Monday, November 30, 2009

A Perfect Dinner

Tonight, I got home and realized that my DVR was 90% full. Now I could just delete junk that I'll probably never watch (that "The Soup" episode from August probably isn't topical anymore"), but instead, I decided to watch a few things that I hate to miss. In my sights: missed, Sunday morning episodes of Wisconsin Foodie (filmed right here in Pittsburgh!). So, sure enough, I watched a couple of episodes. It's always a good show and I feel a certain sense of pride watching my home state produce world-class products with such passion and dedication [].

My real mistake? Watching Wisconsin Foodie on an empty stomach! Yup. After 2 epsisodes I had a hankering for some of Wisconsin's finest cheese and a glass of red wine. Going many years back (more than I care to admit), my wife (then girlfriend) got me to understand the simple pleasure that is a nice wine, fresh bread, and good cheese. Our tastes have matured over the years (Cabernet has replaced White Zinfandel; Gouda has replaced Colby), but my appreciation for this simple dinner staple has never wavered. So off to my local Sendik's I head [] and, in the spirit of Wisconsin's Deer Hunting Season, I came home with an 18-pointer!! Sartori Reserve Bella Vitano. We paired this with a 2000 il Leopardo - a Californian Nebbiolo. It's a wine that's deceptively light (Pinot Noir-like), but packs a punch at 13.9%. We had a couple of blocks of cheese from Madison's awesome Fromagination (, a must-visit the next time you're in Madison) to dice up too. These were Roth Kase Gran Queso (3-time American Cheese Society winner; 2-time World Cheese Gold medalist) and Marieke’s Foenegreek Gouda (voted "Best of Class" in the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association United States Championship Cheese Contest; 2nd place in the 2008 World Championship Cheese Contest). I was in heaven!! My favorite of all is the Gran Queso, but all 3 are stellar Wisconsin cheeses. To complement these fine cheeses I added a few slices of dry, herbed salami and some fresh-baked French bread. Truly, an evening meal from God!

In summary, I will never, ever cringe at being called a "Cheesehead" again. In fact, I will accept your "Cheesehead" compliment with gracious appreciation and pass you a knife so that you may have the opportunity to cut the cheese!