Wednesday, July 4, 2012

June 30, 2012: Class presentations, and our last day in Cluny :(

On our last day in Cluny, the class presented their presentations. Each person in the class had to pick a cheese and a wine, and teach the class about its history and how it’s made. Out of all the final exams at Rutgers, I would say this would have to be the hardest one I've ever taken.... ;)

 In the back on the left are Macconais goat cheeses. On the right in the back is Emmenthal. The second from the front is Brie de Meaux, and the wine next to it is Ladoix. In the front is Roquefort.
 In the back is Muenster cheese. In the front to the right is Salers (on the left) and Cantal (on the right). To break up the cheese and the wine, we had an array of fruits, veggies, meats, and the cheese popovers that we enjoyed from the first day.
The damage done after our 4 hours of presentations...4 bottles of delicious wine gone.

The cheese that I chose was Brie de Meaux, which is a raw cow’s milk cheese. In 1814, it established a reputation by being dubbed as Le Roi des Fromages (King of Cheeses) at a culinary tournament in Vienna. It’s made in the Ile-de-France region, which is about 31 miles from Paris. It has a sweet and smoky aroma, with a rich and condensed flavor. 

The wine I chose was Ladoix, which is a type of Pinot Noir. It’s made in the appellation from Ladoix-Serrigny in the Côte de Beaune district of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, which we visited earlier in our trip! It’s made by traditional vinification methods, and it’s aged in oak barrels. The aroma has notes of strawberry, cherries, and also some notes of clove, coffee, and cocoa. It has a full, rounded, and velvety taste. I did not taste my wine before I presented it, but it was recommended by one of the owners of Le Cellier to go well with the Brie de Meaux. It was one of the best red wines I have ever tasted, and I was happy that the class and I were able to enjoy it so much.

I learned so much from my classmates’ presentations, and we had a good array of soft, semi-soft, and hard cheeses, in addition to mild and strong  flavored cheeses. Additionally, we had a sparkling wine, a chardonnay, a Beaujolais, a Bordeaux, and a dessert wine. It was a great experience to learn about all of the wines and cheeses and then be able to taste them afterwards! After our presentations, we went to Le Cellier to pick our wines to send home. We then rested for a bit in order to get ready for dinner. We went to Le Cloitre for our last dinner, and I had escargot (one of my new favorites from this trip!) and a fish dish that had salmon and mussels in a tomato broth with potatoes. What a delicious way to end our time in Cluny!

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