Although this is a wine blog, I thought I’d sneak in a posting about our recent visit to the Shevic cheese warehouse in moshav B’nai Tzion. After all, the right cheese can bring out the best in a wine and vice versa.
Several years ago I found out about Shevic and its owner/proprietor Alon Abaruch while at a boutique winery tasting. The wines were very pleasant and the cheeses that the winemaker had selected to accompany the wines were superb. I asked where they were from and that’s how I came upon Shevic.
Normally Shevic sells only to shops and restaurants, but Alon agreed that he would open his warehouse if I’d organize a group. After months of procrastinating I finally stared to make some calls, and the result was a most successful cheese tasting at Shevic’s warehouse last Friday.
Nearly everyone who said they’d come actually showed up, and all told we were 25 – 30 people. Alon, and his associate Eyal, laid out a spread of over a dozen cheeses along with various other interesting food items that he imports.
If you think it’s difficult keeping track of wines, cheeses are worse. There are so many styles and varieties I don’t know how anyone can keep them straight. I, of course, am nothing of a cheese maven, but I’ll do my best not to mix things up here. There were too many cheeses for me to describe them all, so I’ll just mention the ones I liked best.
One of my favorites was a sheep’s milk Camembert with a vein of blue cheese in the middle, from a local dairy called Markovich. I never would have though of mixing Camembert and blue cheese, but the combination is wonderful. My 12 year old son Daniel is particularly fond of this cheese as well. Markovich makes a series of Camembert and Brie style cheeses, all from sheep’s milk and all Kosher.
Along with these there was a very creamy and pleasant French goat’s milk Bouchet. Highly recommended.
As the morning unfolded people asked to taste various other cheeses, and Alon happily opened a spicy aged English Cheddar, an Italian Provalone, and a magnificent (Swiss I suppose) Gruyère. I don’t think I’d ever had a proper Gruière before, but I’m definitely a fan now.
Of course, one can’t have a proper cheese tasting without wine, and I had brought along some of Avi Yehuda’s 2007 Shaked Cabernet Sauvignon. I opened one bottle for tasting with the cheese, and it paired beautifully with the Gruyère.
It seems that everyone found at least one cheese that they liked, because I don’t think anyone left empty handed, and I know that several people bought quite a few cheeses. Along with that I also managed to sell a few bottles of the Yehuda Cabernet.
Suffice it to say that everyone had a good time, including Alon who enjoyed meeting everyone. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d be interested in doing this again.
Anyone who would like to participate in this kind of event in the future should send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll make sure to let you know if and when it will take place.