Cheese tasting party ideas

Don't know jack about cheese? Throw an impromptu tasting party with our tips

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If you're looking for a reason to celebrate with friends and family, cheese is always high on our list. And throwing an impromptu cheese tasting party is easy with these party tips and sample menu.

Blue cheese tasting menu

Serves 4 to 6

Choose three to five cheeses that are categorized either by type (a variety of blue cheeses), by milk (a variety of goat cheeses), by country (several cheeses from France or Germany), or by characteristics (a variety of hard or soft cheeses). Cheeses should be sampled from mild to sharp to prevent taste-bud burnout.

Once you've decided on the tasting menu, create a tasting grid for each guest to record the name of the cheese and rate the appearance, aroma, flavor, texture and finish of each cheese, or download our template below.

Remember to include accompaniments -- such as wines, breads, condiments, nuts or fruits -- to enhance the cheese tasting experience and cleanse the palate between nibbles.

Tasting:

  • 2 ounces Cabrales -- Spain's most famous blue cheese made from cows milk and sometimes are variety of goat's and sheep's milk.
  • 2 ounces Roquefort -- made from sheep's milk in France.
  • 2 ounces Oregonzola -- a blue cheese from Oregon, inspired by the Italian blue cheese, Gorgonzola.
  • 2 ounces Stilton -- a cow's milk blue cheese named after the village of Stilton in England (where it is ironically illegal to make Stilton cheese).
  • 2 ounces Gamonéu -- a blue variety from Asturias in Northern Spain made from a blend of cow's, goat's and sheep's milk.

Accompaniments:

  • Champagne grapes
  • Radishes with butter and sea salt
  • Toasted almonds
  • Candied walnuts
  • Baguettes
  • Honey
  • Champagne Brut

cheese tasting chart

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Dawn Viola is a research and development chef and food writer. She serves on the board of directors for Slow Food Orlando, and works with local and national companies as a healthy recipe consultant with a focus on organic, local and sustainable ingredients. After an accomplished career as a copywriter, creative director and documentary producer in the advertising industry for over a decade, Dawn switched her writing focus to food and enrolled in culinary school when she discovered she had multiple food allergies. She graduated with honors from the culinary management program at Valencia College, completed her externship at America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated Magazine in Boston, and began teaching others how to cook with a back-to-basics approach. When Dawn isn't writing delicious stories for SheKnows.com, you'll find her stirring the pot on Twitter, Facebook and her blog, DawnViola.com, named a top-ten food blog four years running for her commitment to cooking with organic, sustainable and local ingredients.

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