colleen and jill


Cheese and Champagne began as a tasting journal by two cheese-obsessed friends as we tasted our way through the Wine Spectator “100 Great Cheeses” list. Having tasted 97 of the 100, plus a good number “off the list,” we have discovered new favorites and an undying love for the craft of cheesemaking. Whether farmstead, artisanal, raw milk or pasteurized, the one thing we have discovered is that our education in cheese is only just beginning. As of 2011, we have turned our attention to real American cheese — artisanal cheeses and the people who make them, from the classic dairy states of Wisconsin and California to the upstarts in Georgia, Vermont and the Pacific Northwest. It’s an exciting time to be a cheeselover in America, and we’ll continue bringing you the freshest, stinkiest, creamiest and most pungent new finds here on

About Us


Colleen Levine (dccheese) is a cheese advocate, freelance writer and consultant based in Washington, D.C. With more than a dozen years of advocacy experience in the nation’s capitol, she delved into the cheese world in 2008 as the co-founder of the blog and is now proud to advocate for cheese and the artisans who make it. She also writes about raising foodies on real food at, with assistance from her two- and six-year-old kitchen and garden assistants. In between visits to local cheese shops and farmers markets, she also obsesses over craft beer and the perfect cup of coffee (all in the name of cheese pairing research, of course.) (aka @ColleenLevine on Twitter, Untappd and Vine.)

Jill Lewis (mncheese) spent many of her formative years in Wisconsin but can more accurately pinpoint the beginning of her cheese obsession to her time in suburban Washington, D.C., when she and fellow blogger Colleen fell in love with their neighborhood cheese shop. Now living in Minnesota, she enjoys visiting various well-stocked cheese shops, covering the local foodie scene for the online food magazine The Heavy Table, and watching her three kids eat varieties of cheese that her 30-something husband won’t touch. She is proud to be a first-time book author with the release of “Minnesota Lunch: From Pasties to Banh Mi” in March 2011. (aka @Golda78 on Twitter.)

Follow us @Curdwise on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Contact Us

Have a cheese question or tip? Contact us:
Colleen @ < dccheese at gmail dot com > or Jill @ < mncheese at gmail dot com > (Replacing at and dot with @ and .).


Unless otherwise indicated, all text and photographs are (c) Jill Lewis/Colleen Levine,, 2008-2013. Please contact us to inquire about one-time use licenses or photography services. While we appreciate the sharing of our photos and posts on social media, please note that they may not be shared without proper attribution and a link back to the original post.

Review Policy/Disclosure

We accept cheese, wine and related products for review consideration, but reviews are not guaranteed. All opinions are our own. The vast majority of cheeses we post about are purchased by us at our local cheese shops. If cheese/products have been provided for review purposes, or we have been comped to attend an event, that fact is clearly noted in our post. Giveaway prizes are often provided by and shipped directly to the winner from the sponsoring publisher/company. Sponsored posts or any other compensation received will be clearly disclosed in our posts pursuant to FTC guidelines.


Interested in advertising on Email for rates and details.

* From the Wine Spectator Sept. 30, 2008 issue. We will not be posting the complete list or the reviews from the magazine; we encourage you to order a copy to follow along at home.


Cheeseslave December 5, 2008 at 1:51 pm

This is fantastic. Adding to my blogroll. I just love looking at all the pictures of cheese!

Owen Dugan March 23, 2009 at 1:32 pm

As editor of the Wine Spectator cheese issue, I was excited (and a little nervous) to come across your site a few weeks ago.

Now I’m just excited. I’m glad to see that you take our work seriously, but more importantly that you are investing the energy in going through the list and making your own decisions. And sharing them with the world. Congratulations on your work.

In a couple of cases readers have had difficulty finding cheeses. Please write me directly if you need help.

Owen Dugan
Features editor
Wine Spectator

mncheese March 23, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Hi Owen! Thanks for stopping by the blog. We both enjoyed the cheese issue a lot (I still keep mine for reference) and, obviously, used it as the inspiration for our own project. Hope you’ll visit often! Are you planning another cheese issue for 2009?

Emily March 31, 2009 at 7:02 am

I AM SO EXCITED to add you to my google reader. Who knew you were a fellow foodie?! How could we have never discussed this?

mncheese March 31, 2009 at 7:55 am

Hi Em! I think we talked about baked goods more when we worked together, but I love cheese, too! Thanks for adding us to your reader. I hope it’s the beginning of your niece’s lifelong cheese education. :)

Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener May 13, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Colleen, I can’t believe I did not realized until just now (thanks to CapitalSpiceBlog that you were writing this cheese blog. I have so much ctach up to do.. I had no idea… (moan moam moan. Slap forehead!)

Seriously, this is terrific! Just added to my bookmarks.


Wendy June 7, 2009 at 5:38 pm

jill~ its emily g from hillel. wendy s is my trd cousins wife and we’re here for dinner and just discovered that you guys are connected. wendy handles all the social media for cabbot. and i remembered that you had blogged for them once hence this post. hope you’re well! em

michelle June 23, 2009 at 10:29 am

please could someone tell me where i can purchase a variety of french cheeses in South Africa – Gauteng. the east rand (Boksburg or surrounding areas)

this is really urgent.

Lauren July 28, 2009 at 11:56 pm

What a great blog! You have to try 5 Spoke Creamery’s “Tumblweed.” A really great raw milk aged cheddar-type cheese. More like a Cantal. Really nutty and buttery. I got it at Fairway in NY, but I think it’s available at other places, too.
Can’t wait for more tasting notes from you guys!

mncheese August 5, 2009 at 10:10 am

Thanks for the recommendation, Lauren! I’ll have to see if any of my local shops carry Tumbleweed.

allisence August 9, 2009 at 1:29 am

WOW! this is amazing! and i thought it was exciting when an 8oz. block of cheese is only 99cents at the grocery store … :)

george cundy December 6, 2009 at 12:20 pm

The inspiration:

“Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.” Pierre Androuet.

The challenge:

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Voila: Tasting to Eternity (google)

This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

A unique and amusing Christmas present for all food lovers


Shawn December 7, 2009 at 12:03 am

Hi and this a wonderful blog..I am a newbie to blogs so forgive me if I make a mistake..We are just launching an online artisan cheese market and need some help..Would any one of you talented cheesemongers have interest in writing or sharing about pairings and reciepes each month?..The site is still testing but will be selling great artisan cheese later this week. Your suggestion and feedback would be appreciated. I am learning the cheese community is very helpful to each other..We are Based in Portland Oregon..thanks..

cheesemonger June 8, 2010 at 9:50 pm

I added you to my blogroll and hope you will do the same.

Sirana Gligora Paški Sir December 1, 2010 at 9:38 am


I wonder if you would consider writing about Sirana Gligora Paški Sir? We’re just back from the World Cheese Awards where we won 3 Super Gold Medals as well as the Best New Cheese Trophy and were just about to send out our first order to the US.

We’d be delighted if you would consider us for your blog.

Kindest regards
Simon Kerr

Amy December 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I just came across your site! I am a fellow cheese lover and think your blog is a great idea. I hope it’s ok I’m adding a link to you on my blog. Cheers!

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