Cheese, Hard cheese, Special Features, Uncategorized

Kerrygold Reserve – March Cheese of the Month

And what a better Cheese of the Month could we have chosen for the same month of St. Patrick’s Day?

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If you’ve been a cheesehead for a while now, you may have noticed that every March, we cheesemongers love to feature an array of Irish cheeses to coincide with St. Patty’s Day. Here at the Bottle King Vineyard Markets, we love featuring the well-known creamery: Kerrygold.

If you don’t know them already, you might recognize Kerrygold from their famous butter made with milk from grass-fed cows, but of course they make a delicious array of cheeses made with the same milk as well. This means that each dairy product you get from Kerrygold is more nutrient and vitamin-rich than its grain-fed-milk counterparts.

This year, we’ve brought in a new cheese to showcase as our Cheese of the Month: Kerrygold’s Reserve Cheddar. Aged for over 2 years–at least 1 year longer than their original Aged Cheddar–this is the sharpest cheddar Kerrygold makes. The extra aging time allows the cheese to develop a sharper and more robust flavor with a pleasant notable tang, while still maintaining the rich creamy feel we know and love.

Enjoy your piece of Kerrygold Reserve alongside your favorite Cabernet Sauvignon or Pale Ale and some crisp apples and walnuts for a divine experience.

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Our gift from Ireland to you, this Cheese of the Month is now on sale for only $5.99 $3.99 !! Special pricing last through the month of March only — so grab it while you can!

* Promo pricing while supplies last. Check with your local Vineyard Market for availability.

Cheese, Hard cheese, Special Features, Uncategorized

Sartori Montamoré – February Cheese of the Month

Love is in the air!

And so is our new Cheese of the Month–well, sort of new Cheese of the Month. If you’ve been with us for a while now, you might remember this little gem from a couple years ago, the first time we ever featured it.

Coming from one of my favorite cheesemakers right here in the states, Sartori, I present to you Montamoré. At first glace you might think it’s just another cheddar, but don’t be fooled. While Montamoré may be “cheddar-esque,” it is in fact its own type of cheese–and a very unique one at that.

Each piece of Montamoré is stark white in color and quite crumbly if you try to slice it, so I prefer to handle it like Parmigiano Reggiano and chunk off pieces instead. Each bite of this cheese melts in your mouth and becomes quite creamy like many similar-style cheeses, but what sets Montamoré apart is its unique and complex flavors. It starts off with a slight sweetness, almost fruitiness to it, and then finishes with a delicate tang. It’s perfection.

Montamoré is fantastic alongside a glass of Chardonnay or a crisp IPA, and I always love to serve it with some slices of crispy baguette, fresh strawberries, honey roasted peanuts, and green olives for some contrast. If you want to really play on its sweet notes, try this cheese with a rich stout and some chocolate, fig spread, and dried fruit.


Now at the very special price of $3.99 !!! This month only– grab yours before they’re gone!

Cheese, Hard cheese, Uncategorized

November Cheese of the Month – Gilberto Manchego with Truffles


(How many times do I start my blogposts yelling?)

If you’ve been with us for a long time now, you might have noticed that traditionally we like to feature a bit more luxurious cheeses for the months of November and December. And what better luxury is there than black truffles?

If you’re not familiar, black truffles are part of the mushroom family–and is one of the most expensive culinary mushrooms in the world. Featuring an exemplary earthy taste, truffles can come off tasting quite funky to some people, but to others their taste is pure heaven. If you’re a truffle-lover, our new Cheese of the Month is definitely something you’ll want to get your hands on.


Gilberto Manchego with Truffles starts out, similarly to many traditional Manchegos, with raw sheep’s milk. Unlike many of the Manchegos you might find at your local grocer, this Gilberto Manchego does not get pasteurized and thus remains a raw milk cheese, leaving in some additional depth and flavor. Black truffles are also mixed into the cheese before aging, imparting that oh-so-familiar truffle flavor that is all its own.

A wonderful balance of classic nutty Manchego with the decadent, slightly pungent flavor of black truffle, Gilberto Manchego with Truffle is a staple for your table this holiday season. Add it to a cheese platter and try it alongside some honey for a flavor explosion in your mouth (SO GOOD), or even try this cheese shaved into hot pasta with marinara or cheesy macaroni for a truffle mac and cheese!

Whatever way you like to cheese it up, be sure you give Gilberto Manchego with Truffles a shot. Check with your local Vineyard Market lead for a taste!

Cheese, Hard cheese, Special Features, Uncategorized

A Dutch Masterpiece is back

For those of you that have been following this blog for a while, you may already know that I have a special place in my heart for Aged Gouda.

Do not be fooled by the word “Gouda” in the phrase–Aged Goudas are a totally different class of cheese compared to their much younger counterpart. I can even remember a couple of customers that swore to me they hated Gouda and then quickly changed their minds after trying the Aged Gouda I was sampling. As with most aged cheeses, Aged Goudas become harder in texture, stronger in flavor, and develop some little crunchy bits throughout.

