Cheese, Soft cheese, Uncategorized

Dorothy’s Comeback Cow

To all my washed-rind cheese lovers and newbies alike, I’ve got a special treat for you this week. A cheese never before seen in our Vineyard Markets has just made its way into our cheese cases, making a striking presentation with its beautiful shape and color.

And the taste is no exception.


I present to you: Dorothy’s Comeback Cow. Now, you may be wondering, who is Dorothy? Growing up as a young farm girl in the 1930’s and working at her grandfather’s dairy farm–the first “European-style cheesery in the American Midwest”– Dorothy fell in love with the cows and the art of cheesemaking. After being denied admission to the University of Wisconsin because she was a female, Dorothy pursued her passion at Iowa State, becoming the first woman to earn a degree in dairy science–and also meeting her life partner, Jim.

Incorporating traditional techniques with new innovations, Dorothy and Jim pioneered  fantastic new cheeses, such as the Iowa-style Baby Swiss and domestic Feta. Passed along to the pair’s children and apprentices, Dorothy’s Cheese still lives on today in Lena, Illinois and continues to produce fantastic cheeses using classic techniques and high-quality Rbst-free milk.

dorothy's cheeseComeback Cow was named in honor of Dorothy’s devoted work ethic, often working “until the cows come home” to perfect her soft-ripened cheeses. Winner of the 2018 Sofi Award for Best New Cheese, Dorothy’s Comeback Cow is shaped into a mold resembling a  beautifully “freshly sprung” flower and is a washed rind cheese, giving it an orange hue and imparting a delightfully rustic earthy note. As a brie-style cheese, it is also incredibly buttery and smooth–how can you go wrong?

Fantastic in the morning with a freshly warmed croissant and some grapes, exquisite on rustic grain bread or fresh olive bread with a glass of Cabernet, and striking on any cheese board, Dorothy’s Comeback Cow is a treat you simply must try.


Day 1 – National Grilled Cheese Month

You folks didn’t think I forgot, did you?

I’m hurt.

Grilled cheese is one of my favorite foods to make. Not only is it nostalgic but it’s an incredibly versatile food. You like it spicy? Throw some jalapenos on it. Like it meaty? Stack it high with prosciutto or pulled chicken—the cheesy grilled combinations are endless.

SO you can see why I’m so excited that April is National Grilled Cheese Month—and I’m sure you already know I’m going to be supplying you with a few recipes that are sure to knock your socks off and throw those boring old “American-cheese-melted-between-white-bread” sandwiches in the gutter.

Berry & Brie Grilled Cheese

First up this month is a sweeter take on the American classic. I know that sounds super weird—who wants a sweet grilled cheese, right?—but trust me on this one guys, it’s amazing. Using our April Cheese of the Month: Stepladder Ragged Point, in combination with your favorite fruit preserves (mine is raspberry), this take on a grilled cheese is reminiscent of a cheesecake and tastes almost like a warm fruit tart, making it perfect for an appetizer or dessert—or even a late night snack!

What you’ll need:

  • Crusty artisan bread — I used Il Forno’s Pane di Puglia
  • 1/2 jar Southport Raspberry Preserves, or sub your favorite
  • 1 wheel Stepladder Ragged Point, or sub Nettle Meadow Mini Kunik
  • Butter
  • Optional: Honey

How to do it:

  • Slice 8 pieces of bread about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Butter both sides of each slice of bread.
  • Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Carefully slice the rind off the cheese & discard. Generously spread the remaining paste on one side of each sandwich. Spread Southport Raspberry Preserves on the other slice of the sandwich and close against the cheese side.
  • Place each sandwich into the hot skillet and cook until the bottom turns golden brown. Flip and repeat until all sandwiches are golden brown on both sides.
  • Drizzle with honey, if desired. Serve immediately.

** Stay tuned for some scrumptious photo updates!

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, Soft cheese, Special Features, Uncategorized

Special Feature – Rougette

Sheesh this weather sure has been wacky. A couple beautiful warm days to start the week and now we have the privilege of enjoying some chilly, rainy days–woohoo! These are the kinds of days where you just want to veg out on the couch with a bottle of wine, some cheese, and a binge-worthy Netflix show.

Champignon LogoAnd so, of course, I’ve got the perfect cheese to do that with. Brought to us by Käserei Champignon–you may be familiar with their mushroom brie cheese–is one of my favorite creamy cheeses: Rougette. An excellent introduction for anyone unfamiliar with washed-rind cheeses (think Taleggio and St. Albray), this Bavarian delight is easily identified by its striking red-orange and white rind, thanks to a bit of paprika extract.

