by Annu Ross
On Monday, February 26, the newly official Gastronomy Student Association met for its first, well, official event—a wine and cheese pairing in a private room at Eastern Standard.
Molly Hopper, who heads up Eastern Standard’s cheese program, selected two cheeses from the Loire Valley of France, and Colleen Hein, who runs the restaurant’s wine program, paired a Burgundy Chardonnay with each cheese. The first plate arrived with a fresh goat’s milk cheese called Petit Billy, a reference to the town in which it is produced, as well as to the male goat. An apple and raisin compote and baguette slices accompanied the chevre. The Petit Billy was creamy and earthy with a nice tang. Colleen paired a 2009 Domaine de la Cadette Bourgogne Vézelay la Châtelaine Chardonnay with this first plate. The 100% Chardonnay, un-oaked Domaine de la Cadette is grown in limestone and clay soils close to Chablis. It was crisp and refreshing with a pleasant tartness and notes of citrus. The wine brought out some fruity notes in the cheese, for a bright and Springy pairing.
The second pairing was a pungent Brie Fermier de Jouvence and a 2008 Benjamin Leroux, Auxey- Dresses Chardonnay. The cow’s milk brie is aged 6 weeks and thermalized, which is an alternative pasteurization process that results in a cheese that is as close to a raw milk cheese as we will get in the United States, due to FDA regulations. The brie’s bloomy rind imparted a strong, complexity of flavor with notes of white pepper, hay, garlic, and truffle. The Benjamin Leroux wine, also made with 100% Chardonnay grapes, was oaky and full bodied and made an excellent match for the intense flavor of the brie. The honey comb paired with the brie and Chardonnay completed the trifecta of flavor.
Molly and Colleen were gracious and informed hosts who were eager to create this experience and share their knowledge with Gastronomy students. Molly gets all of Eastern Standard’s cheeses from Murray’s in New York and Formaggio Kitchen here, in Boston.
Following the delectable and enlightening tasting, students brainstormed future events and activities for the Gastronomy Student Association. Stay tuned for exciting lectures, gardening club, and more delicious tasting events—next up is a Syrah/Petit Syrah themed evening as part of the Fireside Chats series at The Fireplace on Saturday, March 31. The event is available to Gastronomy students at a special discounted rate of $25. To confirm a seat for this event, please contact Natalie Shmulik at natalie_shh[at]hotmail[dot]com.