A Whirlwind of a Cheese Monger & Wine Weekend
By David Traul
As always, the Oregon Cheese Guild’s Cheesemaker Dinner on March 14th started with a Seriously Great cheese spread. Many of the cheeses were brought to the event by small, artisanal producers from all over Oregon. I enjoyed the Pinot from Willamette Valley Vineyards while mingling with the festive crowd at the historical Ashland Springs Hotel.
(I think Robert probably took 50 photos before dinner — the cheese spread was so amazing!)
It was interesting to hear Cheese Expert (also known as a Maître Fromager aka Cheese Monger) Max McCalman’s insight into the US’s place in the world of cheese and that we are slowly becoming better recognized for our high quality artisan cheeses.
It’s my turn to talk and, as always I’m a bit nervous at such a large event with over 120 attendees – many intensely passionate about food and wine. I spoke briefly about the Ledger David Primoris (Chenin Blanc), Sauvignon Blanc and Tempranillo that were served at the event. As a tribute to national Pi day, I also posed the question of the significance of the ratio of a wheel of cheese circumference to its diameter, which got a few nods and words of agreement.
Deanna McArdle Eames from Willamette Valley Vineyards gave a heartfelt talk on the quality of the region’s wines and cheeses. Then Robert and I enjoyed the final pairing (lime and thyme-infused Briar Rose ricotta with reduced balsamic paired with WVV’s Muscat-Frizzante´) before we were off to rest. Had to gear up for the farmer’s market style cheese festival, which boasted over 4,000 attendees this year.
On Saturday, our toddlers, Ledger and Slater enjoyed petting the calves, getting their faces painted and tasting cheeses, jams and thick sliced bacon before Lena joined me to work at the Ledger David wine tasting booth.
Regina, Robert and Heather were hopping all day long at the tasting room and Jeff stopped in for a two-hour jam session. The sun was shining and the big doors were open as guests moved between the tasting room bar, the patio and the picnic area to enjoy wine, cheese and live music.
Overall a fabulously successful weekend and a great event to be held in southern Oregon celebrating Quality Artisanal products.
Hats off to the Rogue Creamery and the Oregon Cheese Guild for allowing the Ledger David family to participate in another great year!
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