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Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Tasting at Fairway Market

February 13th, 2013 · No Brilliant Opinions · Wine

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Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to take Big P to a pre-Valentines Day  wine, cheese and chocolate tasting at Fairway Market on NYC’s  upper west side.  

The two hour event featured  Fairway’s cheesemonger, Steve Jenkins, Fairway’s sommelier, Josh Wesson and Alexandra Leaf,  culinary historian and chocolate educator.  All proceeds were donated to the Anita Kaufmann Foundation, a charity dedicated to educating people about epilepsy, seizures and brain trauma.

Alexandra Leaf

Alexandra Leaf

Josh Wesson and Steve Jenkins

Josh Wesson and Steve Jenkins

To be honest, when I think of Fairway, I think of groceries, but not great wine and chocolate.  Upon entering the Fairway Cafe, we were greeted with a Belgian style Amerena bon bon.  The chocolates were by Chocolat Moderne, NYC and were filled with ganache (a heavy cream and chocolate mix), caramel or praline.

Bon bons from Chocolat Moderne,  NYC

Bon bons from Chocolat Moderne, NYC

The cheese selections featured a camembert from Normandie-France, Castile Leon raw sheep’s milk,  a munster from Alsace, France, English Cheddar,  a smokey blue cheese from Oregon and goat’s milk soft ripened cheese from Leon, Spain.



The selected wines and spirits were all affordable with prices ranging from $10-$20.

Wine, cheese and chocolate  tasting at Fairway Market

Wine, cheese and chocolate tasting at Fairway Market

With so many delightful things to sample, it was easy  to get overwhelmed.  I focused on the  take home messages.  Avoid super dry wines with sweet food. Sweeter wines can actually accentuate the taste of sweet foods without overwhelming them.  But keep in mind that you want to avoid the a potentially  “palate numbing” combination of rich foods, chocolate and wine.

My favorite combo of the evening (and the one I’m dying to try at my next dinner party) was the Red Stag (Jim Bean) Honey Tea Bourbon, parley pistache (praline based pistachio bon bon) and Smokey Blue Rogue River Creamery from Oregon (a fantastic blue cheese).

My local Fairway in Red Hook, Brooklyn was damaged during Hurricaine Sandy last fall and I’m looking forward to seeing it reopen next month and stocking up on some of the goodies we tasted.


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