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D'argental is a relatively new innovation by the French fromage industry, as evidenced by its tidy, hexagonal shape - employed no doubt to set it apart from more conventional brie types. The unconventional aspect is the milk - pure, pasteurized goat. Centuries of experience have paid off in this case. The white, corrugated rind is uncommonly supple and tender. Not only does it avoid interfering with the luscious, whipped-to-runny texture of the interior, it actually adds an interesting texture contrast. With a sweet, gentle profile like this, stick with a light bodied, crisp white like Chenin Blanc.
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Just the Facts
CiderBrie and apples, cheddar and apples – both delicious! Why not extend that deliciousness to apples in liquid form? Enjoy cider and cheese for a pairing to remember.
English style: drier, more like a beer, with nice acidity.
Pair with: Just about anything but we love it with firm natural rind cheese, like Landaff.
Basque/Normandy : barnyardy and funky, but still with a little sweetness.
Pair with: A beefy washed rind, like Grayson to contrast the sugar and bring out the funk.
Farmhouse Ales & SoursFarmhouse, Saison, Bière de Garde, Lambic, Sour Beer
Farmhouse ales, instead of being driven by malt or hops, depend on the yeast for their distinctive spicy, floral, and tart flavors. Commonly made by brewers in France and Belgium, farmhouse ales are usually light in color and body and quite effervescent. From time to time, brewers allow wild yeasts to ferment the beer, resulting in a brew that falls somewhere in between pleasantly bright to bracingly sour.
Pair with: Mushroomy Brie Fermier or funky, bacony Epoisses are matches made in heaven.
Pinot NoirLighter bodied and delicate. Old World style generally offers more funk, New World more fruit.
Old World Pinot: Flavors of fresh cherries and raspberry balanced by a barnyard funk and high minerality. Sometimes has floral aromas, reminiscent of rose petal.
Pair with: Almost anything! Works with funky Frenchies Epoisses and Langres, or mild natural rinds like Tomme de Savoie.
NYE Champagne and Cheese Primer
Many of our national holidays are defined by a specific food. Thanksgiving is the turkey holiday. Independence Day is the hot dog holiday. But New Year’s alone is the holiday that is defined by a drink. That drink, of course, is Champagne. Well, let’s say sparkling wine, since we cheese people can certainly sympathize with …