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Say Cheese! Nine Picks for Your Party Plate

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.