Coffee, cheese and wine…these are all things you should not live without. They’re all divine and this last weekend I had the opportunity to have plenty of each. I mean plenty! I think I’m still recovering.
The Cheese Lady
Let me first begin by telling you about Tina, The Cheese Lady. This woman is hilarious and passionate about her cheese. I just go to the grocery store and buy whatever. Oh no. Bad girl, Sommer! Here’s what I learned about cheese and trust me, there’s a lot to learn!
- If I’m going to buy cheese in plastic, Tina told me I need to take it out of the plastic and then wrap it in wax paper to keep it dry and then put it in a plastic bag. Rewrap it each week.
- Shave your cheese into small slices. Tina recommended shaving cheese and eating it with apples. Hmmm…I’ll have to try this.
- I also learned to never bake “good” Brie. If you bake Briei it will lose its flavor. Never knew that! The longer Brie ages, the gooier and better it tastes.
- Humboldt Fog is a slice of heaven. It’s also $28 a pound. The cheese is a goat milk cheese and is a mold-ripened cheese and is easy to spot because it has a line of edible white ash. It ripens from the exterior and has a runny shell. The more mature it gets the more crumbly core gets soft and is very creamy. It fully age it takes 60 days. I’m in love with this cheese.
- Blue cheese is made from cow’s milk, sheep’s milk or goat’s milk and has live cultures of mold called Penicillium, which gives the cheese the blue or gray spotted or veiny colors. I tried several varieties of blue cheese and to be honesty, they taste like dirty feet (whatever a dirty foot would taste like). That’s just my opinion. I’m just not a blue cheese fan.
- Sharp cheese, yes I like sharp cheese. It pairs so nicely with wine. I was in love with the mango ginger stilton cheese. It would go perfectly on a salad or just in my mouth. The blueberry stilton cheese would be amazing melted over a bagel or again, in my mouth just as is.
After eating cheese it was time for some wine! Oh wine. Yes, please. We had the privilege of touring Bowers Harbor Vineyards and what a gorgeous setting and view. Stunning! After eating cheese and the biggest burger I’ve ever seen from The Boat House, it was time for some sipping. I fell in love with the unwooded 2013 Chardonnay. It had such a clean taste and if you prefer a dryer wine, you’ll enjoy this bottle. Perfect with my hunk of Humbolt Fog! I’m also not a red wine fan but after trying the 2012 2896, Lagley… I might have changed my mind. This is a vintage of Merlot and Cabernet Franc with a splash of Cabrnet Sauvignon. Expensive at $75 a bottle but the perfect gift for the red wine lover in your life. My dad will love this bottle but I’m tempted to open it one evening with a steak. We shall see! After visiting the amazing vineyard, I’m thinking I’ll sign up for the wine club! That way I can continue to get a taste of Traverse City, all year long! While I’m admiring my new art work (check it out on Instagram) I’ll sip some of my favorite new wine! Talk about perfection!
After eating, drinking and sipping wine it was time for coffee. Much needed coffee. I love coffee and even worked at a coffee shop but while visiting Espresso Bay, I learned a lot of little facts I wasn’t aware of. Espresso Bay is on the only place in downtown Traverse City that roasts coffee in house and sells their fresh roasted coffee by the pound for home brewers…which is me! Here’s a few interesting facts I learned about coffee that you might not know.
- Why is coffee bitter sometimes? It’s the way the espresso shots are pulled. When you pull a shot it should be within 5 seconds or it gets bitter. The courser the grounds the more bitter the flavor as well.
- I’m a breakfast blend kind of girl and I learned that the lighter the roast the more caffeine. All along I thought a dark roast meant more caffeine. Nope!
- I skip decaf for a reason; the beans are chemically alerted to remove the caffeine. This all natural girl likes her caffeine for a reason!
Life last weekend was beyond wonderful and when you combine great people with fabulous food and the staples of life: wine, cheese and coffee, you have a recipe for awesomeness.
Why not? Great tips for free!