrus Ginger BellaVitano – July Cheese of the Month

Summer, summer, summer! That’s exactly what you’ll be thinking when you try our new cheese of the month for July. Another great hit from the Sartori company (you might remember the addictive Sartori Montamore as our cheese of the month last September), their Citrus Ginger BellaVitano starts with Sartori’s BellaVitano Gold base–what we think of as a mix of a Cheddar and Parmesan–and gets rubbed down with a blend of spices to impart a combination of savory South Pacific-inspired flavor.

Sartori Citrus GingerGo ahead and just add it to the list of the other amazing Sartori products we’ve got to offer in our Vineyard Markets (read about a few HERE, HERE, and HERE); this one is sure to be a unique crowd-pleaser. Try it grated on your burger at the next cookout or just cube it up for a tasty snack alongside some nuts, smoked meats, and crusty bread. Don’t forget your favorite brew or bottle of wine!

Sartori Montamore – September Cheese of the Month

This post comes to us today from Amber, the Cheese Lead in the Livingston Bottle King.

CL_montemoreAs the summer months come to a close, the fall months are rapidly approaching. September is here, and with it brings a new love and new cheese to be featured: Sartori Montamoré. Located in the great cheese state of Wisconsin, the Sartori Cheese Company was started in 1939 by Paolo Sartori and is now a fourth-generation family owned and operated creamery. In over 70 years, Sartori has created 30 varieties of cheeses and, in just the last few years alone, has won over 180 domestic and international awards.

You may have seen the line of Sartori cheese wedges in our Vineyard Market fridges before, but the Montamoré is a new addition to be excited about. At first glance glance, the pale cream color of the Sartori Montamoré is already inviting. The first bite of the Montamoré has a gentle sweetness to it, followed by the satisfying tanginess reminiscent of a cheddar. As the winner of the 2013 International Cheese Awards, Sartori Montamoré is sure to make a lovely impact on your next cheese platter. Whether you love red or white wine, this cheese goes well with Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs alike and can be complimented by some crusty artisan bread and dried pineapple or nuts.

August Cheese of the Month – Sartori SarVecchio Parmesan

sarvecchio2Another new month, another new, yummy featured cheese!  Please welcome your August Cheese of the Month, Sartori’s SarVecchio Parmesan!  This cheese is a must try not only for Parm-lovers, but turophiles alike!

Many consider Parmigiano-Reggiano to be too salty to eat by itself, while others find it in a new recipe only to discover the dish did not turn out the way it was expected (Thanks Parm for not melting the way my recipe said you would!).  SarVecchio is the solution to both of these dilemmas!  This American Parmesan is aged for a minimum of 20 months before being released, as opposed to the 24+ months Reggiano is aged.  While SarVecchio still has the aged, nutty flavors and salty crystals found in Parm, it is slightly creamier in texture and not as strong as Reggiano–making it a delicious option to snack on, and much easier to melt into recipes calling for Parm.  I find SarVecchio to have deeper notes of caramel and much fruitier flavors than a general Reggiano has, which makes pairing options a little broader.

Try some SarVecchio with your favorite Chianti or even a Port, some pineapple slices, grapes, or even chocolate for a sinful snack.  Making a baked pasta dish?  Try substituting in SarVecchio–you won’t be disappointed!

Sartori Mediterranean Fontina

sartori med fontinaThe more cheeses I’m introduced to, the bigger my favorites list becomes.  In fact, the term “favorite” has begun to lose value with me. They’re all my favorite!  There is, however, one creamery that I can’t stop gushing over, and that is Sartori Cheese.  My love for Sartori rivals my love for books–something those close to me will tell you is borderline insane.  Sartori’s cheeses are not just delicious, they’re so unique that there isn’t much to compare them to!

In our July/August edition of Bottle King’s in-store flyer, you’ll find one of our featured cheeses is Sartori’s Mediterranean Fontina.  This is a delicious cheese we discovered back in the beginning of the year while meeting with one of our distributors, who is also a big Sartori fan.  We all instantly fell in love with the Mediterranean Fontina and knew we had to share this delicious cheese with all our customers.

