Cato Corner Cheese and Priam Vineyards Wine Pairing - It's Just Meant to be...

The pairing of wine and cheese has been a classic marriage for hundreds of years. Certain studies have shown a direct correlation of the geographical origins of wine and the traditional cheese making practices that hail from the same regions. This close proximity in regionalism is a natural catalyst for the pairings to be curated. Still centuries later we follow that practice with the relationship of Priam Vineyards and Cato Corner Farm - two farms less than a mile away from each other coming together to pair the two fruits of their labors. Our last pairing class with Priam was a sold out event and one of our favorites yet. Here are our tasting notes for those who want to take the same adventure.

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Riesling with Womanchego

This Riesling is off-dry with a palate of peach and pear notes opening up with a beautiful mouth feel. The nose conveys honeysuckle, and honey crisp apples. These fruit notes are what makes the pairing alongside Womanchego absolutely irresistible. Womanchego is our two time American Cheese Society Award winner with a mild, slightly fruity flavor and supple texture. Perfect for snacking or sandwiches.

Barrel Select Chardonnay with Dutch Farmstead

A full bodied barrel fermented Chardonnay with a palate of silky, buttery vibrant fresh fruit. The toasty oak quality of this wine brings out a wonderful nutty flavor in our Dutch Farmstead cheese. The creamy texture and buttery flavor of this cheese coats the tongue in a wonderful fashion.

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Salmon River Rose’ with Aged Bloomsday

A crisp and refreshing all year round Rose’ that conveys flavors of wild raspberries and citrus. This berry-noted wine pairs wonderfully with Aged Bloomsday. This cheese is the oldest, flakiest, sharpest in this pairing. Most often, bold and acidic cheeses require an amply full-bodied deep red wine - but in this case the berry notes and citrus flavors work perfectly with Aged Bloomsday.

Blackledge Red with Dairyere

Blackledge Red is a ruby St.Croix blend that offers up flavors of red berries and soft tannins on the tongue. A light bodied wine with a savory depth can only be paired with as complex of a cheese. Dairyere is our alpine variety that various in flavors of onion, toasted nuts, and sourdough bread. This cheese is one that keeps developing the longer it sits on the tongue.

Westchester Red with Black Ledge Blue

This pairing is the ultimate finish to a wonderful journey of wine and cheese - one of the most classic dessert finishes. Westchester Red is a semi-sweet blended red offering up hints of vanilla and licorice. This lightly toasted wine brings out many subtle notes in the Black Ledge Blue cheese. This blue cheese is a slight nod to the famous Stilton variety with its cheddar undertones and firm to creamy texture. The mushroomy quality pairs nicely the oak nose of this wine.

Priam Vineyards was first established in 1998, in 2002 became a licensed farm winery, opening the winery for retail sales in April of 2003. “Terroir” comes from the word “terre” or “land”, a French term in wine used to denote the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place bestows upon particular produce, which then contribute to the unique qualities of the crop.“

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Hop Culture & Brew Co. Beer and Cheese Pairing

A partnership that was built on farming and fermentation. Our brewery neighbors are less than a year into their journey of growing hops and selling brews on site but they have surely made a mark on the CT brewery scene. It was only natural that we would come together for a unique event that combine the likes of our cheese and their brews. Our pairing notes are provided so one could take themselves on the same pairing tour!

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Bend & Snap (Blonde Ale 5%) with Womanchego

Womanchego is our two time American Cheese Society Award winner with a mild, slightly fruity flavor and supple texture. Perfect for snacking or sandwiches. Pairs well with the Blonde Ale with has a subtle sweetness from local two row pale ale malt from Rooster Malt and the mild biscuit flavor from adjunct malts used used for this beer.

Agricultrice (Saison 6%) with Hooligan

Hooligan is a moderately pungent washed rind cheese in the style of French and Belgian monastery cheeses. Gallo Award Winner! It pairs nicely with the fruity esters and clove finish of the Saison. We believe the funky nature of Hooligan can only be matched by a funky nature-d beer such as Agricultrice.

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Get Em Boots (Stout 5%) with Black Ledge Blue

Black Ledge Blue is creamy and medium strong. It is ideal for pairing with dark beers, melting over steak, or enjoying in a salad. Get em Boots lends well to this blue because of its dense chocolate notes and subtle roasted finish. The combination of the two coming together in a roasted nuts style of way.

MIMF (New England IPA 7%) with Bloomsday

Bloomsday is our most popular cheese, offering hints of a cheddary bite balanced with a nutty sweetness which complements the strong grapefruit and citrus notes from the hops used in the MIMF.

