Wine, Cheese and Charcuterie Guide

Cheese 101

Cheese Tasting Tips

Tasting cheese doesn't have to be a formal or intimidating experience, instead, have fun expanding your horizons with new and exciting flavors. No two cheeses taste alike, so take the time to get to know your cheese with these simple and easy tips:

"Tasting cheese is a lot like tasting wine. Turn on all your senses."
- Janet Fletcher

Tasting Your Cheese

Look at the Cheese

Begin your tasting experience by getting to know your cheese.
How does the cheese look? Is the rind healthy? Is the interior color right?

Smell the Cheese

The aromas of the cheese should be consistent with the flavors.
What do the aromas smell like? Try to describe the aromas you note before you put it in your mouth.

Taste & Texture

Tasting cheese is like tasting wine. Pay attention to the texture, the mouthfeel, the flavors and the finish.
How does it feel on the tongue? Smooth, grainy, creamy, crumbly?
How does it taste? Is it tart or tangy, sharp or mellow? Is it salty enough, or too salty?
Utilize these key words to describe the taste palate of your favorite cheeses: Grassy, Pungent, Earthy, Citric, Sweet, Gamey, Lactic, Lingering, Sharp, Lemony, Buttery, Nutty, Herbaceous, Toasty, Spicy

Experiece the Flavor

Allow yourself to experience the entire flavor curve, from initial taste to finish. Be patient, as you may not experience the full flavor until 30 seconds after first taste.
How does it finish? Is it long lasting, like a fine wine? And, above all, is it balanced?

Wine and Cheese

Tips for Tasting

Taste the Strength

Taste your cheeses in order of strength, starting with the mildest flavors and working your way up to the bold and intense cheeses.

Front the Inside Out

The true base flavor of the cheese is on the inside, while the exterior displays more concentrated flavors that are affected by various outside elements.

Cleanse the Palate

Cleanse the palate after tasting each cheese with sorbet, bread, apple slices or pickles. Tart or citrus flavors, such as pineapple or grapefruit will also work.

Separate It

Be careful not to mix your cheeses, as you won't get the full effect. Be sure to wipe your plate clean after each taste.

"Eating the rind can be part of the experience and overall enjoyment of the cheese. If you don't like it, don't eat it. That said, don't ever eat the wax."
- The Cheese Board

© Copyright , Folio Fine Wine Partners, a Michael Mondavi Family Co., Napa, CA