As a major fromageophile, I get very excited when I learn of a new place to score great cheese.
Amanti Vino, located at 30 Church St., is well known as Montclair's source for unique wines, and craft beers. Now, the local shop has something extraordinary for you to nosh on while you sip - cheese!
Keeping with the Amanti tradition of smaller, artisanal producers, proprietor, Sharon Sevrens, has brought in twelve cheeses from some of "the most rustic wine growing regions in the world," that are sure to pair beautifully with your bottle of choice.
Among the Amanti fromage are:
1) Rolf Beeler Gruyère(Switzerland, Cow, firm) Gruyère is one of the most famous Swiss cheeses. It is made from cow's milk and has a nutty, slightly sweet taste with complex musty and mushroomy notes. Our wheels of Gruyère are aged by Rolf Beeler, a master affineur in Zurich, for at least sixteen months, resulting in a slightly granular texture and a firm pâte. Pair this cheese with a Champagne, Syrah, or even Zinfandel.
2) Tomme Fermier d'Alsace (France, Cow, firm smear) - Tomme Fermier d'Alsace is a firm, washed-rind (smear) cow's milk cheese made in the Alsace region of France. An additional aging of two to four months dramatically accentuates the lactic flavors and develops long, fruity notes with hints of mushrooms, grass, and butter. Riesling anyone?
Photo Courtesy of Amanti Vino3) Mousseron Jurassien (France, Cow, firm) - The Mousseron Jurassien is a firm, raw milk tomme, that delivers complexity of flavor from Jura mountain vegetation. It is a younger and milder cheese than the large Jura mountain cheeses such as Gruyère and Comté. The mushroom name of the cheese reflects the subtle distinct flavor which gives it a savory and light fruity finish.
4) Laurier (United States, Goat, soft) - Laurier is an Artisanal exclusive. This cheese was developed over the course of a year after conversations between Artisanal's Director of Affinage and Adeline Druart, Master cheesemaker of Vermont Butter and Cheese. Denis was searching for a goat cheese with a new taste profile. Luckily, Adeline had just returned from France with a recipe for a beautiful goat cheese. The Laurier is adorned with hand-selected bay leaves that give it a gentle bit of spiciness.
5) Barely Buzzed (United States, Cow, semi-firm) - Barely Buzzed is produced by Tim Welsh and Pat Ford at the Beehive Dairy in Utah. This rind of this cheese is rubbed with a blend of espresso coffee and lavender, and the flavors permeate gracefully to the core of the cheese as it ages. The Barely Buzzed won a Blue Ribbon from the American Cheese Society in 2008 and again in 2009.