Hop of Shame (Double IPA 8%) with Dutch Farmstead

Dutch Farmstead highlights our rich Jersey milk. Its creamy texture and butter flavor cuts through the hoppiness of the double IPA, while its lactic notes complement the citrus flavors in the beer.

Hop Culture & Brew Co. is a family owned hop farm and brewery that focuses on the ideas of beer’s agricultural roots and traditions to follow. The motto of the farm is “Great Beer Grows Here”, and that belief is shared among those who enjoy brews there on Saturday & Sundays.

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Bill's Potato Gratin with Vivace

Ingredients
2 medium onions
3-4 lbs yellow potatoes
½ lb Vivace
1 cup heavy cream
2-3 Tbsp Butter
Salt & pepper
Parsley, rosemary or other herbs for garnish (optional)

Procedure

1.      Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2.      Slice onions thinly and saute in 1-2 Tbsp butter until golden brown. 
3.      Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter.  Spread onions across the bottom.
4.      Slice potatoes very thinly with a knife or mandoline.  Season the slices with salt and pepper and toss lightly. 
5.      Grate the Vivace with the large holes on a cheese grater to yield approximately 2 cups of grated cheese.
6.      Spread 1/3 of the potatoes on top of the onions, then top with 1/3 of the cheese.  Repeat two more times, ending with a layer of cheese.
7.      Pour the heavy cream over the top of the entire casserole.
8.      Bake covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 15-30 minutes.  Gratin is done when casserole is bubbling, cheese is golden brown on top, and potatoes are tender when poked with a paring knife. 
9. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Top with parsley or other garnish if desired.

Cheese Crisps

Chef Chris Larson is one of our main cheese makers.  He found this recipe for “Cheese Pennies” on the King Arthur Flour website and substituted a combination of Bloomsday and Dairyere Reserve.  Chris also used mini cookie cutters to shape his crisps into candy canes, stars, and Christmas trees.  You can use your imagination to take them any direction you’d like (as long as you keep them small).

Ingredients
2 cups grated cheese, 1 cup each (1/4 - 1/3 lb) of Bloomsday and Dairyere Reserve
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
paprika (optional)

Directions
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the paprika to make a cohesive dough, sprinkling in a tablespoon or so of water if the dough doesn't seem to want to come together.

  1. As soon as the dough starts to come together, turn off the mixer and gather it into a rough ball.

  2. Transfer it to a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a 16" log about 1 1/2" in diameter.

  3. Wrap the log in waxed paper or plastic wrap, and chill it in the freezer for 30 minutes. 

  4. Using a serrated knife, slice the log crosswise into 1/8" rounds. Place them on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving only about 1/2" between them; they won't spread much as they bake. Sprinkle them with a bit of paprika, if desired. 

  5. Bake the cheese pennies in a preheated 400°F oven for 11 to 13 minutes, or until they're just beginning to brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool on the pan for several minutes before transferring them to racks to cool completely.

  6. Store, well-wrapped, for up a week.

Tips from the King Arthur bakers

  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper is discernible, while 1/4 teaspoon packs a moderate punch. Use more if you want a truly eye-watering experience.

  • If you want to freeze the dough for a longer amount of time, just make sure to remove it from the freezer about 30 minutes before you want to slice it

Spiced Mixed Nuts for your Cheese Plate

This recipe comes to us from our friends at Gracie’s Restaurant in Providence.  In addition to being loyal Cato Corner customers and strong supporters of local farms, Matt and his team at Gracie’s offer warm hospitality and an innovative menu for a superb night out!  Their mixed nuts with a combination of spicy cayenne pepper & sweetness make a festive and delicious accompaniment to a cheese board.

Gracie’s Spiced Mixed Nuts

Ingredients
6 Tablespoons light corn syrup
3 Tablespoons sugar
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 cups mixed nuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 F.  Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. 
Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl and stir to blend.  Add nuts, stir gently to coat.  Transfer to the baking sheet. 

Bake the mixture for 5 minutes.  Using a wooden spoon, stir nuts to coat with melted spice mixture.  Continue baking until nuts are golden and coating starts to bubble, about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Working quickly, separate nuts with a wooden spoon while they cool.

These can be made up to 3 days ahead.Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Cato Corner Cheese Balls

Thanks to Marge Rode on our staff and her husband Walt for this delicious cheese ball recipe!

