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Recipes for pairing Ohio wines and cheeses from Brandon Chrostowski

Recipes for pairing Ohio wines and cheeses from Brandon Chrostowski

By Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer

December 18, 2013

Late in his tenure at L’Albatros in Cleveland’s University Circle, Brandon Chrostowski put together a final wine-and-cheese tasting, one focused only on Ohio products.

He approaches pairings in three categories, he says. There is a group of wines and cheeses with similarities, a group for those with contrasts and a group for those from the same region.

Chrostowski, the founder of Edwins Leadership & Restaurant Institute on Shaker Square in Cleveland, visited every winery and cheesemaker he featured in seven pairings to see how they worked.

“Everything starts at the farm,” he said. “There’s no dressing up that quality.”

Like wine, he says, “cheese is a living, breathing thing.”

First pairing

Wine: Brut Sparkling from Firelands Winery, Sandusky.

Cheeses: Hiram Fresh Chevre from Mackenzie Creamery; Cloverton from Laurel Valley Creamery, Gallipolis. (Click on Laurel link for a fabulous music and slide show.)

Second pairing

Wine: Pinot Grigio (2008) from Grand River Cellars, Madison.

Cheese: Caerphilly from Lake Erie Creamery, Cleveland.

Third pairing

Wine: Chardonnay (2007) from Markko Vineyard, Conneaut.

Cheese: Camembert style from Mayfield Road Creamery, Orwell.

Fourth pairing

Wine: Cabernet Franc (2009) from Chalet Debonne Vineyards, Madison.

Cheese: Houtz from Blue Jacket Dairy, Bellefontaine.

Fifth pairing

Wine: Clos Mes Amis, Pinot Noir (2009) from Harpersfield Vineyard, Geneva.

Cheese: Asiago from Kokoborrego Cheese Co., Mount Gilead.

Sixth pairing

Wine: Pinot Noir, Reserve, Estate (2009) from Saint Joseph Vineyard, Madison.

Cheese: Sidel from Fulton Creek Jersey Cheese, Richwood.

Seventh pairing

Wine: Christopher Cabernet Sauvignon (2009-2010) from Laurello Vineyards, Geneva.

Cheese: Charloe from Canal Junction Creamery, Defiance.