Sunday, February 21, 2016

WOPN'S Big Cheese

People do not live by Pinot alone, and that's why there's cheese. World of Pinot Noir knows that, so in addition to all the other fine Bacara food one can nosh on for ballast, for taste, just for the heck of it, Santa Barbara's beloved and somehow 13-year-old C'est Cheese has a giant station for both the Friday and Saturday main tastings.

"It’s so great to see peoples' faces light up when they see that there’s this huge cheese display--we bring over 200 lbs. of cheese!" says Becca Iglesias, catering manager. "It’s even better when they have that magical moment of discovering a new cheese for the first time. I don’t think there’s a more perfect pairing than cheese & wine…and we get a front row seat to people learning and enjoying that experience."

Of course, pairing cheese with a lighter red like Pinot can be a bit tricky--just ask the people arranging the Saturday morning seminar Myth-Busting: Pinot, Cheese, and Chocolate (you can get tickets for that, too, and will hear more about it soon). "Part of the fun of pairing cheeses with wine (or anything, really), is that everyone’s palate is different and it’s interesting to see that play out," Igelsias explains. "When selecting the cheeses, we try to show the versatility of pairing cheeses and wine by including a large range of varieties including some classic fan favorites (Ewephoria, anyone?), some stronger flavors like Camembert, and even bringing in new cheeses that we haven’t carried before (like this year’s Chabrin*). The goal is to let people try and experiment with lots of different cheeses to discover what they like best with what particular wine."

*A really old recipe Basque goat cheese with nutty notes

C'est Cheese has been more than pleased to be part of the Pinot-centric experience, for Iglesias says what they most love is "the people! Always the people. From all sides of it. The WOPN crew are all fantastic to work with, as is the Bacara staff. The wineries are all great and it’s just a really good time. And, of course, the guests. Seeing familiar faces from past years, both near and far, and getting to share and talk about what we do and love is about as great as it gets. It’s such a great little community and we feel honored to be a part of it!"

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