Hot From The Kettle just received word that Tallmadge Cheese Market, located in Upper Montclair Plaza (behind Starbucks and the Post Office on Valley Road) will be closing it's doors on April 2, 2011.
According to owner, Allin Tallmadge, the economic contributed to the closing of the shop:
We lost a considerable amount of money in the summer because of the parking lot situation. I figure I lost about $9,000 in the summer. If I had those reserves, I could probably hold out until Easter. Even though I hit the black in January I had no reserves to hold the shop through the winter weather.
We may play the Phoenix and resurrect someplace. It will probably be under a different guise and under a different business model and name. It's clear that just having a cheese shop is not the right model because there's nothing to draw the people in other than the cheese.
From now until April 2, Tallmadge will be selling off their inventory. Tallmadge is slashing pries to clear their cases. ALL cheeses will be marked down to $15.99 a pound. That's 50% off in some cases.
If you head down to Tallmadge, here's a few of my favorite cheese picks, along with wine pairings from Gary's Wine & Marketplace. All Wine Suggestions are from Maggie Fox, Wine Buyer and Wine Club Director at Gary's Wine & Marketplace.
Humbolt Fog An elegant, soft, surface ripened cheese. The texture is creamy and luscious with a subtle tangy flavor. Each handcrafted wheel features a ribbon of edible vegetable ash along its center and a coating of ash under its exterior to give it a distinctive, cake-like appearance. An American Original!
Sauvignon Blanc makes a classic pairing for goat cheese, as it’s fittingly light, tangy and palate-cleansing. Since Humboldt Fog is made in California, I like to pair it with California Sauvignon Blanc from the foggy Sonoma Coast. Our own Go Figure Sauvignon Blanc is made in Sonoma County with a touch of Semillon for a hint of creamy lemon-meringue richness.
Pecorino Tartufo (Puri Pecorini Senesi Tartufo, raw sheep's milk with truffles) Pecorino Tartufo Riserva aged for at least 6 months from Siena enriched by small flakes of Tuber Aestivum Vitt, the summer truffle whose tenuous scent comdines with the delicate flavor of the Tuber Albidum Pico, the unmistakable flavor of the white and black truffle.
Tomme l'Herbilette marketed in the US as Tomme de Bordeaux. It is the product of Affineur Jean D'Alos whose shop and aging cave is in the Town of Bordeaux France. Jean buys the goat cheese from cheesemakers in the Loire Valley, covers the young cheese with a layer of crushed herbs; thyme, savory, juniper, coriander, fennel, and cayenne
Though Sancerre or Bordeaux Blanc would be the classic pairing here, but I also like to serve goat cheese with a refreshing rose, particularly in the spring and summer when the new vintage is fresh and vibrant. Try the Tomme de Bordeaux with a 2010 Domaine Gaujal de Saint Bon Rose from the Cotes du Thau (the Languedoc Roussillon region of Southern France.) Made of 85% Cinsault and 15% Syrah and costing less than $10, it’s bright pink, fresh and lush, with a price tag that goes down just as easy as the chilled wine itself.
Grevenbroecke a blue produced by Flanders Belgium (http://www.catharinadal.be/)
Blue cheese makes a bold statement, so it needs a wine that can stand up to it and match those powerful flavors. A lush Cabernet Sauvignon from California always fits that bill, and I like 1883 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Wente Family in the Livermore Valley for its sweet spice and accessibility
Special Thanks to Gary's Wine & Marketplace for the wonderful wine pairing suggestions.