Hello Cheese Loves Wine Fans

Nov 3, 2023 | Artisan Cheese, Specialty Cheese

Here’s the start of a series of blogs that I’ll be posting monthly to share my cheese views, information, recommendations and my love of cheese with you. For the past 4 decades I’ve been devoted to promoting and encouraging artisan and specialty cheesemakers around the world, especially in America. How did I learn this? I’m a Certified Cheese Professional who has been a cheesemonger both in my own cheese shops in San Francisco, a Cheese Market Director in a Sierra Foothills winery, a consultant, teaching cheese and wine classes and now author. I’ve tasted, bought, traveled, explored and sold hundreds of varieties! So I’d like to talk to you “over the cheese counter” with my cheesemonger advice. Wine advice is another benefit I’ll share with you. Because, as the title of my book says “Cheese Loves Wine”, they make a glorious partnership.

Now, let’s talk about the two cheese categories that offer complex flavors and many pairing opportunities: Artisan and Specialty cheeses.

What is an “artisan” cheese?

These cheeses are unique creations, hand-crafted in small batches with a cheesemaker guiding the cheesemaking recipe (no machines and computer controls. So many cheeses are mass-produced; millions of pounds a week made by a single large producer. So I especially love the little guys like Golden Gate created by Marin French Cheese Co. It’s relatively new and original in the marketplace: a triple cream washed rind like a fresh French Munster. There are artisans made for centuries and ones new to the market. Search these out and you’ll find the joy of cheese discovery.

What is a “specialty” cheese?

These are cheeses that are made with special prized recipes, milks, animals, terroir and techniques that produce a unique style or flavor that indeed make them “special”. How they’re made is the main feature with extra attention to the milk, breeds, location that guarantee unequalled excellence. Good examples are LeGruyère with exacting production and quality control. Another is Holland Aged Gouda, made worldwide, but extra-aging creates the best Specialty versions.
Time to explore the Artisans and Specialties…it’s the real fun of cheese.

Come enjoy a cheese world adventure…through my eyes…in my blogs. Judy