Last Saturday was Oyster Bliss XV in Berkeley, the now annual celebration in the parking lot shared by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Acme Bread, and Cafe Fanny. As wonderful as the Hog Island oysters were and likewise the sausages made by Christopher Lee of Eccolo, the Vacherin Mont d'Or that I carried home last month from the Saturday market in Beaune spooned onto Acme's crusty epi baguette stole the show. It became even more magical when paired with the new lot (99 01) of NV J. Lasalle Brut Impérial Preference. The base wine for the Champagne was much richer and creamier than usual with loads of yeasty complexity, toasty depth and steely minerality that brought out the herbal tones and more fruitiness in the cheese.
When Kermit stopped by to chat, I offered him a taste of our cheese. At first he declined, but when I told him I'd bought it in France and he saw its gooey spoonability, he commented that it looked good and that he liked it on top of potatoes. PaulH whipped out one of his Spiegelau flutes to offer a sip of Champagne. On tasting the synergy of the Mont d'Or with the magnificent J. Lasalle, Kermit threw back his head and exclaimed, "Oh god! Is this where I'm supposed to go like this?", as he moved his fingers in the sign of the cross. Chuckling, I replied, "Welcome to the Church of the Holy Yeast and the Trinity of Bread, Wine and Cheese."
This combination is truly a religious experience.