Wesleydale Cranberry Cheese
As the holidays approach, there are two things you need to try for yourself and, even better yet, serve to your guests, Sahti Ale and Wensleydale & Cranberries Cheese:
Brewed by New Belgium Brewing Company as a Finnish style ale, Sahti Ale is an olfactory orchestra of smells with a delicate balance of flavors. The juniper berry finish is balanced with oranges and lemons, giving this brew a festive and bright flavor. It is perfect for this time of year and I confess that it is my favorite brew yet.
Now, how does one take their favorite brew and find a cheese that is worthy? Ah, that is a difficult task indeed. I am a cheese snob. And the only thing I am more snobbish about than my cheese is my beer. So, when I discovered Sahti Ale, I was certain that it was too far superior to be paired with anything that might interfere with its beautiful and complex flavors. If you find that Sahti is too dreamy to be consumed in concert with anything that might overwhelm it, go with goat cheese.
However, if you are the adventurous sort, I recommend that you try the Wensleydale & Cranberries cheese from the Wensleydale Dairy of Yorkshire, England.
I love England. But, it is usually not my first pick as a country of origin for a favorite cheese. I am usually wowed by the Limerick cheeses of Ireland, the goat and sheep cheeses of Spain, and the taste sensations that come out of France. So, I wasn’t surprised to learn that this Wensleydale cheese actually originated from French Cistercian monks of the Roquefort region who immigrated to Yorkshire in 1150. Ah, bless the French for their taste buds and attempts to save England from their cheddar monogamy.
The downside to the Wensleydale & Cranberries cheese is that it will change the taste of the Sahti Ale which may be hard for one to accept.
But, if you can close your eyes and enjoy the concert that is delivered to your nose by the Sahti Ale, and then the beautiful mixing of juniper and fruit on your tongue as you consume this cheese and beer together, I think you will find it a spiritual experience.