Cowgirl Creamery Cheeseboard
We built this cheeseboard around four of our favorite cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery, which is up in Marin County. Each of the cheeses is stand-on-its-own special, and it’s fun to taste them in a flight and compare the flavors and textures.
Lisa Ali, our Tastemaster, has paired the cheeses with charcuterie and wines that bring out all their lovely complexity. All-in-all, the meats and cheeses make a nice, heavy board. If you add some fruits and nuts, you’re all set for happy hour appetizers — or even for a light meal with your book group.
Our tip: Let the cheeses come to room temperature before you eat them. They’ll soften a bit, and you’ll be able to taste the full spectrum of their flavors.
Mt. Tam + Carpegna Prosciutto and Gelson’s Rosé
Mt. Tam is a triple cream that tastes a bit like sweet cream butter and wild mushrooms. It’s amazing with the salty prosciutto. We love how, together, they bring out all the floral notes in the rosé — and how the wine’s dry acidity helps wash down all that lush, wonderful fat.
Pierce Pt. + Creminelli Varzi + Justin Sauvignon Blanc
Pierce Pt. is a gorgeous cheese — its rich, bloomy rind is pressed with field flowers, chamomile, calendula, and Thai basil. It’s a little firmer and more tangy than the triple cream, and you can taste the basil in it. The mild Varzi salami is so nice. It’s full of nutmeg, a lovely complement to both the herby cheese and the sweet notes of the Sauvignon Blanc. (Pierce Pt. is available seasonally.)
Red Hawk + Olli Genoa Salami + Meiomi Pinot Noir
The richest and most sumptuously creamy of the cheeses in this collection, Red Hawk has a pungent nose, but its flavor is smooth as can be. The mild Genoa salami gives it plenty of room to shine, and provides some salt-and-pepper balance for the Pinot Noir and its jammy berries.
Wagon Wheel + Ferrarini Salami de Parma + Cline Viognier
Wagon Wheel is a nutty, bold cheese — a little sweet, a little bitter, a little tangy, and quite salty. It’s the only one in the quartet that we’d eat with this spicy salami. Similarly, Lisa paired it with the Viognier: It’s a blockbuster in its own right, full of stone fruits and honeysuckle. It’ll stand up to the meat and cheese, and give both some sweet depth.