Ingredients

 1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter - softened
3 cups grated Bloomsday or Dairyere (or a mix)

Mix altogether in a bowl and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.  Shape into 1/2" sized balls.  Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes (or more) on an ungreased sheet, until nice and brown and crunchy.  Makes 6 dozen.
You can freeze these before baking and cook them straight from the freezer - bake at 425 F for 12 minutes

Bourbon Candy Apples with Aged Bloomsday

This recipe comes to us from Salem Cheese Shop in Salem, MA.  If you’re ever up in the area check out their amazing store - and thank them for being strong supporters of Cato Corner Farm.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium Honey Crisp or other firm, sweet apples

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

  • 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • popsicle sticks

  • Aged Bloomsday

Directions

  1. Wash and dry the apples. This can be done the day before to insure that they are completely dry. Push a popsicle stick into the center stem of each apple.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper with butter or cooking spray.

  3. In a medium size sauce pan, over medium-high heat, stir together the water, sugar and corn syrup, until mixture is bubbly and lightly boiling.  

  4. Reduce the heat to medium and position a candy thermometer or instant read thermometer on the side of the pan. Continue to cook the mixture until the thermometer reads 275 degrees.

  5. Using extreme caution, stir in the bourbon a little at a time, along with the cinnamon, and vanilla seeds. The mixture will bubble up slightly with each addition of the bourbon. The mixture is extremely hot, use extra care during this step.

  6. Allow mixture to reach 300 degrees and turn off the heat, allowing the mixture to cool slightly to 275 degrees. 

  7. Tilting the pot slightly, quickly and carefully dip each apple, one at a time into the syrup, allowing the excess to drip off. Place apple on baking sheet and allow to cool completely, about 30 minutes or overnight. Reheat the mixture if the syrup cools to quickly and falls below 265 degrees.

  8. Apples can sit uncovered at room temperature overnight, up to 24 hours

  9. Serve with slices of Aged Bloomsday.

Grows Together, Goes Together – Priam Vineyards Wine & Cato Corner Farm Cheese

The old adage in wine & cheese pairings is 'if it grows together, it goes together'. Wine and cheese have been tied to regions that date back centuries throughout Europe – styles of each became synonymous with the land and the people that make them. Our neighbors at Priam Vineyards make wine about a mile away from our farm. People will often stop at the farm for a slice of cheese to bring over and enjoy with a glass of wine at their vineyard. Recently, we brought together our most discerning palates did the thankless work of tasting many combinations of our cheeses and wines. We settled on a five wine, five cheese course that highlight a range of unique pairing ideas.

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Riesling & Womanchego

The first pairing brings together two acclaimed prize winners for a classic light and crisp combination. The Riesling has notes of green apple and honeysuckle that enliven the naturally fruity qualities of Womanchego. Together, these two make can be snacked and sipped upon over the course of a long, springy sunny afternoon.

Jeremy River White & Bloomsday

Priam's Jeremy River White is a blended white with plenty of sweet pastry-like notes. When matched up with our nutty, medium sharp Bloomsday, some of the more forward, bright notes get muted and open up a rich palette of lower notes in the wine.

Salmon River Rosé & Aged Bloomsday

This pairing flies in the face of convention! Aged Bloomsday is the oldest, flakiest, sharpest cheese in this pairing. Most often, bold and acidic cheeses require an amply full-bodied deep red wine. But this isn't always the case. Priam's Salmon River Rosé is pleasantly dry and floral in a way that cuts the acidity of the Aged Bloomsday and makes for a crisp and refreshing combination.

Blackledge Red & Dairyere

This one is a classic match! Priam's riff on a Bordeaux style wine meets our riff on a Gruyere style cheese meet for a rich and complex umami explosion. Deep, savory notes of wood and caramel undergird the dark berry nose of this wine, while the cheese touches upon all parts of your palate, from sweet to nutty to oniony and floral. The conversation between these two is too hard to simplify into words!

Westchester Red & Black Ledge Blue

The grand finale of this pairing course is a decadent dessert pairing. The Westchester Red blend has plenty of spicy-sweet notes that pepper up the mushroomy and creamy fungal Black Ledge Blue. With a handful of toasted almonds, a drizzle of honey, and bitter dark chocolate, this is the type of dessert pairing to sit at the table with long after the meal has concluded.

Salmon River Red & Dairyere Reserve

Although we did not feature this pairing at the ticketed event, these are two stand alone products that go very well together.  Salmon River Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and St. Croix yielding a Bordeaux-like wine with complex aromas of leather, coffee, and mocha and a palate of plum, black currant, and caramelized coconut.  The Dairyere Reserve brings a balance of sharp and sweet with a firm texture that finishes with a hint of caramel & a bit of crystal crunch.  Enjoy these each on their own - and then pair them for a sublime experience.

