Cocktail #5's Cheese Platter
Cheese-2

By Hairee Lee

For this cocktail, we decided to add a cheese platter. Besides the fact that I love cheese, when I think wine, I think cheese so it just made gustatory sense, which in my book is always good sense.

Gemma Iannoni from Formaggio Kitchen, located down the street from Didriks, recommended two cheeses: Mothaise sur Feuille, a small disk of chevre from the Loire Region that's aged roughly thirty days, and Moses Sleeper ((I love the name of this cheese. I would have bought it on the name alone.)), "a mild, delicate camembert" ((is how Gemma described it to Jonathan.)) made from the milk of Jasper Hill Farm's 40 Aryshire cows. ((The milk from these cows are apparently "distinctly sweet with some toasted nut flavors." Toasted nut flavors? Really? I don't know about that, but the cheese is awesome.))

These were two great cheese choices for our Cocktail #5: Berry Rosé Sangria, because the rosé used in the cocktail makes the sangria lighter in flavor than the traditional red variety and so required milder cheeses to complement it rather than strong, aged cheeses that would have been too aggressive for this drink.

To enjoy with the cheese we got an amazing baguette from Iggy's Bread. It looked stunning and when we cut into it, you could hear and feel the crust, a crust so crispy and chewy, I was reminded of the ones I ate in France. Inside, the bread was super light, full of holes made by the yeast, and fresh.

And to have with the cheese, Jonathan picked up a blueberry and blackberry jam by Bonnie's Jams by Bonnie Shershow. She's a Cambridge local and you can purchase her jams, featured in the New York Times even, at Formaggio Kitchen. We spooned it out into a Heath Ceramics Plaza Large Ramekin in linen to serve on the platter with the cheeses. It wasn't so great with the Moses Sleeper because the cheese is so mild that the jam over powers it. But it was really nice with the Mothaise sur Feuille, which as a stronger flavor.

The berry-loaded jam also complemented the flavor profile of our Cocktail #5: Berry Rosé Sangria that also had blueberries and blackberries bobbling on the surface on the drink.

Given my gustatory memory of sangria in general and the addition of French/French style cheese and very Frenchy bread, sitting out in Jonathan's yard eating and drinking this bounty made me feel . . . it made me feel . . . I guess it made me feel like a damn lucky Canadian living in this town that has all these great artisanal food vendors and having to enjoy their stuff as part of my job. C'est ma vie.

Photographs by Nathan Brescia.