Say Cheese this Holiday Season

Visit this Cheesemonger’s new Bottle Shop

Photo by Mélodie Picard

By Mélodie Picard, The Oregon Cheese Cave

As I prepared to move my Oregon Cheese Cave shop into larger space, I asked several local sommeliers and wine friends to join in selecting wine to match my cheese selection. With the holidays upon us, our suggestions are great for parties and other gatherings.

It is all about creating lists of basics, must-haves, favorites, then cross-referencing them. For cheese, I chose the basic: bloomy rind, washed rind, blue, hard and goat. For wine, we got all the colors: bubbles, white, rosé, red and sweet.

My clientele prefers Oregon and French wines so picking bottles from various regions is a good way to balance everyone’s budgets. Oregon wines rarely are available for under $20 so French, European and elsewhere are often less expensive options.

With pairings in mind, some are must haves. Our picks:

House pairing

I am a Normandie native so recommend Camembert and Oregon Pinot Noir.

Senses Pairing

Andrea Jacoby O’Shell, certified sommelier and local wine rep loves to explore textured pairings. Her favorites include deep, rich, bold and smooth reds paired with crystally cheddars.

Terroir Pairing

Jean-Michel Jussiaume, winemaker at Del Rio Winery and Loire Vallée native, always enjoys a Picpoul de Pinet and goat crottin.

Classic Pairing

For Jorden Rennae Williams at Quady North, who’s training for their sommelier certification, a rich blue, honey and Quady sweet red Elysium was a discovery.

Meat Pairing

Joseph Shaughnessy, certified sommelier and local wine rep, talks about his love of reds and charcuterie: “A nice, dry Bordeaux will cut through fatty liver pâté like nothing else.”

Contrasting Pairing

Drew Gibbs, owner and sommelier at the Winchester Inn with Alchemy and Chateaubriand restaurants, enjoys mineral-driven vegetal white wines and pungent cheeses.

Molly Shaughnessy, Ashland's Larks restaurant manager and sommelier whose wine list was recently awarded by Wine Spectator, helped with my shop’s non-wine selection of beers, ciders, mead and saké.

“Everyone needs their preferences met. With cheese!”

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