We had wine on our minds. Then we got a little hungry, so we staged a raid on the cheese case at Irvington's Foster & Dobbs specialty foods store. What should you pair with an Oregon pinot noir? Five tasters put eight wildly varied types of hard and soft Oregon goat cheese through a blind taste-off. Here are the cheesemakers' claims and our tasting notes.


Pur Et Simple

Goldin Artisan Goat Cheese, Molalla, $30 per pound.

They say:
“A slightly cakey paste that nonetheless breaks down unctuously in the mouth.” 
We say:
“A runny, goopy cheese.” 
“It has a certain goatiness to it, but it’s not as strong as I would want it to be.”

Capricorns

Tumalo Farms, Bend, $32.50 per pound.

They say:
“The occasional pop of pepper just accentuates the smooth flavor.”
We say:
“The flavor’s so strong that it’s pointless to pair it with wine.” 
“This would make a great grilled cheese.”

Tumalo Tomme

Juniper Grove Farm, Redmond, $27.95 per pound.

They say:
“Pleasantly salty with a sweet, slightly nutty flavor that lingers.” 
We say:
“This one’s a flop.” 
“Sharp in a bad way. Acidic
and yuck.”

Redmondo

Juniper Grove Farm, Redmond, $31.95 per pound.

They say:
“Terrific for noshing, grating over pasta and shaving onto salads.”
We say:
“Tastes like baking soda, or toothpaste.”
“I wouldn’t put this on anything I liked.”

Cascadian Frechette

Goldin Artisan Goat Cheese, Molalla, $30 per pound.

They say:
“Pair with crisp, light, effervescent whites that won’t overpower this delicate cheese.”
We say:
“A damn fine cheese. It’s soft but has rich flavor.”
“This is what I want on my Little Big Burger.”

Cumin Tomme

Juniper Grove Farm, Redmond, $28.95 per pound.

They say:
“Subtle hints of cumin fly by on the finish of this grassy tomme.”
We say:
“Tastes like it was left out in the sun, in the dirt.”  
“A goaty-ass cheese.”

Certoux

Goldin Artisan Goat Cheese, Molalla, $30 per pound.

They say:
“Tangy and bright with a delicious saltiness and wisps of wet stone and mineral flavors.”
We say:
“Goes well with wine.” 
“Refreshing; almost like an after-dinner palate cleanse, but not in the toothpaste way.”

Tomme Cuivrée

Goldin Artisan Goat Cheese, Molalla, $30 per pound.

They say:
“The supple paste has a rich mouthfeel under the slightly toothsome thin rind.”
We say:
“Nice texture. Creamy, with beautiful edges and a nice crust.”
“Good with a little red.”



OUR PICK: