I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t know everything. I constantly turn to experts for advice, inspiration and, yes– expertise. That’s because I have a love of learning. Especially when I am learning things related to the wide world of culinary love.
One person I find particularly inspirational is Barrie Lynn, The Cheese Impresario. In the cheese world she’s a rock star. Or maybe it’s better to say she’s its biggest cheerleader. She’s been so important to me on my journey to better understand and appreciate all things cheese. Just recently I said as much on The Table Set podcast. Barrie Lynn was our guest on the episode Single Mingle in the City. She introduced us and our listeners to her engaging philosophy in assembling a cheese platter. Complete with wine pairings– naturally.
Well I have brought her back. Because she has discovered a Wisconsin cheese that has, in her words– dropped her to her knees. Now that’s information we could all use. GREG
Every now and then I taste a cheese that drops me to my knees. Fourth generation Wisconsin cheesemaker, Chris Roelli from Roelli Cheese Haus recently made a new small batch artisanal cheese. This cheese is Red Rock and it certainly brought me to my knees when I first tasted it. Red Rock is stunningly beautiful with its supercharged red/orange color. Chris used twice the amount of the natural coloring agent, annatto seed for maximum drama on your table. The blue veins run through the cheese and it’s covered by a delicious and striking rustic looking rind. It’s an ultra creamy cow’s milk Cheddar that’s spiked with a touch of blue.
This combination is the the perfect mingling of two quite different flavors. I don’t know how Chris does it. I know he sources high quality cow’s milk and makes cheese at the same historic creamery his great grandfather made cheese in. An important fact about Red Rock is that Chris Roelli also created a propriety blend of cultures for Red Rock which adds to the unique and complex flavors.
Pairing this cheese with libations has been a blast for me. I’ve enjoyed Red Rock with a new wine from Judd’s Hill Winery in Napa Valley. It’s their big Zinfandel, the 2011 Burkes Blazing Barbecue Old Vine Zinfandel. The cheese bursts through with savory notes. Then the wine bursts back with richness of fruit– then the blue veins from the cheese kicks in. This is a sensual tasting and drinking experience.
Judd Finkelstein of Judd’s Hill Winery and I have a history. We worked together on the Oscars Goodie Bag program. Several of the presenters and winners of the 2006 Academy Awards enjoyed one of my Artisanal Cheese & Wine Pairing Adventures as part of the goodie bag. I served an all-American artisanal cheese selection paired with an all-American wine selection and Judd’s wines were an important part of these exciting adventures in Hollywood.
Red Rock is also stunning paired with small batch bourbon and a non-peaty Highland single malt Scotch whisky. Each of these beverages delivered a different flavor experience which only adds to the pleasure of biting into a piece of Red Rock. Enjoy! Barrie Lynn
Barrie Lynn – The Cheese Impresario is a passionate cheese expert and educator. She launched The Cheese Impresario with the Oscars and the rest is history. Barrie Lynn is the cheese editor for The Beverly Hills Times, the Cheese + Drink columnist for the fine beverage publication, Mutineer Magazine. She’s a frequent guest on TV and radio and has been featured in the media including E Entertainment, USA TODAY, VARIETY, Wine Spectator, Martha Stewart Living and The Hollywood Reporter.
Barrie Lynn has produced and taught cheese tasting events around the country, including Disney’s California Food & Wine Festival, Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience, the Ministry of Rum San Francisco Rum Festival, the Los Angeles Times Celebration of Food & Wine, Denver International Wine Festival, and Great Tastes Culinary Festival in Baltimore.
Check out her series, CHEESE RULES with Barrie Lynn – The Cheese Impresario brings Barrie Lynn’s unique style of entertaining education out to more people to increase their pleasure…all around cheese.