Funding Friday: Wine and Cheese

It’s that time of the week for some fun around here. This week in the spirit of a holiday weekend, I am going to point everyone to some crowdfunding campaigns around the wine and cheese theme.

Here’s a wine glass that supposedly is impossible to spill:

And here’s a family farm that wants to bring goat’s cheese from its farm to your table:

Here’s an equity crowdfunding project for a company called Splash Wines that’s a modern day wine club

And if you just want to purchase some wine and cheese for your holiday weekend, I recommend this cheese plate and wine sampler from (The Gotham Gal is an investor).

Have a great holiday weekend everyone.

#Food and Drink

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I will raise my glass to wine and friends any day!In fact did last night at Untitled at the Whitney with a great friend that I met right here in this community.(Not really getting the wine club core value but this Friday, I just want to enjoy what I like, not ponder and criticize what I don’t understand or disagree with.)Have a great one Fred and to everyone in the community!

    1. RichardF

      I visited this vinyard a couple of weeks ago and thought of you. Some great wines from an area I would never expected them from. Not available in NYC I don’t think but keep an eye out if you get to one of the RAW fairs in Europe in the next year.

      1. awaldstein

        Thanks–gonna do a quick trip to Europe in the next while so I”ll keep a look out for these.I do pop in to some of the Raw fairs when I can. Isabelle Legeron, the founder is a friend.Have a great one.

  2. JimHirshfield

    Cheers from Dublin where it’ll be Guinness this July 4th. Gonna skip the cheese, ’cause I’m cheesy enough the rest of the year.

  3. Tom Labus

    This has been one of the nicest run of days in a long time. Enjoy the weekend everyone.

  4. jason wright

    Amexit – isn’t democracy overrated?

    1. pointsnfigures

      A representative republic is not overrated, but it’s hard to keep.

      1. jason wright

        as i was saying to Albert Wenger, i don’t see the ‘representation’ model lasting in a future decentralised world.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Borders will still matter because of governments and government systems.

  5. William Mougayar

    “Cheese is gold in the morning, silver at noon, lead at night.”A little known fact is that cheese digests all except itself. So, used in small quantities after a meal is helpful, but too much of it cancels its digestive effect. As a cheese snob, I highly suggest sticking to raw milk or unpasteurized cheese of course, when possible.

    1. awaldstein

      Obviously I agee with you on the raw piece my friend.Curious what the difference is between raw and unpasteurized? The same — no?As an aside I’ve sworn of cow and only eat sheet or goat cheese usually. A matter of taste and purity mostly.

        1. awaldstein

          Do not even talk to me about dealing with the FDA. I know way more than I want to.

      1. William Mougayar

        Same thing, but I used both terms because they are used interchangeably.I like sheep and goat cheese too for their subtle flavors, but I like the nuttiness of cow cheese which you can’t get otherwise.

        1. awaldstein

          Agree but the globules in cow’s milk are by definition larger and harder to digest.That’s why I shy from it but break down especially from a few farmers who I buy from that raise all three to make cheese in Jersey.

    2. pointsnfigures

      Happy Canada Day @wmoug:disqus

  6. mikenolan99

    A great friend of ours once stood at my kitchen counter and said “I want to be a Cheese Maker.” Keith had declared bankruptcy after a perfect storm of circumstance forced him to close his restaurants.We became part of a six person small funding partnership, and watched over the years a Keith poured his heart and soul into his company. Everyday, including today, Keith or one of his 4 employees will be tending each rind, turning by hand.Someone smart once said it takes 7 years to become an overnight success – and it is true for Alemar cheese. Keith won a Good Food Award, 3rd place at the International Cheese Award, and this past week Men’s journal named it one of the best cheeses in America. He’s grown his small company to distribution in over 16 states, and is now served by Michelin Star chefs.So, at the risk of plugging an investment – check out – or you can swing by great cheese shops like Beecher鈥檚 in the FlatIron building.

    1. pointsnfigures

      thanks for the plug, that stuff looks gorgeous

      1. mikenolan99

        I’ll bring a bunch to the next AVC meet-up! Jules and I need a trip to NYC.

