Laxta and Carranza sheep bask on the hillsides of Basque, and the rich, buttery raw milk they produce helps to create the region's favorite Spanish D.O. (Denominacion de Origen) cheese - Idiazábal. Similar to its Spanish cousin, Manchego, this cheese is lightly pressed and gently smoked, a nod to its humble history of drying by the fireplace. Ours is lightly smoked, and aged only 2-3 months. We like the supple, toothsome texture at this point and the subtle sharpness. The particular sheep breeds give exceptionally rich, fatty milk, resulting in a buttery mouth-feel and an intriguing gamy character. Best enjoyed hearthside with a mug of hard cider or a fruity Spanish red.
Just the Facts
BourbonThink: Caramelly, crystalline cheeses have the strength to stand up to bolder booze. With sweet bourbon, these cheeses become almost like dessert.
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.
TempranilloMedium-bodied with flavors of cherry, as well as some cranberry which lends bright acidity. Cinnamon and clove spices, and earthy, leathery flavors balance things out.