"The Cheese Nun" for a wine & cheese party
At last I've got my hands on the documentary film "The Cheese Nun", which follows an American nun on a Fulbright to study artisanal cheese-making in France. A perfect foil for a cheese tasting party!
From the synopsis, I understand that Sister Noella represents the cheesemakers from the abbey Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut, but the film follows her to Auvergne, France where they make St. Nectaire. I don't want to spoil the surprise by watching the film ahead of my cheese-tasting party, so I am looking to hounds to help me plan ahead.
What are your suggestions for cheeses related to those in the film? And wine? I am in New York and can get to Murray's cheese shop (expensive!) and Chelsea market.
Here's my first draft plan of cheese courses for comment, derived from Murray's on-line catalog, all raw milk based, arranged in pairs of French & USA cheeses for comparison tastings:
Course 1 - Semi-soft cow
St. Nectaire (Auvergne, France)
Grayson by Meadow Creek Dairy (VT, USA)
Course 2 - Semi-soft blue
Bleu d'Auvergne (Auvergne, France) or Persille de Malzieu (Languedoc-Rousillon, France)
Original Blue by Point Reyes (CA, USA)
Course 3 - Semi-hard Sheep
Tomme du Berger (Provence, France)
Tomme de Brebis by Hope Farm (VT, USA)
Course 4 - Hard Cow
Beaufort d'Alpage (Rhone Alps, France)
Dry Jack by Vella Cheese Co. (CA, USA)
Are eight types of cheese too many to taste in one night? Can the sequence be improved, or can you suggest other combinations? Thank you, cheese hounds.
Unless Murray's suggests otherwise, I'd be inclined to do the hard cow cheeses second, then the sheep, then the blues. Don't know how you are planning to serve, but if you do plates with slivers of each, I don't think this is too many cheeses. I did see that program and really enjoyed it. I know Murray's isn't cheap, but they are not unreasonable. I live in NYC as well, and while there are other stores I like (Ideal, Di Palo), I think Murray's is the best choice.