BEST CHEESE

Epicure Market

A 1400-pound portion of cheese was delivered to President Andrew Jackson's inaugural reception in 1837. When the party was over, the 10,000 guests left the White House in shambles, and the cheese left an aroma that lingered for some time. Modern presidents have pursued a different brand of cheesiness, but thanks in part to the burgeoning popularity of wine, appreciation of this cultured dairy product has gone whey up. Epicure Market's wine and cheese sections are adjacent to one another (with olive selections within reach), which makes pairing the two simple -- well, maybe not simple, because the cheeses here aren't exactly familiar to all, but relatively easy with the aid of wine experts on hand. Artisan cheeses from all over the globe include rarities from Chantal Plasse; farmhouse cheddars from English, Irish, and American (Vermont) pastures; Bries, blues, and appellation-controlled cheeses from France; raw-milk cheeses; kosher cheeses; Greek yogurt; Epicure's own creations such as pesto-dressed string cheese; cheeses from goats; cheeses from sheep. Take a few of these pricey curds home with a suitable wine and a loaf of bread (available just around the bend) and maybe you'll discover what author Clifton Fadiman meant when he described cheese as "milk's leap toward immortality."

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