By Lori Powell
With the help of a trusted cheesemonger and wine shop, we created a tasting that showcases some of the world's best cheeses with wines carefully selected to bring out their best qualities without overpowering them. The food selections -- ranging from fruit to cured meats to cake -- also complement each cheese's special flavor. We've specified which type of animal produces milk for each cheese -- cow, goat, or sheep -- because it makes a difference in taste and texture. All cheeses and wines are available for purchase through Murray's Cheese, www.murrayscheese.com, 888-692-4339, and Beekman Liquors, www.beekmanliquors.com, 212-759-5857.
Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog, United States, pasteurized goat
Description: This mild, tangy, crumbly cheese is named for the morning fog that covers California's Humboldt County.
Accompaniments: Dried fruit, especially cherries; honey.
Wine: Domaine Bourillon Dorleans Vouvray 2004, $18, is a white wine that possesses a melony flavor and hint of sweetness.
Le Chatelain Camembert, France, pasteurized cow
Description: This cheese hails from Normandy, where Camembert was created. It features an edible soft rind and a center that oozes with a rich creamy consistency, tasting of mushroom.
Accompaniments: Pears, almonds, dried apricots.
Wine: Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut sparkling wine, $17, has just enough effervescence to slice through the rich Camembert.
Taleggio, Italy, pasteurized cow
Description: Named after the valley in northern Italy where it has been made since the ninth century, Taleggio is soft, buttery, and tangy in flavor.
Accompaniments: Apples, grape-must jam, Mostarda (Italian preserved fruit with mustard).
Wine: Fattoria Laila Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2005, $14, like Taleggio, hails from Italy. It is a light, floral, nutty white wine that gently supports the strong Taleggio flavors.