How to Make Wine Soaked Cheese – (AKA Drunken Cow Cheese)

How to Make Wine Soaked Cheese – (AKA Drunken Cow Cheese)

Hi friends, I’ve always wanted to make a wine soaked cheese, and I’m excited to say today that day! It’s harvest season around here and the grapes have just been harvested. So I contacted my friends at Indian Creek Winery and they invited me to come So the reason I’m excited about this is because I think that it’s going to give it a nice deep red color on the rind of the cheese. So come into my kitchen. Let’s make some white soaked cheese. Heat three gallons of pasteurized un homogenized milk slowly to 90 degrees. Take 1/4 cup of non-chlorinated water Add a 1/4 of a teaspoon of lipase We’re going to let that stand for 20 minutes while the milk is heating. When the milk has reached the target temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit go ahead and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of the mesophilic culture to the top of the milk and let it rehydrate for 5 minutes. So while the culture is rehydrating Let me take a couple of moments to explain the additive process in the beginning stages. You’ll notice that my other videos that I always add the additives to the milk in the same order every time and there’s a reason for that. The culture should be added first because it needs a few minutes to rehydrate on the top, and then it needs about a minute or so to stir in and make sure that all of the cultures spread evenly through the milk. Now there may be a ripening period and sometimes the cheese requires it. This one does not require it, so as soon as the culture is added through the milk I’m going to proceed on to the next steps If your recipe calls for lipase the best time to add it is directly after the culture and before the calcium chloride and the rennet. Typically after that the calcium chloride would be added next and then the rennet would be in the final stage is because it’s the coagulant agent and within a minute that agent is already beginning to produce a curd, so we don’t want to stir it too much or you’ll shatter the curds and it won’t be able to form a good curd mass. So always make sure that your rennet is last. Cover the pot and let the milk rest for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes remove the lid and check for a clean break. I’m going to take my curd knife and just insert it into the curd, pull it back and the whey should begin to seep into the cut and it is! We are ready to go. Cut the curd into one-half inch cubes vertically first then horizontally. While you’re doing this heat up one gallon of non-chlorinated water to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. You’re gonna need it in a minute. Cover the pot and let the curds rest for ten minutes. Now it’s time to wash the curds. we’re going to remove approximately 1/3 of the whey so we can replace it with the heated water. This first washing the target temperature will be 92 degrees. So watch your thermometer carefully once you start adding the water. Now I’ll replace the whey that I took out with the 175 degree water. I Can get a pretty good idea of how much I took out because there’s a high-water mark- or I guess I should say a high whey mark- on the pan and that’s what I’m judging it by. Stir the curds gently for five minutes. Let the curds rest for 10 minutes. Now we’ll wash the curds for a second time, and we’ll accomplish this by removing the whey and replacing it with water. and until the target temperature of 100 degrees is reached. Once you reach a hundred degrees, go ahead and stop. All right, I just reached 100 degrees now, I’m going to go ahead and stir the curds for 5 minutes. And then I’m going to let it rest for 30 minutes. I kind of like this recipe. It doesn’t require much stirring, so my arm doesn’t get so tired. Gently pour the curds into a fine mesh colander. Because this whey has been diluted I’m not going to try to make ricotta out of this batch But you can use this to feed your chickens or whatever. Place the towel over it and let it rest for five minutes. Now take the slab and place it on a clean and sterilized cutting board and we’re going to cut this slab into a 1/4 inch dice. Once you’re finished with the dicing go ahead and take three tablespoons of salt and sprinkle it all over the curds and mill it with your hands. I’m going to give you a tip- It’s important to be able to get it as uniform as possible all throughout the curds so you can do that by sprinkling high Sprinkle high, do some milling, rinse and repeat until it’s all milled through. Don’t worry. It seems at first like that’s a lot of salt but it’s really not because much of this salt is going to go away during the first pressing. Transfer the curds to a cheesecloth lined mold Wrap the curds with the cheesecloth and place it into the press. Press this cheese at ten pounds for thirty minutes. Vince