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Choose the perfect accompaniment for your cheese—expert wine, beer and food pairing suggestions for Rogue Creamery’s award-winning blues, cheddar and original cheese.
Pairing Tip: Pair regional foods, wine and beer together. Pair light colored wines and beers with fresh cheeses. Wines higher in tannin exaggerate flavors in cheese ie. fat, sharpness, sweetness and animal flavors. Dessert wines pair nicely with cheeses that have a salty, sharp or bitter flavor.
Browse pairings for all of our: Blues, Cheddars, TouVelle, Curds, plus Beer & Cheese pairings courtesy of Rogue Ales, Coffee & Cheese and even Tea & Cheese. Enjoy!
Generally pairs well with full-bodied reds, or sweeter whites such as Gewürztraminer or late harvest. Port is classic. Specifications follow:
Rogue River Blue:
A medium wine won’t stand up to Rogue River Blue, so choose wines of age and distinction: Viognier, classic French or German Gewürztraminers, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, dessert wines; pear brandy; whiskey or bourbon; hazelnut porter or chocolate stout.
Oregon Blue is a versatile cheese that accents salads of every season - winter beets, spring mesclun, summer corn and tomatoes, and fall squash - let alone alongside earthy fruits like figs and red pears. Adds a great hit of tanginess to earthy meats like lamb burgers and hanger steak. A perfect candidate for the cheese board this blue pairs nicely with a supple Viognier, Riesling or Pinot Noir. Also highlighted with a dark beer like Porter or Stout, and coffee.
Crater Lake Blue:
On the cheese board, Crater Lake Blue is a fabulous way to punctuate a cheese selection. Wonderful paired with dried pears or dark honeys, or served on a crisp cornmeal cookie. The bold and savory flavors in this blue call for beverages with more fruit or touch of sweetness like a Late Harvest White, Syrah or Port. This blue is also a great match for beers like Stout and Barleywine Ales.
This fudgy blue makes a wonderful accompaniment to fruit and nut-studded crisps, stewed shallot compote, or a contrasting bright orange marmalade. The addition of Caveman Blue can transform a simple side dish of roasted butternut squash, toasted pecans and dried cranberries into a main course. Caveman’s earthy backbone is a wonderful foil for a range of beverages — bold reds like Zinfandel, sweeter picks like American style desert wines, playful whites like Tokaji, and full-flavored Stouts.
Flora Nelle Blue:
Bold blues like Flora Nelle yearn for accompaniments that are both earthy and sweet like dark buckwheat honey or figs soaked in port. If this blue is a touch strong for your palette, spread it on a cracker coated with sweet cream butter. Serve for dessert alongside a round, sweet Sauternes or PX Sherry. A few crumbles of Flora Nelle will go a long way in the kitchen. Add to salads along with toasted pecans and a vinaigrette made with a sweeter, aged balsamic. Sprinkle atop a pizza with coppa and caramelized onions, or bake into savory thumbprint shortbread crackers filled with fig jam.
An elegant and luscious blue cheese fitting for any cheese board, Oregonzola pairs well with prosciutto, figs, and pears. Spoon over warm polenta and top with toasted pine nuts for a rich and flavorful dish. This creamy and fruity blue is lovely with red wines like Syrah and Pinot Noir but also sings alongside a Vin Santo.
Smokey Blue can elevate the simplest foods — think burgers and deviled eggs — to new highs. On the cheese board, this blue provides great contrast to accompaniments like nut brittle and roasted or preserved fall fruits. The strong savory flavors of Smokey Blue can stand up to bigger red wines like Cabernet Franc or Zinfandel but are also beautiful with white wines that have sweetness and adequate depth like Sauternes. For more adventurous palettes, try this blue with an American Whiskey or Bourbon.
