Europe doesn’t own the patent on heavenly cheese. But, they certainly can take credit for so many wonderfully cheesy innovations. For example, wrapping cheese in bark like the soupy alpine cheese, Vacherin Mont d’Or.

This February Wasik’s Cheese Shop in Wellesley, MA, has us examining an American version of the raw cow’s milk, bark-wrapped soft cheese by Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont. Those Wellesley cheese geniuses now have us hooting and hollering for Winnimere cheese!

WINNIMERE – Jasper Hill Creamery

CHEESE – Soft Ripening Cheese

DAIRY – Raw Cow’s Milk

ORIGIN – Vermont

COST – $30.00 per pound

I’m deep into wine and cheese this month. I can’t say this is some new habit and blame the cold weather, because I’m pretty much always consuming wine and cheese. And you know what, I’m not sorry one bit.

And why would I be? Cheese and wine are delicious alone and even better when enjoyed together!

So, after Brad Wasik told me to expect a decadent yet “farmy” and “woodsy” flavor, I thought it made sense to combine our Wine Wednesday Zinfandel with the Jasper Farms Winnimere cow’s milk cheese. Rather than having a dance-off, these two bold flavors danced together. It was awesome.

Now, if you’re ready to give Winnimere a go, this is the way to do it. Let it sit out at room temperature. It will get nice and soft. At that point, cut off half of the top, plop in a spoon and enjoy!

I also really liked the story behind the cheese. Jasper Hill Dairy Farm first started milking cows about two decades ago. Back then, they were a small production domestic cheesemaker. But, they had a vision for their farm. First, they wanted to make premier cheese. For example, the Winnimere is made in the winter when the cows are making hay, creating an earthy winter’s milk. The strips of spruce are native to Vermont, and they use the tree’s flexible inner bark layer, called the cambium. With a brine wash, all of these factors add up to a pretty spectacular cheese. First vision accomplished!

The next part of their vision is even cooler. They wanted to create sustainable farming and give back to the community. About 90% of the money they make they reinvest into 15 square miles around the farm. Knowing that makes it taste even better. 😉

Don’t forget to visit Wasik’s in Wellesley. For a fun and unique gift, consider sending a cheese & goodies basket!

PHONE:(781) 237-0916

“When my get-up-and-go has got up and went
I hanker for a hunk o’ cheese! 
When I’m dancin’ a hoedown and my boots kinda slow down,
Or anytime I’m weak in the knees,
I hanker for a hunk of,
A slab or slice or chunk of,
A snack a day’s a winner
And yet won’t spoil my dinner!
I hanker for a hunk o’ cheese!”