Sunday, July 19, 2015

Wine and cheese and an adventure

I've been making wine and cheese for 6 years.  You'd think I'd know what I'm doing by now, wouldn't you?  I still feel I got lucky when I open a cheese and like it.  I'm afraid to type this, for fear I'm jinxing myself, but here goes.  I haven't made a terrible cheese in a while.  I'm not saying my cheeses would win any awards or anything, I'm just saying I'm willing to share them with friends and not be embarrassed.  The cheese in the above picture is a 9 month old colby.  Not only did it taste pretty good but it melts nicely too.  Since it's tomato season this makes for a great grilled cheese and tomato sandwich.  In the past few weeks I've made 4 manchego-like cheeses.  Real manchego cheese is made with sheep milk.  I've been cutting back on the amount of rennet I use with each cheese to see what the differences are.  I want to taste them at different ages and see which age I like best.  I'm also exploring making some new-to-me fresh cheeses.

2015 has been a good year for berries.  I've made 5 gallons of wine berry wine and 6 gallons of blackberry wine so far.  I've also made 3 gallons of pear/apple wine from fruit we had in the freezer from previous years.  I don't have high hopes for the pear/apple wine.  Unlike my desire to make a better cheese, I don't give much thought to my wine making.  I follow recipes to a point and then kind of wing it.  I don't share my homemade wine often because it can't be compared to what most people are used to.  I still hope to make some beet wine and sweet potato wine this year and who else but me and a few other friends with bad taste (sorry friends, you know who you are) would want to drink that?  James has also canned 5 gallons of wineberry juice and we've frozen some blackberry juice with more yet to come.

About the adventure.  James and I are planning a month long trip in January 2016.  Adam and Melissa said they'd farm sit so the planning has begun.  I figure if I blog about it we have to do it.  Now we have to choose a destination.  So far our choices are Portugal, Spain (possibly Barcelona) and France.  The reason I've considered France is because I've come across some cheese making classes I could take there, though I need to do some more research.  I'd love to visit some cheese caves and learn more about aging cheeses.  Perhaps on a visit to a market I'll befriend an artisanal cheese maker, they'll invite me back to their farm, we'll become great friends and they'll want to teach me everything they know while we drink really good wine.  It could happen, right?

Maybe 6 years from now someone will want to visit our farm and ask me to teach them to make a very fine cheese.


  1. It surely could happen . . . and you are the likely person to which it could easily happen . . . and those of us who are lucky enough to go places you go and where you sometimes share your cheese . . . will be happy to be tasters . . . of the cheese . . . I will reserve my comments/offering only to the cheese . . . wine not so much.

  2. Let me know when the beet wine is ready. Yes, I am one of THOSE friends.