Echo Mountain Blue:
For a cheese plate, serve simply with wine and fullflavored wheat crackers; the ultimate stuffing for meat, poultry and vegetables; excellent with savory and ethnic foods. Stuff chicken breasts with Echo Mountain, shallots and spinach; stuff pork chops with Echo Mountain, sage and onions. This blue needs a lighter red like Pinot Noir to match its delicate flavor or a Viognier with herbaceous, floral tones. Also try Cabernet Franc or a peppery Cabernet Sauvignon.
Generally pairs well with medium to dry white and red wines, especially the sharp and extra-sharp cheddars. Flavored cheddars, usually at the mild or medium level, will expand the selections in both categories. Don’t forget the beers – cheddars are classic companions to a variety of ales, stouts and lagers.
Subtle toasted notes make this cheddar a perfect candidate for pairing with Lager, or a Stout of course, for a satisfying afternoon snack. Not as sharp as many cheddars, the Chocolate Stout Cheddar is also nice with a lighter Chardonnay or Syrah. Combine this sturdy melting cheese with sweet onion jam on thick cut slices of pullman loaf or levain for a fantastic grilled cheese sandwich.
Like this cheese as a center piece on a cheese plate accented with pecans and hazelnuts; an ideal accompaniment to an IPA or Ale. It perfectly draws out the mineral, earthy and floral flavors in a noble Riesling. This cheese makes the most decadent grilled cheese, aromatic and buttery and absolutely fulfilling. Take a plate of nachos to a perfect place by shredding Hopyard on top.
Mount Mazama will stand out on a cheese board with a range of accompaniments from chutneys to roasted nuts. The ploughmans lunch was designed around cheeses like Mount Mazama, its sweeter notes provide a satisfying contrast to savory and acidic accompaniments like pickles. Served with a hunk of bread and a spot of beer this cheese could be the centerpiece of a delicious lunch. Perfect for a hearty sandwich with cured ham and spicy mustard—served alongside a cold pint of CDA. This cheese also pairs well a sparkling white like a Cremant du Jura or a Southern Oregon Merlot that can balance the thick texture and richness.
Pistol Point is a tireless contributor in the kitchen with its ability to take dishes like tomato soup, enchiladas, or cold pasta salads to the next level. It is also a satiating savory snack alongside roasted or candied nuts. A highlight on any cheese plate. Play up the spice and smoke by pairing this cheddar with a Smoked Lager or try a sweeter match like a Brown Ale or Porter to offset the savory qualities.
Morimoto Soba Ale:
Pairs well with Morimoto Soba Ale from Rogue Ales, Czech Pilsner, or a sparkling wine.
1 Year Cheddar: (Sharp Cheddar)
Serve with hard cider or hoppy IPA. Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Claret, full bodied reds and whites.
2 Year Cheddar: (Xtra Sharp Ched)
Pairs well with a nice merlot or a pale ale.
1 Year Raw Cheddar: (Raw Milk Cheddar)
Pairs well with Tempranillo, Zinfandel, and India Pale Ale.
This semi-hard cow’s milk cheese is a workhorse in the kitchen because it mild yet full of flavor and it melts so thoroughly and evenly. Wonderful for rich sauces, it browns beautifully and is a welcome addition atop baked casseroles, or a delicious, gooey binder in strata or quiche. Enjoy TouVelle with a refreshing white wine like Pinot Gris, a modest ale, or a lager.
This seductively floral TouVelle is a stunner on a dessert tray with chocolate or lavender honey paired with a sparkling or dessert wine, or a Farmhouse Saison brew. A great melting cheese, Lavender TouVelle is a magical ingredient in savory shortbreads and scones.
Earthy notes of rosemary and the rich flavors of brown butter are enlivened when paired with a crisp white like Pinot Gris or a refreshing ale. The crisp texture and sweetness of roasted pecans make them a wonderful accompaniment to rosemary TouVelle on a cheese plate and rhubarb jam brings out the cheese’s delicate lemon aromatics. Although this cheese works well as a finishing ingredient in many refined dishes, it is also makes a mean grilled cheese all by itself or combined with pickled sweet onions and fig preserves.