        1. pointsnfigures

          I’ll bring some homemade Limoncello and Vin D’orange.

          1. Tom Labus

            Limoncello is so good. Packs a punch too

          2. Tom Labus


          3. ShanaC

            i didn’t make vin d’orange this year (sadly) so yummmm

    2. Jeff Jones

      Thanks for the recommendation will definitely check them out. I love hearing origin stories for a business. I remember reading about Jos Vulto when I lived in Brooklyn. He made cheeses in his Brooklyn apartment and aged them in a crawlspace under the sidewalk. Bedford Cheese and other shops started picking up his product and eventually he opened a creamery upstate and started selling cheese legally at

    3. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Great share! I’ll look for it 馃檪

    4. Dan

      Awesome. My office is on top of a cheese shop selling their stuff in Madison, Wisconsin. I’ll have to give it a try next week.

  7. pointsnfigures

    I guess it’s wine and cheese for you this weekend. I really wish we could get raw milk cheeses in the US like they do in Europe.

    1. awaldstein

      Agree but you can get great raw stuff at the Green Markets.But yes, need a trip to Europe!

      1. pointsnfigures

        It’s illegal. The USDA will jail you and take away your livestock. Raw milk is treated with more ruthlessness than heroin! Agree on going to Europe. Been too long, too long for NYC too.

        1. awaldstein

          Happens 4 times a week my friend.Just got back from the Green Market with a good selection for the long weekend.

        2. William Mougayar

          It’s a crazy law, whereas in France they encourage raw milk as long as it’s properly worked with, and via self-regulatory cleanness and checking standards. Microbes are good for you.

          1. awaldstein

            In Canada?

          2. William Mougayar

            Quebec allows raw milk cheese as long as it’s aged 60 days prior to sale. http://fromagesduquebec.qc….

        3. PhilipSugar

          You are right an Amish farm near me was selling raw milk. They didn’t get jailed but they did get shut down.People like the raw milk because they believe that it helps with children’s allergies. The thought is the cow eats the local grass and the microbes enable you to build up immunity. If you pasteurize then you kill those.It doesn’t seem unfounded. I know when I drink raw milk it tastes much grassy-er (don’t know how else to describe it)

        4. ShanaC

          i could swear how raw milk is sold is regional when it comes to enforcement

      2. ShanaC


    2. William Mougayar

      Just go to Quebec where dozens of raw milk cheese producers exist, and rival the French quality. We’re lucky to have that choice in Toronto where many of these Quebec cheeses are sold.

      1. mikenolan99

        Our go to cheddar is a {gulp} Iowa made cheese – http://www.miltoncreamery.c… – no investment here – just our recommendation for a hand crafted, “crystal-ey” (Calcium Lactate crystals) lovely cheese.

  8. Michael Brill

    As a hobby business (as Arnold can tell you, wine is best as a hobby!) I run a crowdfunding site just for wine. Currently running a small Napa Cab winemaker. Champagne and Tuscany next month.

    1. awaldstein

      Being posed to restart the local sip u see a completely differ modelConsidering it

      1. Michael Brill

        That’d be great. I’ve found that it takes 18-24 months to go from “NFW will I ever do anything in wine again” to “hey, I’ve got this idea…” 馃槈

  9. Kent Karlsen

    And don’t forget to order USB Wine. Wish you all a great 4th of July celebration.