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And again, if you’ve been following me long enough, you might be familiar with one of my favorite Aged Goudas: Rembrandt–and I’m excited to tell you that it’s back in full swing, baby!

For those of you unfamiliar to Rembrandt, let me introduce you to him. He’s the cool guy at the party; he’s a smooth talker with a bold yet unoffensive personality. He may potentially be a bit older than the rest of the crowd, but he gets along with just about everyone–this cheese is a real crowd-pleaser.

Now if I just confused you with my crazy analogy, let me give it back to you in cheese terms. Rembrandt is an extra-aged Gouda, aged for over one year to develop a gorgeous light orange tinge. Even with this aging, however, this cheese is rich a creamy with a few crunchy tyrosine bits throughout. Its flavor is bold, yet incredibly approachable, with subtly sweet and caramel-y notes.

Every year, Bottle King usually partners with Rembrandt’s company, Jana Foods, to do a promotion and bring you all a fantastic-tasting cheese at an unbelievable price. I’m here to tell you that it’s that time of year again, and this time we’ve got a special contest and prize to offer, complimentary of Jana Foods! It’s easy to enter, and the prize is a stunning gift picnic basket, filled with wine, glasses, a Bottle King gift card, cheese, and other snacks. Check out the details below, and be sure to pick up some Rembrandt at your local Bottle King Vineyard Market so you can participate–and devour it!

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How to Enter:

  1. Bring home a wedge of our delicious Rembrandt Extra Aged Gouda.
  2. Take a picture of yourself enjoying our cheese–get creative!
  3. Post your photo to the Jana Foods Facebook with a fun caption–make sure to tag @bottlekingnj in your post*
  4. We’ll choose our favorite post and deliver the grand prize to the winner’s local Bottle King!**

More Details:

  • Contest will run 06/30/17 until 07/30/17
  • One (1) grand prize winner will be notified via Facebook chat by 08/06/17

* limit one post per person

** must be 21 or older to enter and claim

Cheese, Hard cheese, Special Features, Uncategorized, Wine & Cheese Pairings

Beemster’s back!

Image result for beemster logoSpring is my favorite season. Fall is definitely a close second, but you can’t deny the awesomeness that is blooming trees and flowers. And the smell of rain? Oh yeah. Totally.

So now that the warmer weather seems to be finally upon us, it’s time for one of our yearly cheese features: Beemster is back, baby! Well, not that it ever really went anywhere, but all of the Vineyard Markets recently received their large shipment of Beemster cheeses, all at special discounted pricing!

I realize I’m using a lot of explanation points. Forgive me. I just love Beemster. If you didn’t already know, Beemster happens to be one of my favorite creameries for a number of reasons:

  • Products are made by small family farmers
  • They’re a founding partner of Caring Dairy
  • They raise free-roaming, grass-fed, happy cows
  • Their high-quality cheeses are hand-crafted and traditionally made
  • Their cheeses are naturally lactose-free
  • Their Gouda is the preferred choice of the Royal Court of the Netherlands
  • They’re eco-friendly & energy-conscious
  • No growth hormones or pesticides used
  • Their cheeses are JUST SO TASTY, how can you not love them?!
    • For more info on Beemster, check out my previous post HERE.

A familiar name for many, Beemster is well known for their Goudas, especially their aged Goudas. Currently, Bottle King’s Vineyard Markets are all carrying three main Beemster cheeses: Classic, XO, and Paradiso.

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Beemster Classic in all its glory

Beemster Classic is aged for about 18 months and is signified by its black, red, and beige wax. While on the surface, this cheese seems to be very hard, it actually has a super creamy mouthfeel. If you’re expecting this to be anything like your run-of-the-mill Red Wax Gouda, you will be in for a big surprise. Beemster Classic tastes rich and nutty with some slight caramel-y notes.

The next cheese on the list is Beemster XO. The XO is short for “Extra Old”, and this cheese is signified by its monochrome beige wax rind. Similar to the Classic, this guy is aged for 8 more months than its counterpart, making XO a 26 month-old aged Gouda. The extra aging time further develops that rich flavor and results in a more robust cheese with butterscotch and whiskey notes.

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Crumbly yet rich and creamy Beemster XO!

Don’t be surprised if you get a little crunchy bite every now and then! Both Beemster XO and Beemster Classic are dotted with tyrosine crystals thanks to their aging process; a sign of their expert cheesemaking.

Lastly–but certainly not least–is Paradiso, Beemster’s Italian-style cheese. The youngest of the three, Paradiso is aged for just 10 months, yet somehow is still full of little crunchy crystallized bits throughout–yum! This cheese is still creamy, though I feel it’s slightly less creamy than the Classic and XO, and the texture does almost remind me a little bit of Parmigiano Reggiano. The flavor is nicely balanced: slightly sweet and nutty yet mildly tangy all at once. An easy crowd-pleaser.

