Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wine, Cheese, and Good Friends – Priceless

It started with an offer I could not resist –
Free food.

The Accidental Locavore, a blog by Anne Maxfield, was awarding a gift bag of cheese from Coach Farms in upstate New York.

All I had to do was write a proposal: what would I do with the RMC – raw milk cheese – one of the three cheeses in the gift bag? The individual with the best answer received the freebie.

And I was chosen!

The gift bag arrived a couple of days after receiving the e-mail informing me I was the lucky winner. The cheese arrived in a box filled with two cold packs, keeping the treasured foods cold and luscious.
Coach Farm gift bag with three goat cheeses.
Now all I had to do was follow through on my cheese tasting suggestions. I could sit down and devour the stuff myself, possibly with the help of hub, over a couple of days. But that would be cheating.

My proposal involved inviting friends over for a wine and cheese tasting.

Which is what I did.

First was what I dubbed a ‘naked cheese’ test, sampling each one with no accompaniments or additives – just a small piece of cheese perched on our tongue and, in some way, delighting the taste buds.

The second part of the tasting entailed placing slices of cheese on pieces of fresh baguette and grilling.
One of our guests working hard preparing the cheese for grilling.
 Cheese on the grill.
FYI: Baguettes with cheese are on a pizza stone.
Eight friends shared this wine and cheese tasting event. 

The grilled cheese on baguette was a big hit. It is an easy, simple idea and everyone loved the results. It is something we will definitely do again.

The three goat cheeses were delicious. Consensus was mixed on the favorite. The first one, packaged similar to the long round goat cheeses sold in stores, was the least favorite. It was very dry and tart, especially when eaten solo.

The other two cheeses were smoother and proved ideal for grilling. Everyone liked the raw milk cheese. Tasters commented it was creamy, smooth, and not too tart, would go great with fruit, and had a nice aftertaste. It was wonderful grilled. The third cheese, the round one in the picture above, was also smooth and tasted great grilled.

The evening was a big hit. I am not one for entertaining. My repertoire tends towards burgers and chicken when the grandkids are in town. More sophisticated fare is uncommon under my roof. The wine and cheese tasting evening elevated my entertaining to a new level!

Everyone loved sampling the cheeses, sipping wine, and enjoying each other’s company. The wine, carefully chosen by my hub, included whites and reds. He chose the bottles from whatever was in our wine rack located over our refrigerator, but there were no complaints!


  1. Oh my gosh, this sounds like so much fun! I must mention that the only thing I've ever won was a goldfish at a state fair. I was SO excited and couldn't wait to get it home. Evidently, neither could it. It died in an hours time. (sad face) Wonderful win and even more wonderful experience for you! Thanks for sharing.

  2. A fun get together. I like the idea...simple, low stress entertaining is my style. I would trade out the goat cheese though for some other kind.

  3. I'm familiar with the Accidental Locavore, as I've been following her ideas and her recipes for a while now. I love any kind of cheese on baguettes ... oh, and the wine isn't a bad idea either!

  4. Nice gathering! I love cheese but limit the amount of it I eat, since it's a little more calories than I usually allow myself. I'll bet it's also good with steamed veggies! :-)

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  6. I'm so glad you liked the cheese, sounded like a great gathering!
    Now you understand how hard it was to open the fridge and stare at that bag for a week!

  7. How delightful! Congratulations on the winning entry and the successful event!