A cheese plate can be the star of any party spread, but it’s easy to get stuck in a hors d’oeuvres rut by always relying on your same old standbys. We’re not judging, of course—we love Humboldt Fog and Red Hawk, too. However, just like wine, there are perfect varieties of cheese for every season, and changing things up is a delicious way to experience a broad spectrum of flavors and textures while impressing your guests.
To help us master the late summer cheeseboard, we asked three experts from some of L.A.’s best cheese shops to share their favorites of the season. Here’s what they told us:
Leah Park Fierro, Owner of MilkFarm:
“Wabash Cannonball from Capriole, Indiana or Couronne de Touraine from the master cheesemaker Rodolphe le Meunier from the Loire. Cheeses go best with bubbles and whites because of the fat. I would pair these with off-dry whites like Sancerre or my favorite Rose from Kermit Lynch Gris de Gris.”
Tony Princiotta, general manager and buyer for The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills:
“The 38-month-old Comté has concentrated protein salt crystals and very intense flavors while Le Brouère from the Vosges, a mountain range in eastern France, is a fruity, salty and nutty, a sweeter version of Comté. Like most Alpine cheeses, they are ten to twelve months old and made during the summer months. That’s when the cows are grazing on the sweet grasses and flowers in the meadows. These hard-to-get cheeses are a rich ivory color from the chlorophyll and go well with burgundy wines or California pinot noirs and chardonnays.”
Andrew Steiner, owner of Andrew’s Cheese Shop:
“Fleur Verte (green flower) is a rindless, soft, creamy cheese from Périgord, France covered in fresh thyme, tarragon, and pink peppercorns. It is made of fresh, four day old pasteurized goat’s milk. The shape of the whole wheel looks like a flower, hence the name Fleur Verte. The herbs and the peppercorns complement the cheese; they are not overpowering. The flavor is fresh, clean and unabashedly herbaceous with a tangy, lemony finish. Fleur Verte screams out Rosé to me. Rosé Champagne would be the best. I get off work at 7:00 if you’re having some.”