Monday, January 24, 2011

Vignola, Beer & Cheese Event, What A Concept!

For various reasons that I won't bore you with, 
I haven't posted since the end of Restaurant Week.  I've been pondering things to do lately 
( I may have a few) and looking for a way to jump back into the blog.
Saturday's casual 5th Annual Beer & Wine tasting at Vignola fit the bill.  
The event started at noon and I arrived around 1:30 having already taken pictures for the Forecaster at two earlier events. On hand were Zoe Brickley, cellar master from Jasper Hill creamery in Vermont. Jason Perkins from Allagash Brewing, David Kleban from Maine Beer Company and Eli Cayer from Urban Farm Fermentory. For the $25 per person entree, (as usual extremely frugal and a real value at Vignola) with 40 beers and 2 ciders plus roughly the same number of cheeses there were plenty of tastes to go around.

The brown white wafer like items were a plum and walnut roll

Gentleman farmer Dan kary, co-owner of Vignola/Cinque Terre restaurants and Cheryl Sullivan, New England cheese rep for Cheeseworks (NJ).

Eli Cayer, urban farm fermentory, was pouring his two hard ciders at the bar.  Baby Jimmy, a young unfiltered cider stored in old Jim Beam barrels and HOMA, a very interestingly tasting hopped cider full of citrus and grapefruit flavors, which drew raves from several people and was also my favorite. Eli sourced  his apples from Giles Orchards in Alfred and his hops from a grower in raymond.  He's working on a bunch of "culture" related food products on Anderson St in Bayside.

I tried 3 of the soft cheeses from CheeseWorks. The opening photo, Humboldt Fog could clog my arteries any day. The Napoleonic inspired Valencay, the ash covered pyramid in the backgroundwhich I had plenty of in Paris last April and the Pave Sauvage with Cobblestone Tarragon Berries are also nice choices.

Twig Farm Goat Tomme
Goat Tomme is a raw goat milk cheese, aged about 80 days. The cheese features a natural rind and a semi-hard texture. The milk for this cheese is made with the milk from pastured goats on our farm and from the farm of Dan Robertshaw, an off-the-grid dairy in Bridport, VT. Tomme was a ribbon winner at the American Cheese Society competition in 2006. Gets my vote, very nice, subtle but distinctive.

The sad thing about blogging events like this is that when you read about it you have a whole year to wait until the next one comes around.
Check the Vignola  or Portland Food Map for events like these to give variety and add value to your Portland foodie experience.

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