  10. sigmaalgebra

    I like wine and cheese, especially with some good French bread.The situation could be just a picnic or in a dinner with soup, seafood, beef, salad, wine (same as with the beef course) and cheese, and sweet desert. Used to do both, frequently.For the wine, mostly had just one choice, C么te-d’Or, especially C么te de Nuits.The cheese source was less definite and, really, whatever was good on shopping day at a good cheese shop. But that was usually semi-soft French cheese. The spectacular one we found was the Basque washed rind cheese Chiberta. Some of the best ones otherwise were goat cheeses that a cheese shop happened to have, but I don’t think we ever got the same one twice — usually we didn’t note any names.For US wines, we gave up: Yes, UC Davis had apparently an excellent wine program. But, knowing how to make wine is one thing. Knowing what wine to make and having the grapes to make it are quite different things.What we found was that the US wine makers were fixed, their feet locked in reinforced concrete, that their wines should be sweet, low in acid, and fruity. So, the whites were, say, close to some canned fruit cocktail. And the reds were much the same, e.g., lacking the complexity key to the C么te-d’Or.So, for a good white wine, also good with some mild cheeses, just get Chardonnay from near Macon. Done. Dry (low sugar), crisp (high acid), and with interesting, delicate flavors. Not fruit cocktail. Instead, again, with Chardonnay US wine makers seemed locked in concrete to produce high sugar, low acid, and a mix of every fruit flavor from apples to oranges they could find. Gee, just take some fruit cocktail, strain out the fruit, add some vodka, and call it white wine!For a decent bottle of Chardonnay, we found that the real stuff from Macon, from less well known fields, but still darned good, was cheaper than the US fruit cocktail stuff.And for reds, California got really proud and raised their prices. Then, again, Europe was cheaper, even the C么te-d’Or, but also good alternatives from Italy, and some are really good.For the cheese, that will likely still be difficult and have to be left to a good cheese shop, that is, for what they have on a given day.More generally, long US cheese was nothing like want with wine. Dad, from NYS dairy country, explained: Before the days of long distance, refrigerated transport, necessarily there were a lot of small cheese factories. Too soon, Borden’s, Kraft, etc. came through and bought up the little cheese factories and converted their product to just the uniform American cheese. In contrast, Europe went for hundreds of years without any such consolidation, and from all the resulting variety the best of it was and remains terrific stuff.So, if now we are starting some small cheese factories again, terrific, and maybe in another 200 years the best US cheese will be terrific stuff!=== Start Wine 101 ===For a little more, about wine, there is a thing-y about grapes: Plant one, grow the vine, and harvest the grapes, and those grapes don’t have to be very close to the grape that was planted. That is, grapes don’t reproduce true to seed.So, for millions of years in both Europe and the US, grapes fell, took root, and grew.As a biological species, all the grapes in Europe are the same, vinifera. The species in the US is/are different. But, of course, since grapes don’t reproduce true to seed, for millions of years, each year got a gazillion new varieties.So, with grapes, for millions of years, each year it was a great Darwinian experiment. So, when humans came along, the wild grape vines they found were ones beautifully adapted to the local conditions of soil, sun, temperature, water, side of the hill, etc.Then, sure, those grapes can be good to eat, for a few days each fall. So, try to save some, say, at least the grape juice. Then, right, presto, bingo, get wine. Keep doing that for 2000+ years, and the best wine is terrific stuff. Go to glass bottles and corks (to keep the oxygen from the air away — else get vinegar) and do still better. Learn how to plant clippings instead of grapes so that can get more vines like the ones really like, and do still better. Start to learn that, with corks and glass bottles, a few wines, mostly just a few of the reds, after a few years in the bottle can become spectacularly better (malolactic fermentation).In France, have a huge fraction of the farm land owned by the Roman Catholic church with monks making wine, for hundreds of years, and the best is much better, still.USA: That’s what you are competing with. In sports terms, you just got a basketball for Christmas and now are hoping to dunk over LeBron. Won’t happen very often!=== End Wine 101 ===Net, for wine and cheese, Europe is really good with many small but really good examples scattered all over, the Italians stand out; and the French are fantastic.The US? Fruit cocktail and Velveeta with prices too high!Sorry ’bout that!It’s been some years since I took wine or cheese at all seriously. Sure, as the last time I tried wine and cheese, the US producers are still saying that their best compares with Europe. IIRC, so did Thomas Jefferson. I don’t believe it! Not very often yet!After more progress with my startup, maybe I’ll look again at US wine and cheese and for two reasons: First, to remind myself of how much I should appreciate French wine and cheese. Second, to try to discourage the Americans from making any more!It’s not that the Americans can’t do better. Instead it’s just that they, both the buyers and the sellers, are totally convinced that wine and cheese means fruit cocktail and Velveeta.This situation is easy to understand: The Americans are not stupid; instead, they are lacking data and information from good examples. Someone with no experience, in the US or Europe, could never imagine a C么te-d’Or wine or a similarly good cheese. But, with trials all over Europe for 2000+ years, the best gave some really good examples. That’s what the Americans are lacking — the trials over 2000+ years or at least the examples of good results from those trials.Gee, if I keep posting about the C么te-d’Or, then when I get back to wine and cheese the prices will be higher! I should either get into the wine business or shut up!E.g., the Americans are not bad at everything in food. Instead, some American food is world class:There’s BBQ, beef in TX, ribs in St. Louis (maybe it’s Kansas City — I’m not well informed on ribs), chopped pork shoulder in Memphis, the surrounding area, and nearly all of Tennessee, pulled pork shoulder in the Carolinas and East Tennessee.Apple pie. Cherry pie. Pecan pie.Pizza.Thanksgiving turkey.Ice cream.And more.

