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August Cheese of the Month – Smoked Bourbon Gouda

As far as liquor is concerned, I tend to stick towards more of the lighter stuff: vodka, gin, light rum… The dark stuff has just never sat well with me (yeah, whiskey, I’m looking at you). But somehow, someway, my boyfriend has convinced my tummy to accept a golden-colored friend: bourbon.

Bourbon and I got off to a bit of a rocky start, but now we very much enjoy each other’s company. Even more so alongside the right snacks; enter salted nuts and our new Cheese of the Month.

Image result for red apple bourbon goudaThis month’s featured cheese comes to us from Red Apple Cheese, a company well-known for their variety of apple smoked cheeses–you may have seen their Apple Smoked Gouda or Apple Smoked Cheddar floating around our stores. This new unique cheese is gently hickory-smoked, for just the right amount of smokiness, and infused with bourbon. Although semi-firm in texture, each bite has a super creamy mouthfeel and tastes of a mild smoked Gouda at the start but finishes with a punch of rich bourbon flavor.

Try this cheese melted on a burger or panini with caramelized onions, in drunken mac and cheese, as a fun addition to fondue, on top of tomato bisque, or in a dip for some freshly made pretzels. For all my bourbon-lovers out there, just cube this baby up next to a glass of your favorite bourbon and enjoy!

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July Cheese of the Month – Forage Mushroom & Scallion Jack

Helloooooooo, everybody! How are we all doing on this gloomy, rainy day?

Well, I’m about to make everything better–with a new cheese!

This month’s Cheese of the Month takes us in a direction that I’m pretty hit-and-miss on: cheese with stuff in it. What I mean by that is any cheeses that have things added to them, besides cheese–for example Havarti with Dill or Stilton with Cranberries. Oftentimes, I’m a purist. I like to taste my cheese just on its own without any stuff in it; however, there are some exceptions such as Pepper Jack–and this new Cheese of the Month: Forage Mushroom & Scallion Jack!

Coming from Kindred Creamery in Wisconsin, each cheese produced is of the best quality. The Creamery practices sustainable production and implements a “Cows First” methodology; cows are treated like family and given no growth hormones, ensuring the highest quality milk and therefore the highest quality cheese. Our new Cheese of the Month is no exception.

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A Jack base, this Forage Mushroom & Scallion cheese begins its journey as a mild and creamy delight. Once the mushrooms and scallion are added, however, the cheese becomes full of yummy flavor. I’ll admit I was pretty skeptical when we first received this cheese. I mean, I’m not much of a mushroom fan myself so…

BUT. One bite off a piece of this cheese and I was in love. The flavor is bold but not overpowering. It’s semi-firm and has a creamy texture. The first taste is definitely onion, thanks to the scallions in it, but it’s quickly rounded out by the rich earthiness of the mushrooms–I swear, it just works. This is seriously a match made in heaven. There are so many ways to enjoy it too:

  • Serve on a cheese platter
  • Melt into a panini with caramelized onions or sauteed mushrooms
  • Grate into hot mashed potatoes
  • Add to quiche
  • Melt onto burgers or portobello mushrooms on the grill
  • Mix into fondue for a zesty bite

Get creative! Go crazy! The list is endless. AND to make things even better, we’ve got this cheese available in Bottle King Vineyard Markets for an incredible price of just $3.99. Stop by your local Vineyard Market this weekend for a taste & grab yourself a piece!

June Cheese of the Month – Paradiso Vintage

And just like that, another month has gone by. Does it feel like 2017 if just flying by for anyone else?

Well folks, this month we’ve got another new cheese for you–you didn’t think I’d let you down, did you? Many of you may be familiar with our beloved friend Paradiso, an Italian-style cheese with an aged Gouda sort of feel. This month’s cheese of the month is Paradiso’s cousin: Paradiso Vintage.

Image-1.jpgAlso produced by Beemster, Paradiso Vintage is differs in quite a few ways from its counterpart. While the original Paradiso has a slightly more crumbly texture and robust and tangy flavor, the Vintage version is ironically much more creamy and smooth. Paradiso Vintage is coated in black wax instead of the original gray and its paste is a softer shade of orange with a few more holes dotted throughout. It has a more semi-firm texture and every bite is super rich and buttery with a subtle tang that lingers. And the plus? Just like the rest of Beemster’s cheese range, Paradiso Vintage is naturally lactose free!

This cheese is super versatile as well.

