Last week I spent a pleasant afternoon with Brianna, Caleb and Andrew at Blue Haven Bee Honey sampling their new line of meads (produced under their Southern Origins Meadery brand) and Georgia wines, pairing them with four iconic cheeses. I have been a fan of Blue Haven since returning to my roots here in Northeast Georgia. Their Sourwood Honey is the best I’ve tasted. The Man and I visited Blue Haven in 2014 for the first time. In 2015 I paired their Sourwood with French Marin Triple Cream – a sublime combination.
Blue Haven has recently renovated their facility adding both a patio that will accommodate about fifty visitors and a tasting bar featuring Mead flights and wine tastings for their guests. In sitting with them, I learned more about their company’s business model, which from day 1 including making mead, tastings and special events… which is why I was there.
In August, I will assist as Cheesemonger in an evening of mead, wine and cheese tastings featuring the meads and wines made by Noble Wine Cellar in Dahlonega, Georgia and Habersham Vineyards and Winery in Helen, Georgia.
At our first day of pre-tasting cheeses with various meads and wines, we came to these perfect pairings:
- Wildflower Mead – the best pairing was with Parmigiano Reggiano closely followed by 3 year Cabot Cheddar.
- Pyment (50% mead and 50% Noble’s Petite Manseng): Le Gruyere was our first pairing choice with Parmigiano Reggiano a good pairing also.
- Traminette – Le Gruyere again was our first choice with 3 year Cabot and Parmigiano Reggiano again excellent pairings.
- Creek Stone Chardonnay paired best with Le Gruyere
- Chambourcin paired best with 3 year Cabot
- Habersham Heritage Red paired best with the Parmigiano Reggiano
Sadly, none of us were impressed with Jarlsberg as a pairing choice for these wines. It seems to bring out a bitterness that didn’t work well for any of us. However, Jarlsberg is the #1 selling imported specialty cheese in the US and remains a favorite around the manse. I keep a wedge on hand for sandwiches and recipes that need a good melter.
Caleb Kidd, one of the owners, is both a Certified Beekeeper from the UGA Master Beekeeper Program and is also a Certified Welsh Honey Judge. Brianna and Andrew’s father, Monroe Brown, is also a Certified BeeKeeper and the host who first introduced The Man and me to Blue Haven.
We’ll be tasting more cheeses with the meads and wines as we prepare for the August event. Stay tuned for details here and at Blue Haven Bee Honey.
In addition to the honey and mead, Andrew sells his gorgeous handmade pottery at the shop, along with their line of soaps.
Congratulations to our 2017 ACS CCP Exam and Conference Winners: Kelley Jewell, Tyler Frankenberg, ACS CCP® Hazel-Rue Woodies and ACS CCP® Matt Bellingham. Thanks to the generous donations from cheese lovers everywhere, we are thrilled to send these four worthy recipients to Denver this July!!! You can read all the details here.