Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a cheese class at the Artisanal Premium Cheese Center. This class, titled “The Great Iberian Peninsula: The Glorious Cheeses & Wines of Spain and Portugal,” featured wines and cheese from, of course, Spain and Portugal – yum! I admit I am most familiar with French cheeses, and my knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese cheeses didn’t extend much beyond Manchego. So I was especially excited to learn more about the cheeses (and wines) from the Iberian peninsula!
Our instructor for the evening was Candela Prol, who was very well versed in both cheese and wine:
We had seven cheeses to sample that night – I was especially excited to see an ooey gooey (technical term) cheese in container – those are my absolute favorite types of cheese. When Candela mentioned that this cheese was along the lines of Epoisses, I was even more excited to try it!
And of course we had to have wine to accompany the cheese:
From left to right, we had Malvar, Verdejo-Viura, Tempranillo, and Tawny Port. I was pleasantly surprised by the Tempranillo, which paired very well with several of the cheeses. I’m usually not a big red wine person, so this was great! You can see the matrix we used to rate each cheese and wine pairing – serious stuff!
And of course the highlight of my evening (besides eating obscene amounts of cheese, of course) – the discovery that the ooey gooey cheese in the tin shared the same name as me! It also turned out to be my very favorite cheese of the evening. Coincidence? I think not…The class was extremely informative even to an extreme cheese afficionado such as myself. For example, did you know that Manchego gets is unique cross-hatch rind pattern from the baskets it is made in? Or that Valdeon is wrapped in Sycamore leaves? Check out the leaf detail in this romantic money-shot:
As with the previous Artisanal cheese class I attended, The Great Iberian Peninsula: The Glorious Cheeses & Wines of Spain and Portugal was smoothly run, highly informative, and fun. I had such a great time! I hope I have another chance to attend another cheesily educational class and tell you all about it 🙂
Which of the seven cheeses on the clock (click through for their descriptions!) would you like to try?