    1. awaldstein

      You are dead wrong on us winemakers

      1. sigmaalgebra

        You mean “us” or “US” or both?Wrong in what respect?I know; I know; and I explained: All the way back to Thomas Jefferson the claim went that the US wines were nearly up to those of Europe. Right.And 200 years later I would try California Pinot Noir (the grapes of the C么te-d’Or, that is, Burgundy) and Cabernet Sauvignon (the main grapes of the clarets, that is, of the M茅doc,, that is, Bordeaux), think not much of the best, maybe drink it with some cheese spread and a slice of pepperoni on a cracker, as a snack, while watching some TV, just before bedtime, and pour the rest down the drain — literally.For the really expensive CA stuff, well it was, well, something, and maybe if they kept trying for another 300 years they’d have something good. Instead, for the money, I could buy Chambertin from the C么te de Nuits, commonly served at state dinners and was already known to be terrific stuff by Napoleon, something from the Haut M茅doc, highly rated in the 1855 survey, a Ch芒teauneuf-du-Pape from the Rh么ne valley, or a darned good Barolo from Italy. Heck of the better Italian Chiantis I’ve had, I have yet to have any red wine from the US anywhere near as good. Actually about 10 years ago, I found a quite good, especially for the money, Italian Chianti for $10 a 24 ounce bottle. I’ve gone through two cases, mostly with some version of spaghetti or pizza. Currently I have on their sides in the basement two more of those. And somewhere I should have one more Corton from the C么te de Beaune.When Andr茅 Soltner was still cooking and the last time I took my wife to Lut猫ce, we certainly didn’t have some CA wine — we had a decent Corton. When I took her to La C么te Basque, I don’t recall, but definitely something from the C么te-d’Or. After my wife died and I went to Harrald’s (five stars from Mobil at least 14 years in a row, likely by a wide margin the best record in the US), that is Harrald Boerger and Eva Durrschmidt, not far from where I live, I drank his last half bottles of Morey-Saint-Denis, right, C么te de Nuits! He also had a fantastic house white wine from Macon — little known field and fantastic, right, a Chardonnay. Somewhere in my notes I may have the name of the field. IIRC, the wine was from the wine merchant Mad Rose Group of Neal Rosenthal.The situation was similar around DC and when my wife and I went shopping for wine and cheese on southern Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown in DC.I tried. My wife had much better talent for tasting than I did, and she tried, too. Once at a place on the SW corner of Wisconsin and M Streets, we had a Nuit St. George, General Gouachon; not only was it terrific, she remembered its flavors for years and compared everything else to it. She could do that.We tried US wines. The result was like I wrote: The usual was awful, sometimes down the drain; the best wasn’t very good and was priced above much better from Europe.I suggest the US wine makers keep trying. If they work really fast, maybe in another 100 years they will have something good.You can go from the NY Finger Lakes to some islands in the Great Lakes to Oregon to Napa Valley, etc., but they still have a huge disadvantage: As I explained, in Europe the grapes adapted to the land over millions of years. So, in the C么te-d’Or. they grow Pinot Noir, and they don’t try growing that grape in the M茅doc; in the M茅doc they grow Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.; they don’t try growing Cabernet Sauvignon in the Rh么ne valley. Similarly for the other highly respected grape varieties elsewhere in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Hungary, etc.But, in the US, the native grapes are not the species vinifera. Can make wine from the native American grapes, but there is no hope that the wine will be anything like what is in Europe; moreover, the consensus is that it is just not very good wine. The native American grapes are said to be foxy.So, in the US, to try to be like Burgundy, they try to grow Pinot Noir. To try to be like Bordeaux, they grow Cabernet Sauvignon. At the US Davis wine program, can learn how to grow the grapes, harvest them, crush them, …, and make wine. But the Pinot Noir doesn’t taste much like Burgundy; the Cabernet Sauvignon doesn’t taste much like Bordeaux; and the Chardonnay tastes nothing like Montrachet or anything from near Macon. That’s a surprise? Not to me.In particular, IIRC, the best wine from Bordeaux comes from chalky soils regarded as poor soils for growing anything. So, grow Cabernet Sauvignon in the great growing conditions of the Napa Valley, and no way will get a Bordeaux. Healthy plants? Yes. Good Bordeaux wine? Nope.And what do US wines taste like? Not very good, for the money.Sure, maybe in the last 10 years the best US wines are right up there with Europe. Maybe. And that’s what Thomas Jefferson said. When my wife and I tried, poor Tom was still wildly wrong. Instead, given a good $10 Chianti, looks like pour anything from the US down the drain.American red wines have the same problem Hillary does — poor or no character.