Pickled raisins and dried cranberries are great accompaniments for Smokey TouVelle on a cheese board. In the kitchen, this cheese can be added to any dish that would benefit from a slight tang and hint of smoke like a rustic tomato tart, stuffed peppers, or a savory mac and cheese. Pair with Porters and Stouts or try a Smoked Pilsner or Lager.
Very light in traditional cheese characteristics; the flavoring agents become prevalent in the flavored varieties. Curds pair well with most beers, and with lighter white and red wines.
Plain Curds: good with Rose, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir.
Pesto Curds: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir.
Jalapeno Curds: Ales, Lagers, Pilsners.
Garlic Curds: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir.
Beer & Cheese Pairings Courtesy of Rogues Ales:
Samples of Beer, Dinner Menus & Pairing Ideas
Beer And Cheese Pairings: A review of Fred Eckhardt's beer and cheese tasting at the Rogue Public House in Portland was posted to Lucy Saunder's web page, BeerCook.com. Rogue Beer and Cheese Tasting and...Fred Eckhardt's article as it appeared in All About Beer Magazine Beer and Cheese and... our friends at Rogue Creamery in Central Point, Oregon won several medals for their cheeses at the 2003 American Cheese Society conference - we love pairing Rogue Ales with Rogue Creamery Cheeses!
Here are a few pairings from recent tastings:
Crater Lake Blue with Rogue Ales Old Crustacean
Crater Lake Blue with Rogue Chocolate Stout
Oregon Blue with Rogue I2PA
Pesto Cheddar with Rogue Honey Cream Ale
Rosemary Cheddar or Rosemary TouVelle with Saint Rogue Red
Raw Milk Cheddar with Rogue Smoke
When seeking an alternative beverage to create sublime cheese pairings, turning to a pot of freshly brewed coffee may not be the first thing that springs to mind. For those in the know though, the right caffeinated brew can really hit the mark.
Daring foodies are always looking for the next tasting adventure and coffee and cheese pairing is just the thing to stir your senses on a cold winter morning. Jared Rennie, owner of Ashland, OR based Noble Coffee Roasters, has been pairing cheeses with his brews for a number of years and has converted many people to the pleasures of the duo.
"I feel pretty fortunate to be part of this Southern Oregon food artisan community," Rennie says. "There is a fairly small population in the Rogue valley, yet people are doing some very innovative things with food." A common thread through many area businesses including Noble Roasters and Rogue Creamery is a focus on quality.
"In the coffee industry," he says, "there are two different approaches that are often mutually exclusive. Roasters either a focus on organic, fair trade and sustainability and quality is secondary or they focus on quality over anything else. We do both."
In Rogue Creamery, Rennie sees a kindred spirit. "Both businesses focus on making quality products while also making good decisions for sustainability, for people and for the planet," he says. "The good news is, when you focus on quality of raw products from a sustainability angle, many times quality naturally goes hand in hand."
Pairing Rogue Creamery cheese and Noble Roasters brews seemed like a no-brainer several years ago when David and Cary began talking with Jared about what a partnership might look like. Today, Noble coffees are the exclusive featured coffee brand in the Cheese Shop.
"I’ve done a bit of experimenting and it’s great fun," says Rennie. "What you’ll find is that the dynamic is similar to pairing wine with cheese. In both, you have to consider aroma, flavor, sweetness, acidity, mouthfeel and finish."
As with wine, you can pair coffees with cheeses that are very similar and complementary or you can seek out combinations that are polar opposites, depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
"If you’re trying to achieve harmony, you could pair a smokey Cabernet Sauvignon with Smokey Blue. When looking to coffee, I recommend our Daydream Blend which includes beans from Indonesia and Latin America which are deeply roasted to bring out their smokey notes. It’s a knockout with Smokey Blue."
