Friday, February 11, 2011

Wine and Cheese Friday

When Adam and I first moved back in September. We kept up a tradition my parents had started for themselves : Wine and Cheese Friday. I would stop off on my way home from work and pick up a couple of cheeses, a pate (they have a to-die-for smoked salmon and dill pate!) some bread and a couple bottles if wines and that would be a nice Friday night supper for us.

This fell to the wayside as we got busier but I am bringing it back! We had a wine and cheese experience last weekend that was so great, I thought I would share it just in time for Valentine's Day.

Last Saturday we had the pleasure of visiting Rebecca's lovely shop Beacon Hill Wine and Gourmet in Melrose.

Rebecca and I have been blog friends for years so I was excited to finally see one of her shops. Well we were really in for a treat - the place is gorgeous! So welcome and inviting! I had fun perusing their excellent and varied selection of wine.

And my heart was aflutter when I encountered their cheese display.

And let's not forget the gourmet foods fridge.

I remarked to Adam that I wish I had a store like this in my town, because you could totally pop in after a long day at work and pick up the makings of a delicious dinner from appetizer to dessert all in one stop!

After consulting with store employee Rob, who could not have been more friendly or helpful, I picked up a couple of bottles of Cabernet to enjoy later in the week. They were doing a tasting in the store and it was there I discovered the wonder that is Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. I was told that a customer, after enjoying the cheese at a wedding in Nantucket, asked for it in the store and Rebecca was able to track some down and order it. And thank goodness she did! It is one of the best local cheddars I have ever experienced. I loved it so much I bought some to take home and I tell you we could not wait a day to tear into it.

Later that night, after a delightful dinner of beef tenderloin and some De Lyeth Cabernet we had picked up from the store, we pondered about dessert! Sometimes after a meal you just NEED dessert. Something in you is left unsatisfied, delicious as the meal was. I remembered the cheese we had purchased earlier and just KNEW, though at first glance it may seem an odd pairing, that it would go delightfully with a dessert wine we had in the fridge. Every year we take a trip up to Flag Hill Winery in Lee, New Hampshire and let me tell you, though I am not a sweet wine, I find myself very fond of their dessert wines. In this case their Heritage Red (which is made with a touch of maple syrup) was the PERFECT compliment to the nutty, sharp cheese. It was really a splendid dessert.

You cannot purchase Flag Hill in MA, But this shouldn't stop you from trying out a similar combination the next time you are looking for a really stellar wine and cheese experience for dessert. Beacon Hill Wine has a lovely Italian Red Dessert Wine "Brachetto" or a ruby port would work nicely as well. Rebecca also recommends pairing the cheese with a minerally Pinot Noir or a lightly oaked Chardonnay!

Local readers - definitely check out Beacon Hill Wine either their Melrose location or their location on Charles Street in Beacon Hill (which word on the street is THE place to go for Bordeaux). It's the perfect time of year to start your own Wine and Cheese Friday tradition!


Stacey said...

Love it! When my husband gets home, I'm instituting mandatory Wine & Cheese Fridays! :)

Chatelaine said...

Beacon Hill Wine is the best. A great addition to downtown Melrose.
Rebecca couldn't be nicer and the shop is gorgeous.

I just tried the sundried tomato and gouda cheese dip. Fabulous!

Andy said...

Dont doubt that Beacon Hill Wine & Spirits is where I used to pick up those nice boxes of wine 2 summers ago. Ahh, memories.