The Wedge Cheese Festival 2014 - recap

The Wedge Escondido 2014

An actual CHEESE Festival? Why yes there is! Escondido (north county San Diego) produces the Wedge Cheese Festival, a glorious event of cheesy goodness paired with beer and wine. I heard about it after attending the Escondido Chocolate Festival in February and knew we'd have to check it out as well!

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - tickets and vendors

This year's event was on October 25 between 1-5pm and tickets were $35 presale or $40 at the door. It included food as well as 10 alcohol samplings, depending on your age of course. There's also a DD ticket which is a little cheaper.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - sponsored by Real California Milk The Wedge Escondido 2014 - a calf

This event is sponsored by Real California Milk. When you think about it, that makes complete sense since you can't have typical cheese without milk! There was even a real cow there! Adorable!


Obviously there were LOTS of cheeses to try at this festival.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - garlic and herbs sierra jack by Sierra Nevada Cheese Company

The Sierra Nevada Garlic Herb Jack was creamy with a noticable garlic taste. A great first sampler.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Sierra Nevada Cheese Company traditional sierra jack

We also tried the traditional Sierra Nevada Jack cheese, which was also nice.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Big Rock Blue bleu cheese from Central Coast Creamery

The Central Coast Creamery’s Big Rock Blue Cheese was as good as I expected bleu cheese to be.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - fresh mozzarella from Di Stefano

The Distefan Mozzarella came in a bowl. By itself was a little bland, but I think we are used to having it with olive oil or other things.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - chipotle cheddar from Bravo Farms

I thought the Bravo Farms Chipotle Cheddar could have had a little more bite since it was labeled chipotle cheddar.

  The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Holey Cow creamy swiss

We missed out on Mike's Beer cheese but they did sub Central Coast Creamery Holy Cow Swiss. I'm not always a fan of swiss but I loved the creamy strong flavor.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Bravo Farms premium white cheddar

The Bravo Farms White Cheddar was nice.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - brie from Marin French Cheese

The Marin French Brie, triple cream was indeed creamy and also mild. I love brie!

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Nicasio Valley san geronimo cheese

The Nicasio San Geronimo Wash Rind Organic cheese had quite a strong taste even though it was creamy. It stuck to my tongue afterwards and the words "Stinky Cheese" popped into my head. Then I found out that it really was that! Thank goodness those strawberry finishers helped with the sticky taste left in my mouth. Perhaps not a taste for everyone...

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Point Reyes toma

The Point Reyes Toma cheese was also creamy and tasty.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Bearflag Montery dry jack cheese

The Bearflag Montery dry jack cheese reminded me of gouda cheese.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Bellwether Farms carmody cheese

The Bellwether Farms Carmody Cheese is a drier, crumblier type of cheese so it was more at the bottom of my list.


The participating restaurants got to choose their own sampler for the event, with cheese inspiration!

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Winz Club creation The Wedge Escondido 2014 - apricot and goat cheese gelato at Escogelato

Vinz Wine Bar tried something different: wasabi goat cheese over kiwi with sweet peruvian pepper. It was interesting to say the least.

Escogelato had Apricot Goat Cheese gelato. I asked them if this was specially created for the festival but they said it was one of their signature flavors! The goat cheese base and in-house apricot jam made me think of cheesecake without being cheesecake… super light.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - shepherd's pie at O' Sullivan's Irish Pub

O'Sullivan's Irish Pub & Restaurant served shepherds pie, same as the Escondido Chocolate Festival. Luckily it was as good as before!

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - almond croissant

A Delight of France served their almond pastry which has a noticeable almond taste with a soft creamy like inside and a flakey crust.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - cold cheese dip at Avocado Grill

The California Avocado Grill had a yummy cheese dip. You could taste a light jalapeno infusion without being overly spicy. I asked about the ingredients which include sharp cheddar, avocado, mayonnaise and roasted red pepper. Time to find a recipe!

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - margarita and quesadilla with Cacique oaxaca cheese at La Tapatia

La Tapatia Mexican Restaurant served quesadillas. The slightly sweet creamy melted oxaca cheese was perfect with the soft fresh tortilla and salsa. The margaritas were excellent with the perfect blend of sweet and sour and tequila.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - manicotti at Joe's Italian Restaurant

Joe's Italian was one of my favorite samples: a delicious manicotti. Even though we got the last of the batch, it was still excellent! The cheese was flavorful with the pop of the fresh tomatoes. I hope they add it to their menu! It was also 100% vegetarian.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - desserts at Grand Tea Room

The Grand Tea Room served dainty desserts just right for a ... tea party! I liked the dessert with chocolate on top and the pumpkin cake on the right.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - chutney cheese cups at Intertwined Bistro and Wine Bar The Wedge Escondido 2014 - house cured smoked bacon at Plan 9 Alehouse

Intertwined Bistro and Wine had a chutney cheese cup. The flavors exploded in your mouth. The phyllo cup was crispy and the sweetness and spice of the fruit chutney and the mild subtle cheese worked inside.

