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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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It’s gettin’ hot out here – Spicy Cheeses

It’s been a hot couple of weeks here in North Jersey. Hot and humid. But what’s summer without a little heat?–both in temperature and in spice!

And with that thought I decided to share with you guys some oldies and some newbies to the spicy cheese family at the Vineyard Market. Spicy foods seem to be a recurring theme this year, and cheese has been no exception–and if you know me well, you know I love spicy. In my opinion, everything tastes better with a little hot sauce, right?

SO. Without further ado, let’s hop right into it.

Image-1 (5)Sartori Chipotle – First up on the list is the mildest in spice. From a company I’m a very big fan of, Sartori has done it again, taking their original BellaVitano cheese and rubbing it down and infusing it with chipotle peppers and spices. For me this cheese is very low on the heat scale but very high in flavor; it’s rich with robust warm smoky flavors throughout. A lovely change of pace and a great choice for summer BBQs.

Fromager D’Affinois with Chili – Next up we have another creamery I’m a big fan of. Fromager D’Affinois produces some of my favorite creamy cheeses out there, and this Chili Pepper version has certainly made it on my list of favorites. With the same classic rich creaminess of the original Fromager D’Affinois, the addition of peppers adds so much more flavor. The paste is a soft muted red hue and is filled with a red bell pepper flavor with a slight bit of mild spiciness at the end. Seriously delicious.

Image-1 (1)Chevoo Chili & Lemon – Chevoo is a newer brand that specializes in producing marinated goat cheeses (Meredith Dairy Marinated Feta anyone?). My current favorite flavor, of course, is their Chili & Lemon: goat cheese is blended with chili peppers, formed into cubes, and then marinated in lemon-infused olive oil. Each bite has a surprisingly refreshing taste at first, and the spiciness creeps up a bit on the back note. My favorite on some crusty French bread.

Image-1 (4)Kindred Sweet Fire Mango Jack – You might remember Kindred Creamery from last week’s post with our new Cheese of the Month. While that cheese was not spicy, Kindred also makes a variety of spicy delights, including their Sweet Fire Mango Jack. Certainly a unique cheese, this Jack is a combination sweet mangos and spicy ghost peppers in just the right way. I know ghost peppers sound scary but this cheese makes them quite approachable with the help of the refreshing bits of mango in every bite. If you’re feeling adventurous, this cheese is definitely worth the try.

Image-1 (2)Yancey’s Fancy Buffalo Wing – An oldie but a goodie, this cheese by Yancey is definitely at the higher end of the spice scale. With a cheddar cheese base, this cheese gets its heat from a combination of habanero, jalapeno, and cayenne peppers. With a super creamy mouthfeel and a punch of flavor, this cheese is incredible to nibble on by itself as well as melted on top of, well, everything. It’s truly a classic spicy option for me.

Image-1 (3)Kindred Ghost Pepper Colby Jack – And at the end of the list we have the spiciest of them all. Another hit from Kindred Creamery, this Ghost Pepper Colby Jack is not for the faint of heart. I’m a spicy-lover myself, so I need you to believe me when I tell you it is very spicy. The Colby Jack base is firm yet slightly creamy, and the addition of Ghost Peppers adds a nice flavor, accompanied by a lot of heat. Like if we were rating these cheeses on a scale of 1 to 5 peppers, this would be a 5. A great choice for my chili-heads out there.

And that wraps it up! What’s your favorite spicy cheese?

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!

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

Brooklyn Brine Barbecue

Anyone else feeling a little bit of summer-fever?

It’s graduations-galore, Father’s Day, and a crazy heat wave is upon us. You know what that means. Barbecue season is finally here! And you know I’ve got some goodies to share.

Not only do we have Brooklyn Bangers back in stock, we’ve also got some new pickles and sauces to go along with them! Introducing Brooklyn Brine Co. here at the Glen Rock Bottle King Vineyard Market. We’ve got 2 new types of pickles and 2 new condiments for all your sandwich and BBQ needs.

First up is Brooklyn Brine’s Maple Bourbon Pickle chips. We’ve got them in both Spicy and Bread & Butter varieties, and let me tell you, the flavor is unbelievable. There’s no strong alcoholic flavor like you might expect from the word Bourbon in the name, just a slightly sweet and complex flavor. The spicy variety has just the perfect amount of heat, I’d say about a medium-spice, and the bread & butter isn’t overly sweet either, just the perfect balance. I just may have found a new favorite pickle…

The condiments don’t disappoint either. Right in line with the Maple Bourbon Pickles, we’ve also got a new Maple Bourbon Mustard, and it’s so good. It’s definitely on the courser side as far as mustards go–I’m a big mustard seed fan, so I love the consistency of this one. It honestly almost reminds me of honey mustard because of the slight sweetness it has–but so much better. I could see myself putting this on sandwiches, burgers, some Brooklyn Bangers, or even just dunking pretzels in it like a dip.

The last new item I have to share is Brooklyn Brine’s new Secret Sauce. Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff is really something else. When I said the pickles had a complex flavor, it may have been an understatement compared to this sauce. It’s sweet, tangy, and acidic all in one bite–there is seriously just so much flavor going on. Just like the mustard this sauce would be great for any BBQ food. I think it would even be amazing on a Reuben instead of Russian dressing.

And that wraps it up, folks! I’m so excited for you to stop in and try some of these new item this weekend. Have you tried Brooklyn Brine Co. before? Let me know what you think in the comments section!

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.

You’ve goat to try these!

Anyone else appreciate my punny title as much as I do?

So as I’m sure you’ve figured out already, this week I’m going to be sharing with you some new goat cheeses we’ve recently brought into the Vineyard Market! The three items I’m going to tell you about are really some fantastic cheeses and have even managed to make their way into my favorites.

First up, from one of my favorite creameries, is Vermont‘s Coupole. The word “coupole” in French translates to “dome”, representative of the cheese’s round snowball shape. With a thin, geotrichum (wrinkly) rind, this cheese is easily identifiable as a Vermont original. Made entirely with goat’s milk from family farms, Coupole starts out pretty dense in the center with a fresh yet distinct goat-y taste, but as it ages this cheese ripens from the outside-in and soon turns into an ooey-gooey delight throughout. My boyfriend’s new favorite cheese (alongside some Sartori Black Pepper)–he loves eating this one with a touch of real maple syrup and a double-IPA or saison.

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This next cheese is a new one all around: new cheese & new creamery! A local cheese, Blackbert is made by R&G Cheesemakers in Troy, New York and is the perfect choice for someone looking for something a little different. Blackbert begins its life as an ash-ripened Image-1 (22)Camembert-style goat’s milk cheese. Cut it open to see a line of vegetable ash through the center, making for a striking presentation. Similar to Cypress Grove’s Humboldt Fog, this is a beautiful cheese and a must-try for any goat-cheese lover. A slightly dry texture but with bold flavor, this cheese is great alongside a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or a fruity Pinot Noir.

 

Last but certainly not least is Fromager D’Affinois Florette. The original Fromager D’Affinois was one of the first creamy cheeses I ever fell in love with–sort of like Brie on crack. The rest of their flavored versions never disappoint, and this one certainly doesn’t fall short either. Florette is Fromager D’Affinois made with goat’s milk. Made using the same ultra filtration methods as the original, this version is rich and silky with just the right amount of goat-y taste. A great choice for long-time goat cheese lovers, as well as a great start for goat newbies, Florette is fantastic on some Waterwheel wafers and a glass of Champagne.

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Have you gotten the chance to try any of our new goat cheeses? What’s your favorite?

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