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You’ll be in paradise with some fig spread spread on chunks of Paradiso

All three of these cheeses would safely do well alongside a Cabernet Sauvignon, but could do equally well against a Chianti or some dessert wines such as Port or Sauternes. Beers could go so many ways. Try an IPA with the Classic and Paradiso and perhaps a darker beer with the XO. Fresh fruit and fig jams for all! And don’t stop there: shred on your pasta, grate into your salad, and eat by the chunk!

What’s your favorite Beemster cheese?

Cheese, Hard cheese, Semi-soft / Semi-firm cheese, Uncategorized, Wine & Cheese Pairings

April Cheese of the Month – Comté 6 month

I know, I know. You’re all saying, “But Amber, it’s not technically April yet!”

Well, I’m sure you’re not all saying that, but I know some people are. And to those people I say, it is officially April 1 in New Zealand!

Really, though. Google it.

ANYWAYS. That brings me back to my point: our newest Cheese of the Month! Many of you may recognize this classic cheese. An oldie but a goodie, the Bottle King Vineyard Markets are featuring Comté! If you’ve been with us here for a while, you may remember Lauren’s post way back when on this cheese.

Hailing from the Franche-Comté region of France, this semi-hard, alpine-style cheese is made from raw cow’s milk–one of my favorites! In my opinion, raw cheeses–that is, unpasteurized cheeses–just offer so much more than their pasteurized counterparts; they’re fuller, richer, more flavorful. This particular French one may strike a familiar note with all my die hard Gruyère lovers out there. When I describe Comté to my customers here, I often use the phrase “the French version of Gruyere” (may neither the French nor Swiss strike me down…). Its lovely full  flavor is all wrapped up within its firm, yellow paste and natural, rough, brown rind.

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Comté is an incredibly versatile cheese. When you’ve got a nice, fresh hunk of it, it makes a delightfully nutty and earthy addition to any cheese platter; however, this cheese is also a fantastic melting cheese and a great substitute for anywhere you would normally use Gruyère.

Try it:

  • atop French Onion soup
  • in a grilled cheese with Anna Mae’s Smoky Mustard (my favorite)
  • as a base for mac and cheese
  • as a base for fondue
  • melted over sauteed onions
  • in quiche
  • on a cheese board alongside some rustic crackers & Dalmatia Fig Cocoa Spread
  • in anything and everything that involves cheese

Another amazing thing about Comté? It makes a great pairing with a variety of different wines. Try it with an aged Port, a lighter Riesling, or a fruity Merlot or Pinot Noir. You simply can’t go wrong!

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Cheese, Hard cheese, Wine & Cheese Pairings

February Cheese of the Month -Wyke Smoked Cheddar

Ya know, I was thinking the other night…

There are so many cheeses out there in the world. And I just feel like…

smoked cheeses…

…are so underrated.

Like our February Cheese of the Month for example: Wyke Smoked Cheddar! You may recall last summer when we featured Wyke’s Ivy Vintage Reserve Cheddar, which is among my favorite cheddars. Wyke Farms has been producing cheese for a long time and has certainly paved their own way in the industry through their delicious and high-quality products.

Wyke Farms has a long history of cheesemaking for over 150 years. Family owned and operated, they’ve been producing cheeses using traditional methods and the family’s original recipe from their grandmother Ivy for generations.

The newest addition for us at the Vineyard Market’s is Wyke’s Smoked Cheddar. This baby is aged for about 12 months (OK maybe not such a baby…) before then being smoked for a solid 16 hours to really develop that rich flavor throughout.


Personally, smoked cheeses can be hit and miss with me and I really think it’s tough to find a really nice one; however, I think Wyke Farms has hit the nail on the head with this one. If you’ve ever tried their Ivy Vintage Reserve Cheddar, this Smoked Cheddar is reminiscent of that, with the same rich creaminess and fairly mild base flavor, but boldened by the smoking process. The smokiness is prominent but not overpowering, and you don’t get that over-the-top ham sort of flavor that you get with a lot of smoked goudas. It’s really just a nicely well-balanced creation.

With this, I think a good medium- to full-bodied California Cabernet Sauvignon would work nicely, or if you’re a white wine drinker a slightly oaky Chardonnay would also do well. As for all my beer drinkers out there, give this Smoked Cheddar a go with an Amber or Brown Ale, or even an IPA for some contrast. And what the heck, if you want to make a party out of it, serve this cheese on a board alongside some salted peanuts, hearty rye bread, and your favorite mustard.


What’d you think of this month’s Cheese of the Month?

Be sure to stop in this weekend at your local Bottle King Vineyard Market and ask your cheesemonger for a taste!