Tequila and Cheese: The Perfect Pair?

This is not your ordinary cheese pairing, we realize. You’re probably wondering, “What are they thinking?!” Tequila isn’t wine. There’s no grand history of pairing cheese and tequila together. But we would never steer you wrong – the notes of tequila, from floral to caramelly sweet, make a perfect pairing to some of Murray’s most beloved cheeses. We’ve had our expert cheesemongers choose artisanal cheeses to go along with the beautifully crafted tequilas from Casa Noble to create a pairing experience unlike any other.

CrystalMurray’s Camembert

When it comes to those clean, crisp agave flavors, Crystal is the ideal Blanco tequila. Lingering beneath, there are notes of honey, buttery-sweetness, and hints of limey citrus. This well-balanced tequila is perfect with Murray’s Camembert – toasty, buttery, and lactic, it will balance out the sweet honey notes and pair with the citrusy nip of the tequila.

ReposadoBianco Sardo

After aging in a French White Oak barrel for an entire year, Reposado emerges smooth and full-bodied. The oak imparts notes of smokiness, while hints of vanilla, lemongrass, and wildflowers lingers with each taste. This sweeter, tangier version of Parmigiano Reggiano is the ideal along with that – toasty sweetness and lanolin loves the vanilla and oakiness of the tequila.


Aged for two full years in French White Oak barrels, Anejo develops into a complex balance of dried fruits and piquant spices. Toasted oak, butterscotch, and vanilla are the key flavors that linger on the tongue, making it a perfect pairing for our Murray’s Cavemaster Annelies. The cheese also shares flavors of butterscotch and toastiness, with the addition of a unique cocoa flavor that stands out against the aged tequila.

Single Barrel Extra AnejoGreensward & Stichelton

Aged in a slightly charred French white oak barrel that has been used for 7 generations to create tequila, the most prominent notes are vanilla, hazelnut, and chocolate. Impossibly smooth, with strong cocoa notes, we love it with the fruity bite of Stichelton. When the stronger notes of woodiness come through, that’s when we break out the Greensward – those bacony, funky notes are strong enough to match it.


A mix of young silver tequila balanced with extra aged tequila, Joven combines the sweet floral and tropical fruit notes of the young with the smooth vanilla finish of the old. Murray’s own Cavemaster Reserve Cornelia makes an interesting pair – buttery and rich with a hint of roasted peanut, it adds a savory, bold element to act with the sweetness of the Joven.

Want to learn more about tequila pairings or cheese pairings in general? Check out our upcoming classes

A Year in Cheese: 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, we take a moment to look back at the most exciting cheeses and cheese news to hit Murray’s. Whether it’s awards for our delicious cheeses or new additions to the New York caves, it has been an exciting (and scrumptious) year for us here at Murray’s. And we thank you for sharing it with us!


High up in Northern Switzerland’s Appenzell valley, Walter Rass, of Challerhocker fame, crafts young wheels of raw cow’s milk he calls Tufertschwiller, and sells them only to his village – until this year. 2016 marked an exclusive partnership between Murray’s and Walter Rass, who is sending these mild wheels to us at 3 months, for an extended stay in our New York caves. After aging for an additional 9 months in our alpine cave, our Cavemaster coaxes out sweet flavors of roasted hazelnuts and vibrant alpine grasses, with lush undertones of butterscotch and cocoa.


Known as Sweden’s oldest brand of cheese, Wrangeback has a storied history and a flavor to match. This raw cow’s milk cheese is made in the same vein as traditional Alpine Gruyere with the mild tanginess of a cheddar. The craggy, brown stone-like exterior has its name pressed into the wheel, a time honored tradition since 1961. Breaking past the rind, the paste is creamy and dense and smells similarly to freshly cut grass and warm milk. A sliver of Wrangeback starts with a bite of tanginess, before it mellows out to a complex, milky umami flavor. This cheese is best enjoyed with an aged, lush glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.


New to the US, this peanutty passion of ours is currently a Murray’s exclusive! Rollright’s rosy rind is not as pungent as your typical washed rind – instead, it imparts flavors of freshly churned butter and slow roasted peanuts. Meatiness lingers towards the rind, like a slab of fried bacon – a taste best enjoyed with a full-bodied red wine. The pasteurized cow’s milk cheese from the clover fields of King Stone Farm comes straight from their Brown Swiss, creating a soft, yolky cheese that melts in the mouth. Mellow, but certainly not lacking in flavor, this cheese is a unique Brit. You’ll taste the flavors unique to Cotswolds, clover and herbs, just like what the cows enjoy through spring to autumn.


Two years ago Murray’s and the Cellars at Jasper Hill embarked on a top secret mission to create an exclusive cheese for Eleven Madison Park’s Iconic New York menu.The result is a spectacular new pasteurized cow’s milk cheese…and Murray’s is the only place you can get it! But this has been a big year for our illustrious Greensward – this bacony, unctuous wheel took home 3rd for Best in Show at the ACS awards! Get a taste of what people are calling cheese greatness – luscious, woodsy, funky, and award-winning!