built me this press and I like it a lot. I can reach the 10 pounds in one of two ways. I can estimate by lightly tightening the wing nuts just so that there’s just a little bit of whey coming out. Im going to judge it by the whey, because 10 pounds is a light press. But there’s another way to do this: I’m just going to place ten pounds of weight right on the top plate. And that way it takes the guesswork out of it! Either way, your choice. About 15 minutes into this press I noticed that my follower had reached the edge of the mold, which means that the cheese is shrinking that’s a good thing because we want to get rid of the whey So this is an easy fix. All you need to do is continue to use these disks so that the press continues to happen just watch your cheese as it continues to press and as followers as needed. At the half hour mark, remove from the mold flip the cheese and redress it with a new cheesecloth. Place it back in the mold and press again at ten pounds for 12 hours. You’ll do this twice for a total of a 24 hour press. In the meantime place the pressings in the oven at 250 degrees F for 15 minutes. So I decided to take this piece outside just in case I made a bit of a mess. And here’s what I’ve done. I’ve taken half of the grape pressings and I’ve placed them in a sterilized 2 gallon bucket. Add 3 tablespoons of non-iodized salt to the wine and pressings. Mix well. Just so you know, if you don’t have access to the pressings you can just do this with the wine. I’m just fortunate enough to have a friend in the wine business, so I wanted to see if this would work. Once the salt is mixed through, add 2 teaspoons of calcium chloride to the mixture. And mix it well. You’ll want to be sure to add the salt and the calcium chloride before you add the cheese! Then I removed the cheese from the press 24 hours later. And here it is! So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to bury the cheese In the wine and pressings and then I’m going to take some beautiful Indian Creek wine and I’m going to pour it over the cheese. This is the exciting part – I’m so excited! And go ahead and pour it over the cheese. And my hope is is that the wine is going to rehydrate those great pressings and that the grape pressings are going to provide an additional staining property. That’s that’s the goal here. I just finished pouring the wine all the way in and that is it. The cheese is now completely submerged in the wine and the pressing and I’ll take this back into the house at room temperature for 24 hours. I’ll do a flip halfway through tomorrow morning and see how the staining is coming along. I did end up having to do an extra second bottle of wine But that’s okay. I already think I’m going to make another cheese since I’ve got this beautiful staining property here and we’ll we’ll check it in the morning. Remove the cheese from the bucket, dry it off with the paper towel, put it on a drying rack and let it air dry for 24 hours or until it’s dry to the touch. You can use the food tent to keep out any unwanted dust or bugs or kitties. And here it is! drunken cheese or wine-soaked cheese. This cheese was really very easy to make. It took less than four hours from milk pour to press and I really like the fact that it ages in a refrigerator instead of a cheese cave, so if you don’t have a cheese cave you can still make this and I’m sure your friends and family will appreciate It. the flavor of the wine comes through the rind of the cheese and a little bit into the cheese. But the cheese itself is very flavorful and I would say a little sharp and maybe a little pungent. So if you like that sort of cheese, I think you’re going to enjoy this one. Thanks so much to Indian Creek Winery for inviting me to visit! As always we appreciate your support! Like and subscribe and ring the bell for future notifications. We will see you in the next episode!


  1. Amazing! I know absolutely nothing about making cheese, but you added some chemicals to the first batch of grape must and then you poured more on top that didn't have the chemicals. Is that correct?

  2. Awesome video Lisa! I liked the explanation about the order of adding the additives a lot! When I made my drunken cheese, I soaked the curds in the wine. It would be interesting to make this one and have a comparison. Well done and looking forward to seeing the next one!

  3. Lisa, I have a question. I made this cheese a few weeks ago following your process, but after a few days ripening in the fridge (in a sealed plastic container on top of a cheese mat) the container began smelling distinctly of acetone. I have been brining the cheese every several days since, but I am scared to taste it due to the strong nail polish remover-esque smell. The smell gets much fainter after I brine the cheese and let it sit out for a bit. Any tips?

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