Happy birthday to us! This month marks our 6th year of sharing our cheese discoveries with you, dear readers. To celebrate, Jill and I gathered our curd kids for a weekend retreat in Minneapolis (thankfully, pre-snow) and, well, ate cheese. Would you expect anything else?

6th anniversary cheese cake | cheeseandchampagne.com

We thought we’d knock off a few missing letters from our ABCs and build a cheese cake while we were at it. Pro-tip: Don’t use an uber-ripe camembert as the base of your cheese tower. But we had to include Alemar Cheese’s Bent River, a nod to our Minnesota half. As you might expect, we selected an array of bubbly-worthy cheeses — after Bent River came St. Stephen (cows milk, Four Fat Fowl, NY), Valentine (sheeps milk, Ancient Heritage Dairy, OR), Martone (cow/goat mixed milk, LaClare Farms, WI), and Smokey Mountain Round (goat milk, Goat Lady Dairy, NC). Cheeses to represent each of our home and present state/regions, and one amazing new triple-cream to tie it all together.

American Cheese Month may be over, but we’re hoping our ABCs of American Artisan Cheese (and this leaning tower of cheeses) inspire you to seek out some new cheeses — and perhaps include them on your holiday table. To make that easier, we’ve got an American Cheese Goodie Bag to give away to one lucky reader! (That’s right, it’s our birthday and we’re giving you gifts. Cheese is made for sharing, after all.)

CheeseandChampagne anniversary giveaway 2014

The goodies will come inside (1) the fabulous American cheese tote bag from our friends at Brooklyn Slate. Included you’ll find (2) a copy of Tami Parr’s Pacific Northwest Cheese: A History, (3) an exclusive Raw Milk Rockstar t-shirt, and (4) a $50 gift card to EITHER your local cheese shop, or, if you don’t have a shop nearby, from our favorite mail-order source, Murray’s.

3 ways to enter the American Cheese Goodie Bag Giveaway:

(1) Leave a comment below telling us, where do you buy cheese?

(2) Leave a comment on our giveaway post on Facebook; and/or

(3) Subscribe to our monthly cheese newsletter.


Contest closes at 11:59pm EST next Sunday, November 30, 2014. (Winner must be a resident of the US. As mentioned above, a gift card will be provided to the cheese shop of your choosing or to Murray’s for mail order. Remember to support your local cheesemonger this holiday season!) The tote bag has been provided by Brooklyn Slate; the book by Oregon State University Press.)

Thanks for all your support over the years! And stay tuned — we have several more holiday giveaways coming up!

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Congratulations to the winners of the World Cheese Awards, which took place this weekend in London.

American cheese winners at the World Cheese Awards 2014

Out of nearly 2,600 cheeses from 33 countries, American cheesemakers garnered 10 of 62 Super Golds:

bayley hazen blue | cheeseandchampagne.com

* In addition, Bayley Hazen was named the World’s Best Unpasteurized Cheese and Fiscalini the World’s Best Mature Traditional Cheddar.

Bath Blue, World Champion Cheese 2014

Bath Blue, photo courtesy The Guild of Fine Foods/World Cheese Awards.

Oh, and the World Champion? That honour stays in the UK, going to Bath Blue by Bath Soft Cheese. Find all the award winners here.

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7 New American Cheeses for Your Holiday Cheeseboard

November 14, 2014

As we compiled our 26 cheeses for American Cheese Month, we wanted first to avoid duplication from last year’s 31 Essential American cheeses — it also turned into an opportunity to go through a year (or more’s) worth of photos to find the cheeses we hadn’t yet shared tasting notes for. And to realize just [...]

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ABCs of American Artisan Cheese {#AmCheeseMonth 2014}

October 31, 2014

In celebration of the 4th annual American Cheese Month, we featured 26 fabulous American cheeses on our social media pages. Here’s the full A to Z of American artisan cheese, for your enjoyment. Ameribella | Jacobs & Brichford | Indiana Bloomsdale | Baetje Farms | Missouri Coupole | Vermont Creamery | Vermont Dorset | Consider [...]

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Miranda and Ouleout, Vulto Creamery, New York

October 23, 2014

The cheeses of Vulto Creamery have been on our radar for a while now, but like so many good things, they weren’t readily available outside of New York. I had the pleasure of meeting cheesemaker Jos Vulto briefly over the summer, but his Miranda and Ouleout only recently made their debut on my cheeseboard. Coincidentally, [...]

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Falling for Fall Cheese Fests

September 17, 2014

Aaahhh, fall at last. I have so many wonderful summer memories to share with you all, so many new cheeses that graced our cheeseboards and earned our adoration. Enough to fill a book, you might say. {wink} But first, there are some pretty exciting cheese festivals coming up this fall that we wanted to let [...]

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Pacific Northwest Goats: Mountain Lodge Farm’s Glacier and Rivers Edge Chèvre’s Sunset Bay

August 19, 2014

Another trip to Seattle, another cheese-scouting expedition in the books. As always, a highlight of my annual visit to my parents were my excursions to local cheese shops Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and the Calf & Kid. And I don’t know if it’s a pregnancy thing or what, but I mostly had my eyes on goat [...]

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Smoked Maple Blue Peaches

August 17, 2014

If there’s one food I might eat more often than cheese, if only they were available year-round, it would be peaches. Our local donut peaches, in particular, which I have to buy two baskets of at a time to stand a chance of getting any before my curd kids devour them. Of course, I often [...]

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The Shock Heard ‘Round the Cheese World: Rush Creek Reserve no more?

August 15, 2014

There’s a saying in DC, that no good news comes on a Friday afternoon in August. With Congress in recess and journalists on vacation, it’s the best time to announce an unpopular rulemaking or action to less rapid scrutiny. If cheesemaker Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese was hoping for such an effect, he understimated the [...]

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Best of Show 2014: Tarentaise Reserve

August 1, 2014

The cheese Oscars — aka the American Cheese Society Judging & Competition — took place last night and we’re thrilled to announce the 2014 Best of Show winners. As Jill wrote about Tarentaise Reserve several months ago: “I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t love Tarentaise Reserve. Like many Alpine-style cheeses, it’s made [...]

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