Take the road less traveled and stumble across this pillowy soft treat. Named for notable Americana poet, Robert Frost, Mystic Cheese Co.’s newest cow’s milk cheese is a delightfully soft and buttery morsel, full of earthy, button mushroom notes hidden underneath fresh milk flavors. Like frost over water on a cold night, the delicate and thin rind breaks away easily to reveal a velvety paste enveloped in a thick, luscious creamline. To celebrate this poetic pale beauty, pop the cork on a bottle of champagne to enjoy – a combination that will brighten the tangy cream flavor and delight your senses.

Meat & Cheese of the Month Club

Your carnivorous cravings are matched only by your insatiable need for cheese. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our brand new Cheese and Meat of the Month club! Club members receive two cheeses and two perfectly-paired meats every month on their doorstep, the perfect way to satisfy your many cravings, and the perfect gift for that hard-to-please someone in your life. Expect lots and lots of thank yous.

Murray’s Own Greensward Wins Big at ACS


Greensward, a cheese created by Murray’s in partnership with Jasper Hill Farm of Greensboro, VT, was recognized as an industry best by the American Cheese Society at its annual awards presentation last week. The cheese was recognized as the #1 Washed Rind Cheese and took 3rd place in the Best of Show category.

Here’s a little more info about ACS, Greensward, and why we’re so excited to be taking these awards home.

What is ACS?

The American Cheese Society is the leader in supporting and promoting American cheeses. Founded in 1983 to support the North American artisan and specialty cheese industry, ACS provides advocacy, education, business development and networking opportunities for members of the cheese industry, while striving to raise the quality and availability of cheese in the Americas. ACS hosts North America’s foremost educational conference and cheese competition, which included 1,685 entries from 248 companies in 2016.

What is Greensward?

Greensward was created four years ago exclusively for Eleven Madison Park restaurant. The cheese recipe was developed by the team at Jasper Hill and the aging process was a collaboration between Murray’s staff, Jasper Hill and chef Daniel Humm. The cow’s milk cheese was washed in beer and aged in Murray’s cheese-aging caves in Long Island City, NY.  The cheese has evolved over the past four years under the guidance of Steve Millard, Murray’s VP of Foodservice and Merchandising and Murray’s Cavemaster Peter Jenkelunas. Since Greensward was first created they’ve changed the original wash from beer to cider and worked with Jasper Hill to adjusted the length of aging.

Greensward is named for the “Greensward Plan,” the city of New York’s original plan for the development of Central Park. When it first launched, Greensward was on a New York-inspired menu at Eleven Madison Park and the cheese grew in popularity from there.

What does this win mean for Murray’s?

“We are excited about this recognition for Greensward, as it solidifies our commitment to true affinage and our dedication to maintaining high standards in the production and aging of all of our cheeses. We truly appreciate our longstanding relationship with our friends at Jasper Hill and their willingness to work with us on exciting projects like this. And we can’t forget to thank the American Cheese Society for bestowing this recognition. On behalf of the Murray’s team and our Certified Cheese Professionals and mongers across the US, we are proud and humbled – and more committed than ever to our craft.” -Steve Millard, Vice President of Foodservice and Merchandising for Murray’s Cheese

“Working with Jasper Hill to create and perfect Greensward truly opened our eyes to Murray’s potential for aging cheeses. The distinct impact our caves have on the flavor development in Greensward inspired us to consider every cheese that comes out of our caves as an opportunity to create something new. We aim to make a similarly distinct, positive impact on every cheese we age, so it’s especially fulfilling to be recognized for the hard work that went into creating this fantastic cheese.” –Murray’s Cavemaster, Peter Jenkelunas

“This win is the fruition of many years of collaboration between Jasper Hill and Murray’s Cheese. There is so much more to come and we couldn’t be more pleased that our hard work is being recognized.” -Mateo Kehler, Jasper Hill Co-Foundergreensward-acs-win-2016-280a8093



Happy Thanksgiving! All-American Cheeses for your Holiday Table

american artisansWe’re grateful to live in the land of the free and the home of much awesome cheese. We hope you’re gearing up and settling in for a holiday full of good friends, family, and feasting.

What’s Thanksgiving without cheese? Here are some of our favorite beauties, all crafted in the incredible country we call home. Pair this American bounty with apple butter, ripe pears and crunchy pecans for a pitch perfect autumnal platter.

st mark'sSt Mark’s (Our brand new Murray’s exclusive cheese!) 

