Cheese, like wine, is produced in a variety of styles. From fresh and creamy to aged and crumbly, there's a cheese for every wine and everyone. With so many flavors, shapes and textures, it's important to understand the basics of cheese in order to help navigate your way to discovering your favorites.
- The Cheese Board
Fresh cheeses are usually white, soft and spreadable without a rind. They are made without any fermentation, mold or preservatives.
Cheeses with a soft, creamy or almost runny texture, sometimes with a white, soft and slightly fuzzy "bloomy" rind. These cheeses ripen from the outside in and usually have extra cream added to boost the fat content for richer taste.
Uncooked pressed cheeses that are dense, smooth and generally creamy with little to no rind. Usually high in moisture content,
these cheeses range from very mild to very pungent in flavor.
Cheeses that are cooked and/or pressed, with or without rinds, with as much liquid expelled from them as possible. Can be aged 1-2 years, even up to 6 like aged Gouda.
Cheeses inoculated with bacteria or penicillin, creating blue/green veining throughout resulting in intense, unique flavors.
Cheeses that are treated or cured by being brushed, rubbed, washed or immersed in brine of salt, wine, beer or grape brandy to add a unique flavor to the cheese.
Produces largest volume of milk per animal. Some believe buffalo milk to be the best flavor and quality dairy for making cheeses.
Cows have the highest production of milk. It generally takes 10 poound of cow's milk to make one pound of cheese, perfect for "big wheel" cheeses.
Goats produce about half as much dairy as cows. With less lactose, goat's milk has a mild and tangy flavor, perfect for specialty and aged cheeses.
Sheep produce about half as much dairy as goats. With more fat and protein than cow's milk, sheep's milk has a very concentrated flavor.
Raw milk comes directly from the animal with no treatment. It is never heated above 102°F.
Pasteurized milk is heat treated milk which kills bad bacteria.