  11. Matt A. Myers – what a great brand / domain name!P.S. Happy Canada Day!!

    1. Matt A. Myers

  12. Jeff Jones

    The spill proof wine glass would make a great gift for several friends who have spilled a barrel of wine on me over the years.

  13. ShanaC

    My plans – pick greenbeans, make blackberry-wine sorbet, tie up peppers again, maybe bbq. Try to bottle the last of the winter beer so shawn has room to brew summer beer.Maybe we should pick up cheese:)

    1. ShanaC

      also now I want to learn how to make cheese..

      1. ShanaC

        actually, thinking about it, a part of me is tempted to go back to school to breed food. But I get the feeling me vs world politics might not get along

  14. Donna Brewington White

    When I tried to log into AVC from chrome (both on my phone and desktop) I received a notice that my IP address was blacklisted. Did this happen to anyone else?Or was it something I said?

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Not me. How’d you finally access? Different browser?

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Resorted to IE. Like the old days.

    2. Lawrence Brass

      It may be that a computer behind your router (your IP) has a botnet malware installed. These are used by spammers to send emails or post in forums or comment threads. I suggest you run a full scan with a good antivirus on *every computer* that connects to the internet through the same router. If you get blocked using your phone, try disabling wifi and connecting via 3G/4G for a temporal solution.The problem going away on its own doesn’t mean it is gone, as botnet nodes enter dormant states to hide and survive, and the router IP might change during a power cycle.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Thanks, Lawrence. The problem resolved itself (or I did something to fix it unawares). But I will follow your advice just the same. Appreciate it. One of the good things about hanging out at a tech blog. 馃檪

        1. Peter Beddows

          I agree with @lawrencebrass:disqus – good advice. However, also be aware that not every antivirus scanning software is capable of finding such malware.Note also that even the message itself suggesting your IP has been “blacklisted” could be suspect. Never click on anything that could be a phishing link ~ a link in a message that will actualy do nothing but entrap you once you click on itWe have used Panda Security for many years and been very satisfied with results. It even prevents access to suspect web sites. You can try it for free at… I have no investment here other than that you enjoy safe surfing.

  15. obarthelemy

    I eat a lot of eggs. Do I really want to know where they come from ?

  16. Michael Brill

    Ha… that’s great to hear given that *my* wife berates me for wasting time on financially ruinous wine activities! 馃槈