"In my experience, I’ve had the most success with pairings of similar flavors," he says. "Brazilian coffee is naturally lower in acidity, with a creamier nuttier profile, very similar to Medium Cheddar. The two work very well together."
One more variable in the mix is adding other complimentary items to the pairing. For instance, adding a jam into the mix with a fresh cheese like chèvre is great. "You have sharpness of cheese, the sweetness and berry acidy from the jam which pairs great with a lighter roast like our Kenyan from East Africa, one of our roasts which is up for a ‘Good Food Award’ this year," he says. "The coffee has a nice fruity acidity which works well in tandem with the cheese and jam."
With the cold and dark days of winter upon us, brighten up your day with a bold and energizing pairing of cheese and coffee. What’s your favorite pairing? Be sure to share it with us on our Facebook page!
Looking for yet another great way to indulge with your favorite cheeses alongside a beverage steeped in tradition? Look no further than a cup of your favorite fine tea. It turns out, a brilliant brew can be a great match for your favorite wedge.
Our favorite tea maker, Steven Smith of Smith Teamaker, gave us some great pointers for dynamite duos. Smith, founder of both Stash and Tazo fine teas, began his latest venture last year. Working with the finest ingredients, Smith and his team expertly handcraft the finest teas, tonics and elixirs on a shady street in Portland.
"So many different flavor nuances in tea can compliment and contrast the flavors in cheese," says Smith. "Whether it’s tea of one particular type, blended teas or even flavored types, there are unique flavor profiles in our ingredients in the blend that can really compliment the cheese."
Similar to pairing wine with cheese, there are some structural elements in tea that work to build bridges. Smith notes that, like single varietal wines, single origin teas can really hone in on specific qualities that can elevate the pairing.
"In these single origin teas, you really get that evolution of flavor experience: sharp jagged edges, dense centers and sometimes a dry or caramelized finish," he notes. These flavors evolve on the palate in the same way a fine wine or beer would.
"With black tea, there’s often an inherent sweetness mixed up with malty notes and tannic, dark cherry or leather, smoky and spicy notes, all really great counterpoints for cheeses that have sharp characteristics or nuttiness. For that reason, black teas are a really strong combination with raw milk sharp cheddar."
To pair blue cheese, Smith goes a different direction. "With the blues, I’d recommend our Red Nectar which is a combination of South African Rooibos and Honeybush or our Big Hibiscus. Hibiscus has that tart kind of flavor would be a lovely contrast with Caveman and Oregon Blue." Smith recommends the classic approach to steeping tea. Use about rounded teaspoon of loose tea for each cup or, use our pre-measured sachets. Preheat your teapot with hot water and add the appropriate amount of tea.
For black and flavored teas, use boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. For green tea, use water just off a boil and steep for 3 minutes. Smith advises starting with less water than you think you’ll need for a perfect cup. You can always add more hot water and get to the right level of flavor. In this way, you can calibrate the tea to your taste buds and whatever you’re pairing. Tea also lends itself to a variety of temperatures. You can enjoy hot or iced depending on the season, providing even more opportunities for experimentation. Iced tea is great anytime, and pairs nicely with cheeses and fruits and other kinds of items that you might have before or after a meal.
To make the perfect iced tea, steep tea double strength for the appropriate time. Then add cool water to the vessel that you’ve steeped the tea in before pouring it over ice. If you add the ice to the hot tea, the ice melts and can impact the balance of tea. He advises preparing iced tea ahead of time, but don’t refrigerate or the tea becomes cloudy.
Next time you’re craving a bit of cheese, opt for a spot of tea alongside. Share your perfect pairings with the world on our Facebook Page.
Mount Mazama wins its class at 2014 ACS! We are super proud of our cheese makers. Mount Mazama is made from a mix of cow and goat milk and aged 6-12 months.
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Rogue Creamery's historic Cheese Shop is open 7 days a week and just 1 mile from I-5. It's the home of the best blue cheese in the world.
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