I'm munching a Trader Joe's cheddar CheeseStick and reading Eric Asimov's article on The Pour (NYT) about tasting 18 Bordeauxs from the magic year of 1982; made so by the perfect storm of Robert Parker's enthusiasm for the vintage, a new parched public eager to learn about wine, and changes in Bordeaux economics that would sweep away sleepy local wine production in France...or so I have recently read!
The wines are 30 years old, and according to those who know, a club you can tell I am not a member of, they are now "in their prime." They have been stashed in a collector's wine cellar, enriching their "opulence" and gaining in value and fame.
I heard this morning with great sadness that Ig Vella of Vella Cheese (and the original owner of Rogue Creamery) died last night. One of the few elder statesmen in the evolution of both Californian cheese and the American artisanal cheese movement, Ig will be sorely missed for his incredible knowledge and perspective—not to mention his unique personality.
My first encounter with Ig was shortly after I moved to California from London, when I went to visit his cheesemaking facility in Sonoma. Upon arrival I was met by a large-framed, unsmiling man dressed in what I later learned were his trademark red suspenders and slightly-too-small paper hat. I was immediately intrigued – and smitten!