Say Cheese! Nine Picks for Your Party Plate

Dec 20, 2013

Beehive's Barely Buzzed cheese is infused with coffee and lavender.
Beehive's Barely Buzzed cheese is infused with coffee and lavender.
Credit Beehive Barely Buzzed

If you're planning a holiday or New Year's party in Wisconsin, chances are a cheese plate is in order. But what to put on it?

If you’re not satisfied with the ready-made platters at the local grocery store, cheese writer Jeannette Hurt has the perfect picks for you:

  • Rush Creek Reserve: By the same makers of the award-winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve, this cheese is a 60-day aged washed brine. This cheese is light, creamy, earthy, and rich. Hurt would pair it with a Christmas jam and bread.
  • LaClare Farms’ Martone: A cow and goat blend that has an ash-coated, bloomy brine. Made by Katie Hendrick, first place winner of the U.S. Cheese Championship for her goat cheese.
  • Roelli’s Cellar Aged Alpine: Like a Wisconsin version of Appenzeller, it is a nutty, aged Swiss-style cheese that can be served as a fondue or straight.
  • Roth’s Montanella Raclette: It is a traditional melting cheese that tastes great with pickles, potatoes, crusty bread, and salads. Perfect for holidays.
  • Sartori's BellaVitano Chai tea wash: This is a definite Christmas cheese that can be paired with Chai tea.
  • Hook’s EWE CALF to Be KIDding Me: Making the name appropriate, this blue cheese is a blend of sheep, goat, and cow.
  • LaClare Farms' and Roelli's Ziege Zacke Blue: This blue cheese is a dry, tangy, and sweet cheese.
  • Marieke Gouda: Its mildness makes it a crowd-pleaser. It comes in a variety of flavors, including black pepper, cumin, and feta Greek.
  • Beehive's Barely Buzzed: This cheddar cheese from Utah is flavored with a coffee and lavender rub.

If looking for presents, Hurt suggests Yankee Hollow’s cheese of the month club. For $35 a month, the recipient receives three different cheeses to try. This is a great club to join for those who are just getting into cheese tasting.

Hurt also recommends a Chilean wine by Mayu called Pedro Ximenez. The white wine is fruity and flavorful and can be paired with seafoods.