Petaluma New: Cheese & Cocktails

The California Artisan Cheese Festival adds a tantalizing evening to the Marchtime schedule.

PALATE-PLEASING PALS: No one who has ever enjoyed a glass of wine and a few triangles of cheddar or gouda would ever say that vino and cheese aren't a perfect pair of palate-pleasing pals. In fact, if some manchego and a chilled goblet of chardonnay were placed in a "best BFFs competition, category: food" showdown, they might even beat out peanut butter & jelly and even milk & cookies for the title. Even beer has come onto the cheesy scene lately, giving wine a run for its mouthfeel-y money, but gourmands would still likely name the vine-vivacious beverage and spreadable dairy products as the ultimate duo. But, and there is always a "but" when it comes to the world of foodiedom, for it keeps things lively, there is a fresh pairing on the scene: cocktails and cheese. In fact, one only need look to Petaluma, and the California Artisan Cheese Festival, which revealed that a new night will be on the schedule. It's an evening devoted to...

SPIRITS AND CHEESERY, and how a mixed drink, say, with a whiskey or vodka base, complements a hunk of goat cheese or a cracker topped with gorgonzola. The Cheese & Cocktails night will make its debut at the festival on Saturday, March 25 at The Sheraton Sonoma County. Distilleries from around the region will be on hand with their handcrafted, expertly made spirits, while cheese-making honchos will set out the tangy, creamy stuff, all in the hopes of helping guests find that perfect beverage/bite blend. "Straight pours" will be on the menu in addition to traditional cocktails, so you might, just maybe, will discover that you like a Manhattan with your manchego (rather than cabernet). There are other new additions to the weekend-long festival, including Wine and Dine Cheesemaker Dinners, and an array of off-site tours, too. Ready to indulge in your devotion to the lush and delicious Golden State dairy world? Start here, cheese people, to secure your tickets to the March 24-26, 2017 cheese-abration.

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