The Best Cheese in the World is from America

We pause for breaking news.

Regular readers will recall the recent report by Ross Eisenbrey, one of our Senior France Correspondents, on Fleur de Lys in Gruyères, Switzerland, home of an ethereal Civet de Chevereuil, or venison stew as it is known here in the États-Unis d’Amérique.  As the restaurant was in Gruyères, we noted in passing the dominance of Gruyere in international cheese competitions.

Well, move over Gruyere.  And, well … first, you might want to sit down if you’re from France and still haven’t gotten over the Judgment of Paris, in which a California Chardonnay (a 1973 Chateau Montelena by Mike Grgich) defeated the best French wines in a blind tasting.  The 2019 international cheese competition was won by Rogue River Blue Cheese from Rogue Creamery in Oregon — the first such win by an American cheese in all of human history.  The French didn’t rank in the top seven.  (That said, I’d just as soon have a nice ripe camembert as just about anything that didn’t start out as part of a pig.)

Mike Grgich, by the way, is a wonderful person.  He made his way through the Iron Curtain in 1954(!) with $32 in his shoe.  After time in a couple of internment camps, Mr .Grgich made his way into Napa Valley and history.  In 1977 he started his own vineyard.  If you go to Napa, do not, repeat, do not skip Grgich Hills.  And if you have a really special occasion, celebrate with a bottle of Grgich Hills chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon or whatever else you may fancy.

And celebrate American exceptionalism by going out and buying some blue cheese from Rogue Creamery.


And while you’re at it, click “follow” on our front page to receive blog posts in your email box.  Or bookmark us and check in from time to time.  If you’re planning a trip, you can “Search” the name of the city, state, or country for good restaurants (in Europe, usually close to sites, like the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum, that you’ll want to visit in any event).  Comments, questions, and suggestions of places to eat or stories to cover are very welcome.  And check out our Instagram page, johntannerbbq.

2 thoughts on “The Best Cheese in the World is from America

  1. I met Mike on my first ever trip to the wine country. Must have been about 1978. He was right there behind the counter and couldn’t have been more charming. The wine was great then as it is now, and, as my liver will attest, I’ve been a loyal fan for 40 years or more

    Liked by 1 person

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