Five Best Types Of Cheese For Your Wine/Cheese Party

Cheese and Wine PartyMy wife and I were going to have a cheese and wine party for our friends this year and, of course, I needed to come up with the five best types of cheese to have at this party.  While, I am not a connoisseur of wine (we joke about Aldi’s being our “favorite German winery”), I would like to think I can pick a pretty good cheese beyond your typical Swiss, American, and Cheddar.  Luckily, my wife has a pretty good grasp on American wines, so we were able to be halfway successful in our selections.  The cheese was left to me.  Knowing that the pairing of the two would gauge our success, I came up with the following list.  I’ve added the wine and costs in with the list so you can see what you are getting into.  Maybe this list will make your evening a little more enjoyable and you can rest assured that they are a good pairing.  Some of the cheeses might be a little bit hard to find, but we ended up ordering some of it online – with really good results!

“Gouda, Aged 4-year by Artisanal Premium Cheese” 

“Gouda is simply unrivaled for that perfect balance of salty and sweet. Deep caramel in color, crunchy, flaky, and meltingly smooth on the tongue, a true cow’s milk Dutch Gouda bursts with flavor. The hint of butterscotch at the finish is a signature of this Dutch treat.”

myfivebest -1Cabernet Sauvignon and Dutch Gouda
A lot of people would recommend gouda cheese with a fruity white wine, but we found that this aged Dutch gouda went perfect with a darker wine, such as the Cabernet.  Deep caramel in color, crunchy, flaky, and meltingly smooth on the tongue, this gouda that we chose had a hint of butterscotch at the finish.  We teamed this cheese up with a 2005 Hayman & Hill Napa Valley Reserve.  Total cost: Wine – $14.00, Cheese  – $9.75/half pound.




Bijou by Artisanal Premium Cheese Bijou by Artisanal Premium Cheese 

“Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery has been pioneering innovative dairy products for over 25 years. Their fresh ch?vres, spreads, butters, and fermented creams can be found in chefs’ kitchens and grocery stores across the country. Recently, they completed construction on an ambitious new production facility for Loire Valley-style cheeses. Bijou is the French word for “”jewel””, and these petit, glistening cheeses are the perfect embodiment. Styled after the classic Crottin de Chavignol, each Bijou weighs in at around 2 to 3 ounces. They are semi-firm in texture, and bear the typical, subtle tang of fresh goat’s milk cheese. Be careful – these cheeses can be consumed by the dozen!”

myfivebest - 2Sauvignon Blanc And Bijou Goat’s Cheese
This cheese is a soft, creamy goat’s cheese styled after the classic Crottin de Chavignol.  Each one is about 2-3 ounces and is shaped in a conical round.  They are named after the French word for “jewel” and when you look at the cheese, it appears to be a giant, white candy.  When picking the wine for this, we went with a white, 2008 Honig Sauvignon Blanc from the Napa Valley.  We went for this due to the reputation of it being a really good wine and that the entire operation from production to bottling is solar generated.  Total cost: Wine – $16.00, Cheese  – $4.50/round.





Brie de Nangis by Artisanal Premium Cheese Brie de Nangis by Artisanal Premium Cheese 

“Brie de Nangis hails from Brie, just southwest of Paris, France, and is one of the milder, more buttery Bries. It almost disappeared from production but has seen a revival over the past few decades. Brie de Nangis is creamy and smooth and has a slightly chalky center that becomes runny with age. This cheese also pairs well with a Sauvignon Blanc and bigger reds such as Merlot.”

myfivebest - 3Chardonnay And Bris De Nangis
I had to add a type of Bris to this party.  There is something about this French, buttery cheese that I really like.  Brie de Nangis is creamy and smooth cow cheese that has a slightly chalky center and becomes runny with age. The wine we chose was a honey-scented California white wine, bottled at Logan’s “Sleepy Hollow” California vineyard. It is aged with a touch of oak, which helps keep the flavor round, rich, and creamy.  Fruit influences are all in the green family — think pears, lime, kiwi, and honeydew.  Instead of a typical berry compote, we served the Bris de Nangis with a pear and lime topping.  I think this might have been my favorite of the evening!  Total Cost: Wine – $16.00, Cheese – $12.25/half pound.



Purple Haze by Artisanal Premium Cheese Purple Haze by Artisanal Premium Cheese 

“Purple Haze is a fresh little goat’s milk cheese from Cypress Grove Chevre in Northern California flavored with wild fennel pollen and lavender. The combination of the herbs with the smooth and creamy chevre taste is unique and reconfirms the Provencale/Mediterranean identity of California flavors and cuisine. Here at the Artisanal Premium Cheese Center, we remove the plastic wrapper and drain the residual whey from the cheese, guaranteeing a creamy rather than sour flavor and dramatically improving the texture of the cheese. Pair it with Zinfandel. One piece weighs approximately 4.5 ounces.”

myfivebest - 4Zinfandel And Purple Haze
With a name like Purple Haze, we had to try this cheese.  It turns out that this California goat’s milk cheese had a real earthy flavor that tasted a little like licorice because of the fennel they mixed with it.  The zinfandel we chose was an 2007 Ohio red wine from the Auburn Twin Oaks winery.  It had a smooth, fruity taste with a hint of raspberry and vanilla.  Total Cost: Wine – $20.00, Cheese – $10.00/round.



Manchester by Artisanal Premium Cheese Manchester by Artisanal Premium Cheese 

“Manchester is an aged, raw-milk, washed-rind goat milk cheese produced at the Consider Bardwell Dairy in western Vermont. The master cheese maker at this dairy is Peter Dixon, a widely respected veteran of the dairy industry around Vermont. The Manchester has a firm texture, a nutty and rustic bite; and due to the rotational grazing on the pastures at the dairy, as well as the aging process itself, each wheel has its own distinct flavor.”

myfivebest - 5Riesling And Manchester
My favorite wine is a riesling.  When we chose the cheese for this wine, we went all out and got a tasty, nutty goat’s cheese that is semi-soft and firm.  This award-winning cheese pairs nicely with the Graystone Riesling made in Columbus, Ohio from the Wyandotte Winery.  The wine had the hint of pear and citrus in it.  This combination was possibly the hit of the party.    Total Cost: Wine – $13.00, Cheese – $14.75/half pound.