Plan 9 Alehouse had their house cured smoked bacon, very juicy hot brown sugar with some other yum. They even provided house made pickle for vegetarians (quite thoughtful). We asked where the “cheese influence.” They figured everyone would have plenty of cheese elsewhere so they wanted to be different. I am down with that!

Beer and Wine

I think I'm starting to get a little better with beer but I'm a work in progress! As for wine, I'm a lover of sweet but my palate is still growing. I was delighted to taste plenty of samples at this event.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Robert Hall wines

I think my favorites were the Robert Hall wines: I found two wines that I like, their Viognier Chardonnay and their Pino flavor, which were a little bit of fruity without being sweet. At the end, I came back to use the last of my drink tickets there.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - IPA at Plan 9 Alehouse

This was the locally brewed IPA at Plan 9 Alehouse. Nice citrus notes and nice smell and not hoppy. Double IPA.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - california cuvee and fume blanc from BK Sellers

I don’t usually comment too much on the alcohols but wow, the Fume Blanc wine from BK Sellers was dry and completely bland.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - judgement day, carnevale, lost and found ale from The Lost Abbey

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - jamaica and steelhead beers from Mad River Brewing Company

Lost Abby’s Lost and Found Ale and the Mad River beers were alright.

Offbeat Brewery had their 49 Double IPA - Collab, a special release with u.k., not too dry and bitter aftertaste but maltier than some.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - hired hand from Iron Fist Brewing Co.

Iron Fist Brewing Co. sampled their Hired Hand beer.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - go to IPA and coffee milk stout beer from Stone Brewery

They had Stone Brewery Go To IPA, Levitation and Coffee Milk Stout. The stout almost like a coffee taste without being too strong.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - cinq blanc white wine and pms red wine from Roadrunner Ridge

Here's Roadrunner Ridge & Winery with the PMS (red rhone blend) and Cing Blanc (white rhone blend). I thought the white had more flavor than some of the other wines I had tried.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Hangar 24 Craft Brewery

These Hangar 24 Craft Brewery beer bottles were very pretty with their orchard theme. We noticed you got particulates from the bottom of the bottle, ie extra flavor. The first two had that beer taste afterwards but the Orange Wheat was pretty good.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - burgandy wine from Bernardo Winery

The Bernardo Winery burgandy red wine was nice.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - North Coast Brewing Co.

Prankster has strong beer carbonation but was not overly powerful. I'm not one for bubbily though.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Vesper

The Vesper Winery bottles had an earthy flavor. It was also a little better than some of the others.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Blue-Merle Winery and Coyote Oaks Vineyards

Blue-Merle Winery and Coyote Oaks Vineyards

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Cordiano Winery

Cordiano Winery. I preferred the red while Dennis preferred the white.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - rubus vigoratus anniversary beer from Iron Fist Brewing Company

It's the Anniversary beer from Iron Fist Brewery, created for a homebrew competition. I remember raspberry and chocolate notes and not hoppy. For a beer, I thought this was pretty good.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Stehleon Vineyards

Stehleon Vinyards. The rusty horizon red ale was toasty in the middle and dry at the end.

The Wedge Escondido 2014 - Maui Brewing Co.

Aloha Maui Brewing Co! We were full at this point so a picture will suffice for us "non-beer drinkers."

At the end, a food coma was already hitting us. This festival is nice for introducing you to different varieties of gourmet cheese as well as some local Escondido restaurants but it is a little more expensive than some of the other food tasting events we've been to. Still, the neighborhood around here has some restaurant gems that we want to come back to explore. Alcohol is just a bonus!

Disclaimer: we were provided tickets for this event but the opinions are strictly our own.


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J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats's picture
Submitted by J.S. @ Sun Dieg... (not verified) on Fri, 12/12/2014 - 12:25pm

If I went to the cheese festival I would seriously bring a loaf of baguette in my purse to eat the cheese with...I have such a hard time eating cheese without bread! Haha.

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Sun, 01/04/2015 - 9:12pm

bread sounds good but it's extra carbs! i gotta save room for those restaurant samples!

Mary's picture
Submitted by Mary (not verified) on Mon, 12/29/2014 - 8:24am

Oh man, I wish I could have gone to this. Look at all of that beautiful cheese! Like J.S., I'd want some bread or crackers or something to go with the cheeses. I'd be happy to be in a cheese coma, haha. Maybe I'll be able to go next year!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Sun, 01/04/2015 - 9:13pm

hope you can make it out next year! they also have their chocolate one coming up around february or so! that's a nice event too! :)

Faye's picture
Submitted by Faye (not verified) on Mon, 12/29/2014 - 4:06pm

That's insane how much you sampled and remembered each item! Do you take notes on the items?

The quesadilla looks the best to me for some reason. This looks like a really great event (worth the $35?) so I'll have to check it out next year.

How large were the beer samples?

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Sun, 01/04/2015 - 9:18pm

i forgot to mention that they give you these cute little rounded cups for samplings. there's a picture of it in the Plan 9 Alehouse pic.i'm guessing the samples are at least 2 oz and you can choose which 10 samples you want. sometimes they forget to ask for the tabs from your alcohol bracelet so you may get more... ;)

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