  • Thinly slice and add Paradiso Vintage to your turkey or salami sandwich
  • Serve alongside fruit spreads for a heavenly bite
  • Enjoy with salted nuts for contrasting textures and a little bit of salty & sweet
  • Add to your next cheese platter for a selection everybody will love
  • Taste with a more tannic red wine to smooth everything out
  • Eat with a glass of white wine to enhance its flavors
  • Pair with just about any and every beer

Stop into your local Vineyard Market for a taste of Paradiso Vintage today!

* Please check with your local Bottle King for availability.

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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Super Bowl Lineup – Day 2 – Stuffed Peppadew Bites

And we’re back for another round!

Hope you all got the opportunity to test out yesterday’s quick and easy recipe and, even more importantly, I hope you loved it just as much as I do!

As I promised you, I’m not stopping there. I’ve got a few more fun and delicious snack ideas lined up for the next few days leading up to the Super Bowl. So let’s jump right in to the next one!


Stuffed Peppadew Bites

These little gems right here are an absolute classic at my store. Every time I whip these up for sampling, people LOVE them. We used two different cheeses this time around: a goat cheese for a rich creamy feel, and a blue cheese for a slightly more piquant taste–plus, And the best part is they only require a couple of ingredients and they’re so easy to prepare.

* If you already have the ingredients from yesterday’s dip recipe, you might even have some leftover goat cheese to use for these Peppadew Bites!

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What you’ll need:

  • 1 jar Peppadew Peppers (mild or hot, to preference)
  • about 8oz. softened goat cheese
  • about 8oz. creamy blue cheese (try Cambozola)

How to do it:

  • Take cheeses out of the fridge about 30 minutes ahead of time to let them soften
  • Drain Peppadew Peppers from jar & pat off with paper towels
  • One by one, begin taking a chunk of either cheese and stuffing it into each pepper
  • When you’ve gone through all the peppers, place on a serving dish and you’re done!
  • If you want to add a little extra oomph, drizzle with some balsamic vinegar

Super Bowl Line-up – Day 1 – Creamy Pineapple Habanero Dip

Okay guys, it’s February already–what happened to January?? Am I the only one that feels like the month just flew by? Anyways, I’ve decided that I’m okay with it for a few reasons:

  • February is my birthday month
  • we’re one month closer to the summer
  • Super Bowl Sunday!

Now, for the record, I’m not much of a football fan nor am I much of a fan for either of the football teams playing in the Super Bowl this year; HOWEVER, that’s not going to stop me from watching the game! Or making a whole bunch of food. Because well, come on now, who do you think I am?

SO on that note, I’m super excited to introduce a blog mini-series: each day for the next 5 days, beginning today and leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, I’m going to share a recipe with you that you can make for your own Super Bowl celebration. Majority (if not all) of the ingredients for the recipes are available right here at the Bottle King Vineyard Market! And each recipe is tested and approved by yours truly and the rest of the Bottle King staff.

Let’s jump right in!


Creamy Pineapple Habanero Dip

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This first recipe is as easy as it gets & is always an instant hit! It requires only 2 ingredients (plus something to dunk in it) and has a nice creamy base with a mild hint of spice.

What you’ll need:

  • 8oz. Capricho de Cabra (or sub goat cheese log)
  • 1 jar Rothschild Farm Roasted Pineapple Habanero Dip

How to do it:

  • Take goat cheese out of refrigeration about 40 minutes to an hour ahead of time and allow to come to room temperature (this will make mixing SO much easier)
  • Place softened cheese in a mixing bowl or serving dish
  • Combine goat cheese well with Rothschild Farm Roasted Pineapple Habanero Dip
  • Serve with your choice of chips, bread, or veggies!

French Emmental

January tends to be a pretty slow month for us at the Vineyard Markets, so you can imagine my excitement when I’m sent a new cheese to try. This time around, it’s French Emmental. Now, I know it’s not brand-spanking new, but we haven’t had it in my store for as long as I can remember, so I’m excited to share it with you!

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French Emmental is a classic cheese, some may call it Swiss-style due to its characteristically large holes throughout. Made in the Alsace region in France, Emmental has a slightly springy, yet slightly creamy texture and a mildly nutty flavor. To be honest, it almost makes me think of a combination between Havarti and Gruyere! Sounds a little odd, I know, but it’s actually really nice.

With such traits, French Emmental makes a delightful snacking cheese, yet it also melts beautifully. Try it grated atop your French Onion soup for a twist on the classic, or use it mixed into your favorite fondue–or pretty much for any type of melty-cheese application. Try snacking on it with your favorite Chardonnay or even Red Burgundy.

Currently available at your local Vineyard Market!

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Please inquire with your local Bottle King for availability and tastings.

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