Bloomy, soft-ripened, blue-veined, flowery and peppery. Ridgefield’s 109 Cheese & Wine Shop is a center for the education and appreciation for artisanal cheese and wine in northern Fairfield County. Owner and cheese monger Monica Brown, with her husband and partner Todd Brown, fill their intimately-scaled shop with a carefully curated selection of cheeses, from a creamy Hudson Valley goat cheese, to a Benedictine-monk crafted sheep’s milk cheese from northern France.
Cheese’s perfect partners, 109 also stocks charcuterie and gourmet snacks such as flatbreads, terrines and hors d’oeuvres from nearby Bernard’s Restaurant. Seasonal luxury food items such as black and white truffles, Jamón ibérico and caviar come and go with availability, while low-yielding producers of olive oils, vinegars and salts are staples year-round.
Located in Ridgefield’s “Marketplace,” a European-style collection of small food shops, 109 Cheese & Wine also boasts an intimate companion shop that sells a small but thoughtful collection of wine and craft beers chosen for their ability to pair with food. Rough-hewn wooden wine shelves and riddling racks line the walls of the shop, and an old barn window visually and physically connects to the adjacent cheese shop. The scale and materials lend to a feeling of intimacy, making the experience feel more like a visit to the private wine cellar of a friend, not a public market.