Whistle Stop Tour: Verano, Vermont Shepherd, Vermont {American Cheese Month}

by mncheese on October 23, 2012

in american cheese month,American-NewEngland,American-Northeast,Brews,Cheese!,Milk,Raw,Sheep,Vinos

As much as we love Wisconsin cheeses, it’s time to hit the road again and explore another cheesy part of the country, the Northeast. And we’d be remiss if our whistle stop tour didn’t pull into Vermont, home to some of our favorite cheesemakers and a kick-ass cheese festival each summer. Despite our plentiful consumption of Vermont cheeses, we were able to hunt down some newbies (to us) to sample this week. Case in point – Vermont Shepherd’s sweet and sunny sheep’s-milk cheese, Verano.

Vermont Shepherd is located in Westminster, Vt., and produces just two sought-after cheeses. Verano is the raw, 1oo percent sheep’s-milk cheese that cheesemaker David Major produces from spring and early summer milk. Also called “verano” to distinguish it from the winter-variety mixed-milk cheese the farm also creates (Invierno), this cheese is aged three to five months, so when it hits your cheese shop in the fall, it brings a blast of Indian summer with it. I was blown over by the wonderfully floral, honeyed flavor of my wedge as small slivers melted smoothly on my tongue. I detected notes of hay, wildflower and sweet grasses as I nibbled my way toward the rind. Though others have reported an earthy flavor – perhaps from the underground cave where Vermont Shepherd ages its cheeses – I didn’t taste anything but sweetness and light.

Though I usually pair such cheeses with a white wine, I definitely could see Verano matching well with an Oregon Pinot Noir or another light- to medium-bodied red. Beer lovers would find pairing magic with a nutty brown ale or Hefeweizen.

{ 1 comment }

Chris October 23, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Sheep’s milk cheese rules!!!

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