Your local source for premium regional, American and European Cheeses and Accompaniments
Orrman’s Cheese Shop, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, focuses on sourcing from small batch producers in the U.S. and takes pride in a robust selection of local and regional cheeses and a thoughtfully curated selection of artisan products.
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How to pair cheese with beverages
Pairing wine with cheese may seem like a daunting task. But treat it simply. Approach the pairing as you would any food — avoiding bold wines overpowering lighter, fruitier cheeses and vice versa. As a general rule, white wine — especially sparkling wine like Champagne — goes best with most cheeses. To avoid being overwhelmed, a dry red wine typically requires a bold cheese.
Pairing beer with cheese is a bit trickier. Some dark beers — like Guinness — may look heavy and intense and able to pair with a similar cheese — but actually drink much lighter than they appear. These pair well with light, fluffy chevres or triple creams. While a light-colored craft beer may contain huge flavors of citrus, pine needle, and sweet banana that would overwhelm a soft, fresh cheese. In general, bitter, hoppier beers like pale ales, IPAs, and pilsners pair better with cheddars and blue cheeses while sweeter, fruitier beers like lambics, goses, and hefeweizens pair well with more delicate freshly-aged cheeses.
Italian prosecco, American sparkling wines, Spanish cavas, and French Champagnes all work well with anything from a creamy cheese to an aged, crystalline gouda. But where these wines really shine is in their ability to cut through the richness of buttery cheeses like Brie, Camembert, Mt. Tam, and Robiola. Hidden flavor notes can be found in these rich, fatty cheeses assisted by a glass of sparkling wine. And their carbonation allows flavors to reach unexplored areas of your palate with each sip.
The most important guideline is to trust your own tastes. Detect a citrus note in your Albariño from Assorted Table Wine Shoppe? See what it’s like next to that lemony Sofia from Capriole. Cocoa flavors in Chocolate Lab from Looking Glass Creamery? Try it with NoDa Brewing’s Coco Loco Porter. Then reverse it. The best part of cheese and drink pairing is there are no rules. Find out what works best for you and run with it — just put down your beer glass first.
Cheese Spotlight: Smokey Mountain Chevre
Goat Lady Dairy in Climax, NC has operated in Randolph County in the Piedmont since 1995. They source milk from local North Carolina farms to make their line of goat and cow cheeses. Their cheeses have won numerous awards from the American Cheese Society for its Providence and Smokey Mountain cheeses, among others.
Their Smokey Mountain cheese starts out with 100% goat’s milk before being drained, then smoked over applewood to impart a smokey, bacon-like flavor. This fresh, smoked goat’s cheese works great tossed in an arugula salad with candied pecans or on a cheeseboard drizzled with honey, paired with a Scotch ale and a hunk of sourdough bread.
This cheese will be the first in a lineup of five cheeses, along with two Charlotte beers, selected by guest cheesemonger Erika Kubick, aka Cheese Sex Death, for her class this Monday, September 23rd from 6:30-8:30 p.m at Orrman’s Cheese Shop. Be sure to check our Facebook page for ticket info and event updates.