“A block of cheese, a jug of wine, and thou.”
With apologies to Omar Khayyam, this thought epitomizes an ideal romantic outing for many people. But there are many other good reasons for picking up a great cheese or two (or three!)
Fortunately for you, Cal Mart has gourmet cheeses from around the world, as well as from our neighboring cheesemakers in the Napa Valley and nearby counties. And we are happy to help you find just the right selection for your meal or event.
So, why stop by Cal Mart for gourmet cheese? In a nutshell – quality, selection, and convenience.
Cal Mart and Gourmet Cheese – a Great Pairing
Cheese is probably one of the oldest and most universal foods in the world.
In fact, one source states that the earliest written evidence of cheese is the Sumerian cuneiform texts of the Third Dynasty of Ur, from the early second millennium BC. And the oldest physical evidence of cheesemaking that we know of dates back to 5500 BC from Kuyavia, Poland, where strainers coated with milk-fat molecules have been found.
Fortunately, a few thousand years of practice has produced a veritable galaxy of cheese varieties to be enjoyed by cheese lovers everywhere.
At Cal Mart, we pride ourselves on our large variety and selection of gourmet cheeses from around the world and from our own, local cheesemakers. And the variety is not limited to flavors and types of cheese.
We have a great selection of cheeses made from cow’s milk, as well as goat and sheep milk, and mixtures. Whether your tastes lean towards hard cheese, soft cheeses, mild, dry, and sharp, raw cheeses, or fancy cheeses such as blue mold or white mold cheeses, we have something that will fit your preference.
From Around the Globe – And Right Next Door
In addition to the wide variety of cheese from France, Greece, and other locales, we are proud to offer many great local cheeses from our neighboring cheesemakers. These varieties are made up of Farmstead, Artisan, and Co-op products.
Farmstead, or farmhouse, cheeses are produced using milk only from animals raised on the farm where the cheese is made. Artisan cheeses, on the other hand, can include milk purchased from other farm sources, while co-op products come from cheesemakers who pool their resources for cheese production.
Some of the great, local cheesemakers that we represent at Cal Mart include:
- Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co
- Pennyroyal Farm
- Laura Chenel’s Chevre
- Bellwether Farms
- Cowgirl Creamery
- Vella Cheese Co
- Marin French Cheese Co
- Bella Capra Cheese
- Cypress Grove Chevre
- and others!
The types and varieties available are almost endless and the quality is world-class. Our expert staff can serve you in the role of a fromager and provide you with the origin, country, style, and tasting notes for each cheese we offer.
In addition, we are quite happy to suggest great wine selections for pairing with your choices of cheese.
Because many of our local Farmstead and Artisan cheeses are hand-cut and wrapped, we are able to easily cut them to your specified size and quantity. In addition, we would be happy to put together your own personalized cheese tray for any event, large or small.
Another great idea is to host a cheese tasting get-together at your home accompanied by either select pairings of fine wines or fresh fruit selections.
Is there a proper approach to cheese tasting as there is with wine? Apparently so!
According to Langhe.net,
Make sure you leave the cheeses at room temperature for at least an hour before starting: the organoleptic properties are less noticeable in a cold product.
Tastings that include different types of milk or aging must follow a precise order, from the freshest to the most ripened.
You can combine them with jams or honeys, but it’s always recommended to try them plain first to fully perceive their characteristics.
Between two samples you can eat a slice of green apple or a cracker to clean the palate and prepare it to face different flavors.
Your Napa Valley Destination for Gourmet Cheese
Located in the heart of Calistoga, Cal Mart is also conveniently situated between Hwy 128 and the famed Silverado Trail, making it an easy stop for locals and travelers.
A family-owned and independent grocery store, Cal Mart continues to provide an enjoyable, unique, and memorable shopping experience for our customers for over half a century now.
And that is a big part of why we are known as “Napa Valley’s Finest Grocery.”
In addition to our gourmet cheese selection, we also offer a wide variety of quality wines and craft beers, along with specialty foods items that are unique and hard to find, and beautiful gift baskets. We invite you to make it a point to drop in and take time to explore all that we have to offer.
And while you’re here, please feel free to talk with our knowledgeable staff and then treat yourself to a cup of coffee or tea from our Coffee Bar. At Cal Mart, you will always find something that is unexpected, unusual, and uncommon!