This smooth Fontina is a little sweet and full of flavor.  The outside of the cheese is rubbed with olive oil and earthy herbs, such as garlic and thyme.  Aleppo pepper is what gives this cheese just a hint of heat that will leave you wanting to eat the entire wedge in one sitting.  Pair this delectable cheese with light red wines or Chardonnay (I quite enjoy Lockwood Chardonnay), some crusty bread, and olives. Mm-mmm! Now I’m craving some Sartori cheese!  Excuse me while I go devour some…

Sartori Basil & Olive Oil Asiago – June Cheese of the Month

sartori asiago basil evooSince we were introduced to Sartori cheeses a a year or two ago, it has quickly become one of our favorite creameries here at BK’s Vineyard Market.  In the past we’ve had BellaVitano Gold be a popular cheese of the month, and have built a following around BellaVitano Espresso and BellaVitano Merlot.  This month, we’re bringing you another winner from Sartori for our featured cheese of the month–Sartori’s Basil & Olive Oil Asiago.

Aged for a minimum of six months, this Asiago is hand rubbed with olive oil and basil to create a unique and delicious flavor combination that instantly transports you to Italy.  This is the perfect cheese to sit and munch with some olives, crusty artisan bread, and a glass of Santa Silvana Chianti Classico 2009. Likewise, grate this cheese over some angel hair pasta tossed with some olive oil.

Sartori Basil & Olive Oil Asiago will be featured for the month of June at your local Bottle King Vineyard Market.

 

With Love, the Perfect Cheese Plate

Love is in the air!

Gosh time is flying this year. Didn’t we just finish arguing with our next door neighbor about who was going to win Super Bowl 50?

Annnyyyyway…

Valentine’s Day is so very close–only a couple of days away! So I’m here, of course, to give you some tasty suggestions for a cheese platter that will knock your socks off!

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mini brillatMini Brillat Savarin: This is an incredible triple-crème from France. It’s super creamy and luscious and has a fairly mellow flavor profile–an unbelievable pairing with your favorite bubbly for you and your loved one. Produced in miniature wheels weighing around 7oz. each, these make a great presentation on your platter.

montchevre goat w. honeyMontchevre Goat Log with Honey: If you haven’t had honey on your goat cheese before, you’ve been sorely missing out. With just a little drizzle, the tanginess from the goat cheese gets the perfect compliment from the rich sweetness of the honey-because who doesn’t want a little something sweet on Valentine’s Day? And this gem from Montchevre creamery does all the work for you! Each 4oz. log comes premixed with honey already, so all you need to do is unwrap and indulge.

marinated mozz ballsMarinated Mozzarella: Great for sharing with your Valentine’s Day partner, made by Formaggio, bite-sized balls of fresh Mozzarella are marinated in a blend of olive oil and herbs, resulting in a tasty and savory bite. And even better yet, the leftover olive oil makes for an amazing snack on some crusty artisan bread alongside a bottle of wine.

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Sartori with Cognac: This is a very special, limited release cheese that we get in for very special occasions. Sartori’s original Bellavitano cheese is aged for a minimum of 18 months before being steeped in a bath of Remy Martin Cognac for 7 to 10 days, resulting in an unforgettable and flavorful taste that’s sure to make for a memorable night.

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champ grand noirChampignon Grand Noir: Well now, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a little spice at night, right? I give you one of the richest and most decadent blues I’ve had. The creaminess of this cheese cuts through some of its pungency, though still leaving enough for even the most hardcore blue fans. Even people on-the-fence about blue cheese seem to fall in love with this guy!

This cheese plate is scrumptious on its own with some crusty bread or thin wafer crackers (like my favorite Waterwheels!), but feel free to dress it up with some fresh red grapes, pumpernickel bread, and salty mixed nuts.

Feeling a bit sweeter? No problem! We’ve got a great selection of chocolates and other sweet treats at our Bottle King Vineyard Markets to satisfy all of your heart’s needs.

What’s your favorite way to get cheesy on Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day Cheese Plate

I know this may sound sappy but I really look forward to Valentine’s Day. Any excuse to devour chocolate I am down for. Throw in a bouquet of flowers, you have made my day. That being said, my ideal Valentine’s consists of some cheese, a bottle of wine, and an all-out Netflix binge with my other half. Here is my Valentine’s Day inspired cheese plate for a nice cozy evening at home:

Valentine's Day Cheese Plate

*Sartori MontAmoré: A sweet and creamy semi-firm cow’s milk cheese from Wisconsin that you will absolutely fall in love with.

