Cheese club, Manila Polo Club. October 3, 2007.
Theme: Austrian cheeses
Highlights: Wurzige Heidi (a peppery soft cheese), the Milder Intaller (a creamy piquant "well balanced" cheese - went well with the red grapes), and a grainier hard cheese reminiscent of Gruyere and Grana Padano (whose label was unfortunately missing, so we guessed it was the Vornalsberg c/o mini-flags stuck to a couple of the chunks). Most of the cheeses I tried were labeled as raw milk cheeses (bio-kase).
Low points: a lot of bland flavors ("nutty, semi-hard cheeses, no zing"), and nothing that made me say Wow. No raclette cheeses left early in the event, and the initial invitation stated availability of Tyrolean hams which also disappeared a bit too fast. All that was left was overly chewy speck. I had been hoping for some stinky farm cheeses, but perhaps customs tossed them from the shipment. The main lounge of polo club must stink of cheese for days after the club meetings.
Wines sipped: an Austrian Reisling (fruity at the start, dryer at the end; hard to find in most local wine purveyors), a Chilean Carmenera (Sta. Rita Reserva) - berries, not too tannic, good drinkable wine.
Complete the statement: Austrian cheeses are like a pair of knitted socks on a rainy day.
If you were one of the Austrian cheeses on offer tonight, you would be: the "heidi" - a soft raw milk cheese with a crust of crushed pink and green peppercorns.
Overheard at the cheese club: "This cheese is flavorless! And read the sign - strong aromatic taste yet mild flavor. What an oxymoron!"