From left: Maison Jussiaume Blanc de Blanc, Rogue Valley. Upper Five Vineyard Rosé of Grenache, Rogue Valley. Schaad Pinot Meunier, Willamette Valley. Circadian Cellars 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Applegate Valley. Quady Red Electra Moscato. ##Photo by Mélodie Picard

Picard's Picks: Indulging Oregon

Shop favorites paired with local wine

By Mélodie Picard

Nine years ago, my family moved to Ashland from L.A., where, I was pursuing my American dream of screen acting. After seven years of cold reads, I discovered a new calling: specialty cheese and wine.

About our new home in the Rogue Valley, my husband said, “There’s a wine country. You can get a job!”

So, I did. After working at a tasting room followed by a stint as a wholesale wine rep, I opened The Oregon Cheese Cave in Phoenix, where I curate the finest cheeses and local, artisan wine.

While Oregon Wine Month celebrates the entire state, I’m a bit biased: I think Southern Oregon is the most versatile wine region in the world. With the many micro-climates and youth — new New World — our producers can grow any variety and make any style. As for cheese, we already have the world’s best — Rogue River Blue in 2019.

Exciting times, oui! And delicious pairings below. Merci! 

1. Brillat-Savarin triple crème bloomy rind with a thick center layer of French summer truffles. PAIR WITH Maison Jussiaume Blanc de Blanc, Rogue Valley. Picard says, “Trust the bubbles to cut through that fatty earthy gooeyness.”

2. Rogue Creamery Oregonzola organic blue. PAIR WITH Upper Five Vineyard Rosé of Grenache, Rogue Valley. Picard call the match, “a bright, raw organic terroir pairing.”

3. Briar Rose Creamery Agness, a sheep’s milk bloomy rind. PAIR WITH Schaad Cellars Pinot Meunier, Willamette Valley. Picard describes the taste experience: “Another terroir pairing of the cool northern kids.”

4. Comté, a raw alpine-style cave-aged French cheese. PAIR WITH Circadian Cellars 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Applegate Valley. Picard describes the pairing: “Deep, dark, and creamy.”

5. Beecher’s Smoked Flagship. PAIR WITH Quady North Red Electra Moscato. Picard says, “The sweet, fruity wine from the fathership of Quady North tastes like a kir royal (Champagne and crème de cassis) — my mom’s favorite drink — but in a can.”


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