Antonelli’s Cheese Shop and Jordan Winery

SXSW has been good to me this year. Like really good. Seven days of events in a row with five more to go, I have to keep reminding myself that SX is a marathon not a sprint. Do you ever find yourself complaining about how good your life is? Insert girly voice here “Omg I’m sooo tired. I have three events for interactive tonight and I’m on the list for this private show at the W at 1am”. I’m completely guilty of this. I think a lot of Austin dwellers actually are. Life is good here and I’m happy to be living it to the fullest.

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Speaking of amazing foodie events, like this wine and cheese tasting event last night at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop with Jordan Wine. It was a private event in their cheese house. Jordan Vineyard and Winery brought the wine and it was interesting to me to learn more about wine. I learned a lot because I have never been to an official wine class before… or cheese class for that matter. I kept taking notes the whole time because there were so many fun little snippets and facts that I wanted to be sure and share with you all!

Sidenote- I’ve totally been in my Mecca all week because I’ve been surrounded by other bloggers and techies who completely encourage social sharing… aka no one yelled at me for snapping pics and tweeting/instagraming/facebooking at the table!

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Check out this pairing list! Dreamy huh?

I learned that Jordan Winery only makes two wines: Chardonnay and Cabernet. They focus on making wine that pairs perfectly with food. In fact, the Jordan’s started their winery because they were such foodies and wanted an American wine that paired well with food!

For their Chardonnay, the insist on used (aged) oak barrels. That way the oak flavor does not over power the Chardonnay.

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This Red Hawk cheese from Cowgirl Creamery in Marin County, CA is one of only five cheeses imported to France from the US. It’s that good y’all.

I learned that this is a washed rind, triple creme cheese. Meaning that even though this cheese may smell stinky on the outside, it’s soft and buttery on the inside.

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The Red Hawk pairs well with Salumi. I also found myself eating this one all by itself.

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This is an Ossau-Iratay or erotic cheese according to the cheesemongers! The strawberry jam served with it was to bring out the strawberry flavors in the Cabernet. I actually enjoyed this drizzled with a little of the olive oil from
Jordan Winery. I liked the salty savory flavors it brought out in the cheese.

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Another fun fact, have you always wondered why people smell their wine so much? It’s because the tongue can only taste five flavors, but the nose can decipher over 800 scents! You can smell, err taste, so much more by taking a deep sniff before you sip!

That brings me to my next fun fact, why do you swirl the wine? Because it helps the scents of the wine evaporate into the tiny holes of the crystal glass, and you are then able to experience so many more of the flavors. This is also why you decant or let wine breathe.

Also, that’s why there’s a difference between wine crystal and regular glass. That high pitched ding of crystal can tell you a lot about the quality of the crystal which can enhance your experience of the wine. Fascinating!

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This is a Cabot Clothbound cheese from Vermont. It pairs nicely with chocolate, if you like that. I, again, preferred with the olive oil from Jordan Winery. I must get my hands on some of that olive oil!

Fun cheese fact: I learned that cow’s milk cheese is the most versatile and can take on the most flavors. Young goat’s milk cheeses are commonly paired with white wines. Aged sheep’s milk cheeses go best with red wines. Keep that in mind for your next party!

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Antonelli’s Cheese Shop regularly offers Cheese 101 classes, who wants to go to one with me?!?

A huge thanks to Antonelli’s Cheese Shop and Jordan Winery for such a wonderful event. It was a great experience and I hope to visit both places soon!