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Cheese Plate: Snow Board


Once upon a time, Reno’s caseophiles had to traipse up to Northern California to get their artisan cheese fix. That all changed in July 2012 when Laura Conrow opened Wedge in Nevada’s second largest city. Beer and wine buyer and monger Jason Davis joined the team shortly after, and today his counter is regularly stocked with 100 wedges and wheels from near and far (the selection swells to 120 to 130 during the holidays).

Located about an hour from Lake Tahoe, Wedge sees plenty of schussers and snowboarders grabbing cheeses for slopes snacking or après-ski parties. “You’ve been out in the cold, physically exerting yourself and working up an appetite,” Davis says. “You want something that’s not only mouthwateringly delicious but nourishing as well. The obvious answer is cheese.” We asked him to compose a fireside-ready plate of bites based on ski-rating symbols; they progress from mellow and simple (green circle) to intense and dynamic (double-black diamond). “Just like going down a new run, the pairings take you on twists and turns because of the unique accompaniments,” he says. Tips up!

  • La Valle, Wis.
  • Pasteurized cow’s milk

“The cheese is mellow and accessible, with a subtle saltiness that balances well with the sweetness and hoppy-citrus flavors in the IPA jelly. There’s a playfulness in the pairing that recalls eating cheese puffs and drinking cheap beer, but the flavors and ingredients are elevated,” Davis says.

  • Nicasio, Calif.
  • Pasteurized cow’s milk

This is a raclette-inspired pairing done with tastes of the West, Davis says. And Nevada Brining Company is located in Reno, Nev., “so very local to us,” he adds.

Defendi Blu di Caravaggio

  • Caravaggio, Italy
  • Pasteurized buffalo’s milk

Grace & I Port-Soaked Figs

With “the deep, intense flavor and lush texture of the water buffalo blue and the rich, port-soaked figs,” this is a sophisticated twist on a classic matchup, according to Davis.

Ski Queen Gjetost

  • Norway
  • Pasteurized cow’s and goat’s milk

Slices of this curious caramelized- milk cheese atop chocolate “salami,” composed of dark chocolate ganache, nuts, and candied fruit, will transport you to a “snow holiday by a roaring fire,” Davis says. Think “hearty, wild sweetness and rustic spices.”

photographed by Nina Gallant; styled by Jessica Weatherhead

Courtney Hollands

Former editor Courtney Hollands came to culture with more than a decade of experience writing and editing for magazines, newspapers, and the web. She started her career as a small-town reporter and has covered everything from fashion and travel, to music and beer for Boston magazine, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, even Rolling Stone.

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