But don’t let that scare you. Rougette is one of the most buttery and mild of cheeses while it’s young, and it develops a more complex creamy flavor as it ripens. If you’re a lover of brie-style cheeses but want something a little more next level, this cheese is definitely worth a taste.

Rougette is quite versatile as well. Of course it’s fantastic to eat on its own; just slather it on some crusty artisan bread and you’re good to go. I also love adding a small dollop of strawberry preserves to give some added depth and sweetness. If you’re feeling really crafty, try melting a generous spread of Rougette on top of crostini; top with a slice of very crisp apple and just a tiny drizzle of honey.

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What should you be drinking? Well you’ve got a lot of options. You could go like-with-like and pair this buttery cheese with an oaky, buttery Chardonnay. You could also go the other way and try a spicier wine like a Syrah or Malbec. My favorite go-to is always the classic saying: things that grow together go together–try a German wine like a Riesling. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong. When in doubt, I always tell my customers to just choose what you know you’ll enjoy.

I haven’t even mentioned the best part yet. Here at the Vineyard Market, we’re featuring Rougette for an amazing price of only $9.99 /lb. — that’s $5 off per pound! Don’t miss out on trying out this incredible cheese at an incredible price.

*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!

Events, Food recipes, Gourmet Food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Super Bowl Lineup – Sweet & Savory Crostini

And we’re back for round two! You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging with just one recipe now did you?

Today I’m back with another fantastic snack for your Super Bowl party. Another easy-to-whip-up, minimal ingredients, short-amount-of-time kinda food. Today, I give you: Sweet & Savory Crostini.

We start out by slicing a baguette into about 3/4 inch pieces and then drizzling with our favorite olive oil (this is also a fantastic way to utilize that hardened leftover bread you’ve got laying around!). Then we took a nice chunk of Ricotta Salata and layering that on top. To really spice things up, we used Rao’s Roasted Red Peppers–these babies are marinated in olive oil and mixed with golden raisins and pine nuts.

Lay one of those bad boys on top of your ricotta salata and top it all off with a golden raisin and pine nut or two, pop it in the toaster oven, and you’ve got yourself a touchdown!


Sweet & Savory Crostini

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Il Forno Baguette
  • 1 jar Rao’s Roasted Red Peppers
  • about 1/2 lb. Ricotta Salata, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • Izaro Olive Oil
  • optional: Creminelli Sliced Prosciutto

How to do it:

  • Slice baguette into even slices, about 3/4 inch thick.
  • Drizzle slices generously with Izaro Olive Oil and line them on a baking sheet.
  • Lay a slice of Ricotta Salata on each slice of coated bread, followed by a roasted pepper and a couple raisins and pine nuts.
  • Toast in toaster oven (or conventional oven on 350) for about 5 – 10 minutes, just until the bread is toasted and crispy.
    * Note that the Ricotta Salata is not intended to melt.
  • Optional: Top wih a thin slice of prosciutto.
  • Serve immediately.
Events, Food recipes, Gourmet Food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Super Bowl Lineup – Amber’s Antipasto Bites

Anddddddddddddd we’re back with another Super Bowl Lineup! It’s that time of year again where we get to watch two teams face off in the ultimate showdown in the NFL–and eat a whole ton of food while we do it, of course!

As usual, let’s start off with something quick and easy. First up is a nice bite-sized appetizer that’s simple to put together, requires no cooking time, but tastes delicious. My coworkers here can certainly attest to that last part–they ate all the bites as soon as I finished taking pictures of them!


I give you a spin on a classic. I started out envisioning the traditional mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto, but we amp up the flavors by using marinated mozzarella balls that have been infused with a variety of herbs.

Then we kick it up another notch by also throwing in one of my favorite secret ingredients: Peppadew peppers. So many people still don’t know about these little beauties; they’re little mildly spicy piquanté peppers that almost resemble cherry peppers, but man are these things packed with flavor. Wrap it all together in a thin slice of prosciutto and stick in a toothpick in it and you’ve got some simple and tasty finger food for the game!

Amber’s Antipasto Bites

What you’ll need:

  • 1 package Creminelli Prosciutto
  • 1 jar Peppadew Peppers, halved
  • 1 container Formaggio Marinated Mozzarella Balls
  • toothpicks

How to do it:

  • Slice prosciutto into pieces about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long–large enough for you to wrap it around the mozz and peppers.
  • Begin assembling your “bites” by placing 1 mozzarella ball in the center of a piece of prosciutto.
  • Top mozzarella with a slice of Peppadew pepper.
  • Fold prosciutto around the mozzarella and pepper & stick a toothpick through the center to secure it.
  • Repeat until you have the desired number of antipasto bites.blog1