If you love cheese and wine here’s something tantalizing… hold on to your taste buds folks. San Francisco Chronicle cheese columnist Janet Fletcher is partnering with Napa’s Back Room Wines in a new series of cheese-and-wine pairing classes in the heart of California’s Wine Country.
The 90-minuted guided sessions, billed as “Cheese Meets Wine,” feature cheeses selected by Fletcher from the best available that week, plus four wines from the Back Room Wines inventory. Back Room Wines focuses on small-production bottlings from around the world.
“Cheese-and-wine marriages are like real-life marriages sometimes,” Fletcher told Stark Insider. “There can be clashes and conflict, but also some really sweet moments when soul mates meet. I choose the wines to make sure students have some epiphanies, but they learn from bad matches, too.”
For both wine-loving locals and wine-country visitors, the sit-down classes offer the chance to taste with an expert and learn why some pairings succeed and others don’t. Fletcher hopes to introduce participants to cheese-friendly wines they may not know, like Ancien Pinot Gris from Carneros or French Rivesaltes Ambré, and to lesser-known artisan cheeses, like Meadow Creek Dairy’s Grayson or Goat’s Leap Hyku, a cheese rarely available outside Napa Valley.
Fletcher is well known for her two bestselling books on cheese (Cheese & Wine: A Guide to Selecting, Pairing, and Enjoying and The Cheese Course, both from Chronicle Books), as well as for her weekly column in the San Francisco Chronicle, the nation’s only weekly newspaper column devoted to cheese.
“Cheese Meets Wine”
Format: Sit-down guided tasting with six cheeses and four wines, different every time.
Back Room Wines
1000 Main Street (at First Street)
Dates and Time:
First Thursday of every month, beginning in May
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: $55 per person; class size limited to 12 people
Photo credit: Victoria Pearson