I was feeling blue……. like blue cheese! Blue cheese has always been one of my favorite cheeses of all time. Finding the best blue cheese in Sonoma County turned out to be a bit more difficult than I thought. Oliver’s Market seemed the natural, easy choice, but unfortunately, they had a very small selection of local blue cheeses. I was really hoping to see several in their large cheese case. The standard Point Reyes Blue (always a great choice), was easy to spot, as well as the Point Reyes Bay Blue and the Grazin’ Girl from Valley Ford Cheese Co. It seemed like I would need a third blue cheese, but Oliver’s did not have any other local blues. I opted for the St. Agur French blue.
Pair that Cheese!
I arranged the cheeses on a tray and poured myself a glass of Conquilla Cava. It’s a go-to sparkling for me since it’s only $9 a bottle and delicious! Lots of bubbles, dry and tangy and pairs exquisitely well with blue cheese.
Earnestly Taste the Blues
I dove into the Grazin’ Girl first. Made by Valley Ford Cheese Company in the style of gorganzola, the Grazin’ Girl ($19.99/lb) was on the salty side as most gorganzolas are. It had a light tang and creamy mouthfeel with tiny crystals which I love about Valley Ford’s cheeses.
Moving onto the Bay Blue from Point Reyes Cheese Company ($23.99/lb) was a delight. In contrast, the Bay Blue was slightly sweet with a nutty quality and is a little more on the crumbly side. It was much more mild than the Grazin’ Girl but with a different kind of complexity. The French blue from St. Agur ($21.99/lb) was salty and super creamy, but had that old sock, stinky cheese quality. So typical of the French. it may sound bad, but that stinky quality is just so delicious!
I tried each one of the cheeses again (and again) followed by a swallow of the cava to see how it paired. Each one of the blues complimented the sparkling and brought out the apple flavors of the wine. It was a pleasant surprise because each one of the very different blues complimented the cava in a similar way.
In Search of More of the Best Blue Cheeses
It’s safe to say, my afternoon of tasting was a win for me! I am a huge cheese fan in general, so I am looking forward to the 14th Annual Artisan Cheese Festival in March, where I will hopefully discover even more of the best blue cheeses that Sonoma County has to offer! I’ll also be heading out to hit the Cheese Trails on my quest for the best blue cheeses in the area! I’ll continue the search for more local blue cheeses and if you know of any, send them on over!