Guaranteed to make your guests love you! In the St. Mark’s (Street, ethos) spirit, we’ve taken a beloved traditional cheese and given it an avante garde spin. This complex, unctuous cheese is fragile—we keep it safe in a little red terra cotta crock. So cute. Plus, the crock helps St. Mark’s double as a perfect, personal fondue. Top with some fig jam and walnuts—or be a purist and leave it as is—and pop the cheese in the oven, or toaster oven, for a few minutes. It will get oozy, melty and glorious. Scoop up the creamy goodness with crusty bread for the perfect fall/winter treat. Pair with Beaujolais, or a crisp ale, and some Village swagger.


A fantastic little cheese from the chevre pioneers at the Vermont Creamery. This one combines high-quality pasteurized goat’s milk (from the twenty family farms supported by the creamery) with cow’s milk & cream (from a local co-op). A slow, lactic set and a delicate, crinkly rind make for a rich, mouth-coating, earthy, and satisfying cheese.

Cabot Clothbound Cheddar

Twice a year, we hand select Cabot’s English-inspired clothbound cheddar aged by the Cellars at Jasper Hill. Our preferred flavor profile: a delicate balance of sharpness, slight nuttiness, and a caramelized, nearly candied sweetness. Produced from the pasteurized milk from a single herd of Holstein cows, our wheels hover in the 12-14 month range.

Pleasant Ridge Reserve pleasant ridge

The talented cheesemaker Mike Gingrich makes this smooth, firm cheese from the raw milk of his 150-cow herd only during the summer months, when the cows can graze on the lush pastures and the cheese takes on a fruity, olive-y, addictive depth. Several months of aging intensify its flavors, especially the sweetness.

CaveMaster Reserve Greensward

Two years ago Murray’s and the Cellars at Jasper Hill embarked on a top secret mission to create an exclusive cheese for Eleven Madison Park’s Iconic New York menu.The result is a spectacular new pasteurized cow’s milk cheese…and Murray’s is the only place you can get it! Greensward will wow your guests. Promise. Perfect spoonable, silky texture. Perfect big, bacony flavor. Perfect notes of forest and resin from Greensward’s pretty spruce jacket.

rogue riverRogue Rover Blue

After decades of award winning production, the newest owners of Rogue –David Gremmels and Cary Bryant–decided to take it up a notch. For a special edition of the company’s classic ‘Oregon Blue Vein’ they start with pastured, raw summer milk. A fruity nuance is added to the dense, vegetal, smoky blue after several months of aging by wrapping the wheels with local pear “eau de vie” soaked grape leaves from a neighboring vineyard. Due to the highly seasonal milk supply and remarkable demand, availability is limited.

Boo! The Scariest Cheeses for Halloween

scary cheese
Scary gorgeous photo by Carey Nershi

Happy Halloween! It’s time for ghosts and goblins and other scary things. Cheese doesn’t have to be one of them, but it certainly can be. What better time than now for brainy rinds and sizable stink factor? There’s nothing to be afraid of. Promise.

Bonne BoucheBonne Bouche is the flagship of Vermont Creamery’s signature aged goat cheeses. Made with pasteurized goat’s milk, the curd is carefully hand-ladled into molds, lightly sprinkled with ash, and aged just long enough to develop a wrinkly, brain-like rind. Reminiscent of Loire Valley favorites like Selles Sur Cher, Bonne Bouche also pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc.Frighteningly good.

Murray’s CaveMaster Reserve Greensward: If giant, funky flavor and oozy goodness scare you, don’t read on. Creating a new cheese is hard work! After tons of experimentation, we’ve arrived at perfection. Perfect spoonable, silky texture. Perfect big, bacony flavor. Perfect notes of forest and resin from Greensward’s pretty spruce jacket. The perfect collaboration with Jasper Hill. For even more perfection, open a light Gamay, or bourbon, and dive into this beauty with pieces of crusty bread.

stinky_murrays_cave_aged_epoisseÉpoisses: Don’t be afraid of the stink! You may not know it, but Époisses is actually a French word meaning “completely worth the effort”—either that or “stinky but incredibly loveable” because the end result, a custardy bacon bomb, is oh-so-worth-it. One slurp of the intensely creamy paste of this French classic, and you’ll know why we go to such lengths to ensure that this unctuous pasteurized cow’s milk round, made in Burgundy, France, is so delightfully decadent. After near extinction in France during the World Wars, Époisses de Bourgogne was resurrected in the 1950s by our beloved M. Berthaut. After being carefully hand-ladled into forms and dry-salted, each wheel takes a turn in French cave. Tucked into a clever wooden box meant to ease transport to our fair shores, serving Époisses isn’t nearly as difficult as aging it—slice a crusty baguette and dunk away, adding a glass of Burgundian white for terroir-driven perfection.

Coupole: Another wrinkly beauty from Vermont Creamery. As it ages, the pristine, velvety edible rind softens the fresh chevre beneath to an unctuous creamline. The resulting two textures of its cross-section make for a stunning visual presentation; this is an ideal selection for a stand alone cheese or first position of a cheese plate. Pair with a dry, grassy white.