Sweet & Salty: Savor Shortbread Cookies and Cheese

Savor Fine Foods has been making shortbread cookies that are ever inventive with their melange of flavors. They pull from a range of quality ingredients to make cookies that are in turns sweet, savory, spicy, floral, and more! The complexity of these little shortbread cookies makes them a perfect companion for a variety of cheeses. We put together a salty-sweet pairing for Valentine's Day

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Lavender & Bloomsday

Sweet, light and floral with a light nutty Bloomsday makes for an eminently snackable pair that is sure to please a wide range of palates.

Moka Ginger & Dairyere Reserve

The Moka Ginger cookies is rich and spicy enough to hold its own next to the hazelnut and caramel sweetness of Dairyere Reserve.

Dried Shallot & Black Ledge Blue

The oniony funk of the shallot cookies enrich some of the more fungal and funky notes in the blue cheese

Firefly Hot Pepper & Hooligan

Is Hooligan too stinky for you? Or do you crave that stench and want to push it further with another strong flavor? Either way, this spicy little cookie elevates the Hooligan to a piquant and pungent match for those seeking the extremes of culinary experiences!

Hors d'Oeuvres for Game Day

Whether you're watching a game or are otherwise enjoying a leisurely evening with friends and family, these three hors d'oeuvres featuring Cato Corner Cheese are sure to liven up the party. They are balanced, simple comfort food recipes brought to life with the flavor and provenance of raw-milk cheese. You can thank our cheesemaker, Chris, for the passion and attention he put into crafting these offerings! Click here to download the recipes as a printable PDF.

Bloomsday Pimento Cheese

 

  • 8 oz. grated Bloomsday cheese
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers, diced
  • ¼ cup diced pickles
  • 3 tablespoons mayo
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  1. Add ingredients to a food processor and mix until a coarse puree is formed. Chill and serve with bread, crackers or crudité.

Dairyere Gougeres 

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 oz. finely grated Dairyere cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a saucepan combine the water, milk, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, then add flour and stir well with a spoon until a smooth dough forms. The mixture will become drier and pull away from the sides of the pan.
  2. Remove dough to a bowl. Beat eggs into mix one at a time, until well incorporated. Add cheese, reserving ½ oz. for later, as well as the pepper and nutmeg.
  3. Transfer to a pastry bag with a ½ inch tip. Alternatively, a Ziploc bag with a ½ inch hole cut in one corner can be used. Pipe tablespoon sized mounds onto the sheet pans about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of each gougere and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve as is or split and fill with prosciutto, arugula and peppadew peppers.

Black Ledge Blue and Bacon Potato Skins

  • 8 medium sized russet potatoes
  • 4 oz. crumbled Black Ledge Blue Cheese
  • 6 slices cooked and chopped bacon
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil (For Deep-Fry Method: See step 3)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (For Broil Method: See step 4)
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven 400. Prick each potato several times with a fork and bake on a sheet pan until tender, about 45 minutes.
  2. Allow potatoes to cool briefly, then cut each in half horizontally. Scoop out flesh, leaving about ¼ inch. Reserve for another use. At this point the potato pieces can be either deep-fried or broiled.
  3. To fry, heat the vegetable oil in a large pot to 350. Cook the potato skins in two batches, until well browned, about 3 minutes. Drain on a wire rack or paper towel lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. To broil instead, preheat the broiler setting and brush each potato skin all over with the melted butter. Place on a baking sheet and broil until each side is well browned but not burned, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. To finish, top the potatoes with the cheese and bacon and broil until the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Putting Us on the Map

Often we will have people stop into the shop and tell us where they have happened upon our cheeses in their travels. There are stories of Hooligans in the streets New Orleans, Dutch Farmstead in the plains of the Midwest, Bloomsday in the city of brotherly love. We truly appreciate the cheese shops, groceries, gastropubs, cafes, and more that have helped us share our cheese with those who don't get to the farm.

To honor those cheese enthusiasts who have put us on the map, we've decided to put them on our own map. Our new map is a small artifact of cheese cartography intended to connect our cheese and our friends wherever they may find themselves.

Please take a look at the map, it may surprise you how close you might be to a hunk of Cato Corner Cheese either in a monger's case or on a chef's plate. The map will have a permanent home on our 'shop' page, and we hope to keep adding new points to the map as we go along. Feel free to let us know if we've overlooked a spot that you think we should pin on to the map, and please do explore all of the cheeses you'll find at any of these great places.

Red markers indicate cheese shops and groceries that carry our cheese. Green markers indicate restaurants that often feature our cheese on their menu. Blue markers indicate farmer's markets where you can find our cheese. Yellow markers indicate wholesale distributors.