Summer Wine and Cheese Guide

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cheesewhite.jpgToday, we turn our attention to the wine shops we love — or at least, the ones who responded to our question, “What is your favorite wine right now, and why?”

We then emailed Martin Johnson, who works weekends at Bedford Cheese and runs The Joy of Cheese, themed tastings that he brings to apartments and the East Village bar 10 Degrees (if only!). His next $30 course, held at the bar on August 14, 16, and 21, focuses on cheeses to pair with summer wines (rsvp at thejoyofcheese.blogspot.com). If you can’t make it, here’s a taste of his pairings, which you can find at stand up shops like Bedford Cheese and Stinky Bklyn.wine3white.jpg

Elizabeth, manager, The Greene Grape, Fort Greene:
“The 2006 Arregi Txacoli Getariako Txakolina ($15.50). It’s a Spanish varietal, from the Basque area. I like it because it’s got this crazy maritime feel to it. It’s light and briny and has a hint of effervescence — great served on a hot August day.”

Martin says: For your Basque white, let’s traipse — you’re in the mood for traipsing, no? — to the French side of the Pays Basque and take Abbey De Belloc, a slightly honeyed, gently grassy semisoft sheep cheese.

LeNell, owner, LeNell‘s, Red Hook:
“Here’s one of the most fun things we are featuring for the summer: Roger Perrin Rose ($85), a big ass box of kickin’ pink wine from a fabulous Chateauneuf du Pape producer in the Rhone Valley of France. Equals around 13 bottles… The wine is pale pink and is dry with a vivacious acidity that makes your mouth water. Begs for a party!”

Martin says: With the Roger Perrin, I’d take Pau, a semi-soft, yet slightly crumbly and occasionally funky Catalonian goat’s milk cheese.

Beau, clerk, Uva Wines, Williamsburg:
“My favorite thing to drink right now is Cru Beaujolais… They’re perfect summer reds with light, bright fruit, earth and a touch of spice and should be served slightly chilled. My personal choice is the 2005 Julienes from Michel Tete ($20) — he makes delicious, all natural/organic wines.”

Martin says: I’d try the Jura Montagne, the most subtle and delicately nutty of all of Rolf Beeler’s terrific Swiss mountain cheeses.wineguywhite.jpg

Patrick, co-owner, Smith & Vine, Carroll Gardens:
“The 2006 Commanderie du Peyrassol Rose — textbook Provencal Rose with unbelievably refreshing characteristics. Dry, clean, with hints of soft red berries and a crisp and delicate finish! Mouthwatering, isn’t it???”

Martin says: Let’s try the Ascutney Mount from the Cobb Hill Farm in Vermont… The middle is full of hazelnuts a la a great Swiss Appenzeller but the finish has hints of caramel and toffee like a great Aged Gouda. (Note: since Patrick, together with his wife, also own Stinky Bklyn, he suggested his own cheese pairing: Valencay, the classic Loire Valley goat cheese.)

bottle1white.jpgElana, operations manager at the Heights Chateau, Brooklyn Heights:
“We’re really excited about Cascina Degli Ulivi ($17), this biodynamic white wine from Italy. It’s a perfect balance of minerality and fruit with a smooth round finish.”
Martin says: I’d pick La Rossa, a cherry leaf wrapped mixed milk cheese from the Cora creamery in Tuscany. The flavor of this fresh cheese is vibrant and has a touch of sweetness lent by cherry leaves.

New on the homepage: “Swoon (detail),” mixed media and acrylic on linen, 2002, by Sarah Bedford, an artist in Greenpoint, who is working on bronze, weed-like sculptures and new, nature based paintings. Look for her work next year at Bellwether Gallery in Chelsea.

Sent from Nicole. Illustrations by Sara.

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