Mélodie Picard, owner of The Oregon Cheese Cave in Phoenix, Oregon. ##Photo by Jean-Francois Durand

Picard’s Picks

Cheesemonger Mélodie dishes on darlings

By Mélodie Picard

Calls for Syrah

The ultimate Syrah pairing is Rogue Creamery Rogue River Blue, as it wrapped in Syrah grape leaves. The 2021 vintage comes out on Sept. 22 for its annual autumnal equinox release. By the way, it won World’s Best Cheese at the 2019/2020 World Cheese Awards. Specifically, pair this blue with Cowhorn Syrah, a Biodynamic bestseller in this part of Oregon wine country.

Go-To Classic

My ultimate comfort cheese is Fromager d’Affinois by Fromagerie Guilloteau. The double-cream, bloomy-rind from France is creamy, gooey and the easiest brie-style cheese to eat. I take one wedge home on Saturdays with a fresh-baked baguette from Philippe The Baker. It pairs well with everything, really.

Grilled Cheese, Please

For an elevated grilled cheese, spread a layer of Jacksonville-proud By George Farm garlic-basil fromage blanc between slices of Rumiano medium cheddar, an organic cheese produced on the North Coast of California. Don’t forget a cup of tomato soup for the ultimate meal. Pair with your favorite beer.


Rogue Creamery Blue Horn, a blue dipped in red wine, is not new, per se, as it has been a Whole Foods exclusive until recently. Now it’s available as one of Rogue’s regular offerings. Made in Central Point, the rich, buttery blue pairs nicely with a white Port for a late-night cheese dessert treat.

Oregon Proud

How about a limited, seasonal Southern Oregon favorite with a cult following? Seek out Mama Terra Micro Creamery chèvre. Robin Clouser has been making this fresh goat cheese for a decade, but only during kidding/milking season (spring through fall). She flavors it with seasonal goodness (lavender, jalapeño, fig) from her farm in Williams. The chèvre pairs nicely with bright, dry, floral whites and rosés.

A Bit Unusual

Huntsman, made by Long Clawson Dairy in the U.K., looks stunning on any platter or board. The double Gloucester cheddar is layered with Stilton blue to create a visual feast that’s as delicious as it looks. Like most British cheese, it pairs best with a good ale.


About the Cheesemonger

MÉLODIE PICARD, owner of The Oregon Cheese Cave, shares fine cheese and accompaniments with guests in the tiny Oregon town of Phoenix. Born and raised in the port town of Le Havre on France’s Normandy coast, Picard’s family has made the region their home for generations. The connection to cheese runs deep in this second largest port in France, where cheeses and other specialty goods, shipped from Paris via the Seine, take passage to markets like New York and, now, Southern Oregon.

310 N Main St, Phoenix, OR 97535

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