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Weekend at Rubiner’s

February 23, 2010

My wife and I had a wedding to go to this past weekend in the Berkshires.  When I took a look at Google maps and saw that we would travel through Great Barrington, Massachusetts along the way, I had one thought enter my head…Rubiner’s cheesemonger and grocers.

Rubiner’s is a well known cheese and local foods shop located in Western Massachusetts that has been around since 2004.  Matt Rubiner renovated an old bank (think old vault becomes cheese cave) and converted it into arguably one of the finest cheese shops on the East Coast.

I had read a piece written by Matt Rubiner about starting a cheese shop and mongering in one of the 1st issues of culture magazine this past year.  Although I thought the piece was very direct and informative, some readers responded that the tone of the article was overly pessimistic and discouraging as opposed to inspiring.  I would encourage those that felt that way to make way to the Berkshires for a visit because this shop is a testament to the owner’s passion in offering up world class quality goods and making it available for all to appreciate.

This is the picture that welcomes you upon walking in the front door.  It was such a contrast given that I had just walked through massive doors framed by huge gray columns.  I have to say it was pretty cool…  Once I was able to focus on the selection in front of me, I was impressed to find in the middle of a somewhat remote area such selections as Keen’s Cheddar, a Rolf Beeler Gruyere, and Barely Buzzed all in one place.  Although the owner was not there to assist, the staff was only happy to help in giving tastes and suggestions throughout the morning (more on what I had in a later post).

There were several samples out for people to try, including several behind glass covers that continued to beckon…Further on the right is a case devoted to the softer styles such as Camembert and Vacherin Mont D’Or, and yet another with cured meats from Spanish Jamon Serrano to locally cured bacon and ham.

After several tastings served by a patient and enthusiastic monger, and a few purchases for a pre-wedding lunch, we said our thank-yous and goodbyes.  We arrived right at the start of the day so we were spoiled with one on one attention for about 45 minutes.  Just as we were leaving, there were quite a few more people who had filed in asking for tastes and advice.  Although I live a couple of hours away from Rubiner’s, I hope to make another trek to Western Massachusetts at some point in the near future.  Rubiner’s is definitely worth the trip…

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2010 1:41 pm

    Aaron – We stopped in Sunday morning on your recommendation. AWESOME. We found a cheese from Utah called Barely Buzzed that we’ve only seen one other time, in California. I think you’d really like it. Cheers!

    • February 24, 2010 4:04 pm

      Hey that’s great! Glad you liked it. Barely Buzzed is such an interesting cheese. Who would have thought to rub with coffee…and yet it works!!

  2. February 27, 2010 3:53 pm

    Wow, you two must have an AWEsome friend who would have a wedding in a place that could offer you such an experience.

    By the way, we also bought the Keene’s and the Stichleton. In addition, we got an Adelegger (which is out of this world delicious, nutty and crystally) and a Reisling something-or-other, which had a creepy texture on the outside, but was wonderful on the inside (sort of creamy and thick, with just a hint of pungency.)

    All in all, an amazing experience. Now, all we have to do is find someone in Woodside who offers the same thing…

  3. Matthew Rubiner permalink
    March 14, 2010 2:14 pm

    Thanks for the kind words. Sorry to have missed you all. So glad you enjoyed your visits. Re: pessimistic tone of the culture article you referred to. No pessimism intended. Directed to-hopefully humorously-dissuade the casual enthusiast from trying their hand at cheesemongering without the requisite passion and understanding of the rigors. Go back and read it again. This time, laugh. Identify yourself next time you’re in.

    • March 14, 2010 2:29 pm

      Thanks for the comment Matthew. I will definitely go back and read the article in light of my visit and your comments. I appreciated the focus of the article so I was just as surprised when I read that some people took it the wrong way. I will definitely make it a point to stop in again, and will continue to encourage others to do the same. Thanks again.

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