HeinzelCheeseTalk no 20: Poland. This time for real… Friday Nov 20, 6pm

After all the wonderful excitement of Cheese Berlin, here was a „regular“ HeinzelCheeseTalk at „our“ table opposite the Suff winestall at Markthalle Neun. On that table: three totally not regular, exceptional Polish cheeses, from distant, verdant Mazuria in the far east of the country. I had promised you those three beauties back in October, and then didn’t deliver… This time, they were here, for real. And some intriguing Polish wines to go with them.

Ms FrontieraAs usual, I had been much looking forward to tell you about Sylwia Szlandrowicz (left) and 
Ruslan Kozynko and their Rancho Frontiera, and discuss and taste and savour and generally have fun with you. We spoke about the Polish climate (continental, but by no means Siberian), new grape varieties such as Johanniter, Solaris and Rondo, and the Polish winegrowing pioneers who are currently finding out how to best translate their landscape into wine.

PolishHCTbottlesThe three Frontiera cheeses (all sheep’s raw milk) had been maturing for a month in my fridge and developed a spontaneous blue mould which added to their aromatic complexity (no euphemism!). You liked the pairing with the off-dry white wines from Winnica Turnau, as well as a red from Dom Bliskowice.

After a short detour to Greece with the Arseniko sheep’s cheese from the island of Naxos, my surprise guest arrived: Zoli Heimann of the eponymous wine estate in Szekszárd in Hungary. He brought along a lovely Kékfrankos red wine (all red stone fruit driven elegance) – as well as cheese! Made from cow’s milk near Somló in the south of Hungary, it looked like a Gouda, but tasted much richer and intense. Thank you, Zoli – welcome back anytime…

Polish cheeseFinally, my pre-holidays surprise for you: Sękacz mazurski, mazurian spitcake from the family run company Mark in Giżycko, paired with Norwegian gjetost, the brown, addictive, caramelly umami wonder made from slowly cooked goat’s whey – and a gorgeously concentrated nectar of a wine from Alex  Gysler from the south of Rheinhessen, Huxelrebe Beerenauslese! In short, a HeinzelCheeseTalk that proved once again, how well Europe works in the form of cheese and wine – these were the leftovers… Cheerio!

HeinzelCheeseTalks take place regularly, usually on a Friday at 6pm at Markthalle Neun in Berlin-Kreuzberg. I bring some interesting cheese, open a few bottles of wine, and we sit around the large table opposite the Suff wine stall, tasting, drinking, talking, discussing (mostly in German – but we usually manage to cater to English speakers too). Invites are sent out about ten days before we meet, to a mailing list you can join here. Reservations need to be confirmed and are strictly by first come first serve – so be quick! And please do let me know if you can’t make it after all – there is always a waiting list.  A donation of ten euros per person (or one or two euros more if you really had a lot of fun…) is much appreciated. Cheesio!

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