*Fromager d’Affinois with Truffle: A rich and buttery cow’s milk cheese from  France enhanced with black truffles. Not much more I can say other then this cheese is irresistible.

*Président Brie with Rothschild Tart Cherry and Pomegranate Preserves: The mild brie flavor compliments almost any fruit spread you pair it with. The 8oz Président Brie is the perfect size for carving into a heart shape. If you are having trouble with the heart, you can always use a cookie cutter to form the shape.

*Also pictured: Mitica Dark Chocolate covered Figs, Moyer Razz M’Tazz fruit and nut mix, and Jan’s Farmhouse Crisps.

Meet Your Cheesemonger – Ramsey Vineyard Market

Hi all!  Welcome to a new series that we are doing leading up to the holiday season–Meet Your Cheesemonger!  Each week you will be introduced to one of the Vineyard Market Cheese Leads to get to know the minds (and taste buds!) of those who provide you with outstanding cheese.  First up is me!

If this is your first time on our cheese blog, then welcome!  My name is Kara, and besides running this cheesy corner of the internet, I am the Cheese Lead of Ramsey Bottle King’s Vineyard Market.  I got into the cheese biz by accident, really.  I began working at the Dumont Bottle King as a cashier during college and then did a brief stint as part of the Management Team before being offered the Cheese Lead position at the Glen Rock Bottle King.  Fast forward to now, and here I am bouncing around the Ramsey store and introducing you to new cheeses every week!  Before working for the Vineyard Market, I had never been exposed to artisanal cheeses and had been quite the picky eater.  College and VM changed that!  I am now a full-blown foodie and self proclaimed curd nerd.  It’s like Christmas morning every time we get a new cheese or new gourmet product (did I mention I’m a chocoholic?).  What’s my favorite cheese, you ask?  Man, that’s a tough one…Well, maybe not!  My go-to cheese is nine time out of ten going to be a Sartori product.  Their SarVecchio Parmesan is amazing, but then again, so is the Basil & Olive Oil Asiago, and anything in the BellaVitano line!  One day, I hope to get out to Wisconsin to visit the Sartori creamery to see how all their awesome cheeses are produced (and obviously bring all you readers along for the ride!).  Until then you can find me hanging out at the Ramsey Vineyard Market.  Next time you’re in the area, stop in a stay hi! I’d love to talk cheese with you!

Made in America: Cheese to Celebrate Independance Day – part 3

rogue smokeyIn our final installment of the Made in America series, we’re starting in Oregon at Rogue Creamery.  Rogue Smokey Blue is cold smoked over hazelnut shells and has sweet, creamy flavors of caramel that are perfectly balanced with earthy and smoky, nutty flavors.  Aged for six months, this mild yet flavorful blue is vegetarian friendly, and absolutely amazing crumbled into a hamburger!

sarvecchioNext stop on our cheese tour is Wisconsin where we will visit Sartori Cheese and the Sartori family, who has been making delicious cheeses there for nearly four generations.  While every cheese they make is amazing, today I’ll be focusing on my favorite, SarVecchio Parmesan.  Aged for at least 20 months, this multiple award winner is smooth yet crumbly, and is fruity in flavor with notes of roasted caramel.  It pairs beautifully with your favorite Italian wine and some crusty bread.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

cabot clothboundNow let’s jet across the country to Vermont, where you’ll find Cabot Clothbound Cheddar being produced.  The cheese is produced by Cabot, then bandaged with muslin and relocated to the Cellars at Jasper Hill where it is aged for 10 to 14 months.  Cabot Clothbound is sweet and savory at the same time, with slightly sharp, nutty, and caramel flavors.  It is firm and slightly crunchy, and a definite must-try for Cheddar lovers!

And finally we finish our tour in upstate New York at Nettle Meadow–a goat and sheep dairy and cheese company.  They’re most popular cheese, Kunik, is a unique triple-crème cheese made of goat’s milk and Jersey cow cream.  Tangy, yet buttery and earthy, Kunik packs a punch of flavor so marvelous that any description I could come up with wouldn’t do it justice!

Of course, there are so many more delicious artisanal cheeses that are produced in the US that we couldn’t cover!  Do you have a favorite cheese produced here in the U-S of A?  Share it with us in the comments!

*Inventory varies by location.  Please check with your local Vineyard Market for current stock.

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