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Raw Sharp White Cheddar from Oak Spring Dairy & 2009 Chardonnay from Gray Ghost Vineyards

This powerfully dry, crumbly cow’s milk white cheddar has a slightly bitter taste that’s almost tannic and reminiscent of pecan skins, while Gray Ghost’s Chardonnay boasts just a smidgen of oak (from its stint in French oak barrels) along with light tropical fruits and a smooth vanilla finish. While seemingly at opposite ends of the tasting spectrum, this pair manages to blend seamlessly. Try a sip of this easy-drinking Chardonnay followed by a nibble of Oak Spring’s piquant cheddar to experience the wine’s citrusy, lemon flavors a bit more. Add a few spicy pecans, some pear mostarda or homemade apple butter to round out this pairing. Family-owned Gray Ghost Vineyards in Amissville is the brainchild of Al and Cheryl Kellert, who began making wine in 1969. Soon after moving to Rappahannock County in 1986 and meticulously transplanting 160 vines, their first Gray Ghost crop was born in 1993, and they’ve been making Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons, Cab Francs and Vidal Blancs ever since. Self-taught cheesemaker Allen Bassler oversees Oak Spring Dairy in Upperville, where he and his wife Tammy create a variety of cow’s milk cheeses (cheddars, Derby cheeses, Goudas, Swiss and Provolones—28 varieties in all) from their raw milk-producing Brown Swiss and Jersey cows. Yet it’s their award-winning Brown Swiss cow, Snickerdoodle, who is the true “cheesemaker.” Taking home the title of “Grand Champion” at the World Dairy Expo a whopping six times, Snickerdoodle boasts a set of supreme udders.,

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8/25/11 4:10 PM

Virginia Living - October 2011  

The October 2011 issue of Virginia Living is the tastiest yet, featuring our favorite pairings of cheese and wine, with every crumb and drop...

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