My wife Michele worked in retail cheese sales for many years, and her favorite part of the job was helping customers with choosing the perfect cheese for the occasion, as well as matching the cheese to the drinks being served. With so many cheeses, and so many beverages, this can be a daunting task for a host.
Since I have exclusive rights to Michele's extensive cheese pairing knowledge, I'll have to tell you about the Cheese Cupid. This interactive, animated guide was created by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board to promote their regional cheeses. It is one of the better online cheese pairing tools I've come across.
We took a trip up to Aaron Jonas' "Chef Within" Cooking School in Petaluma (future site of some Food Wishes film production), so I could do a few tests with my video camera. Since I had some lovely cheese samples sent to me from the aforementioned Wisconsinites, I thought I'd film Michele testing some of the cheese and beverage pairings.
You'll see the Cheese Cupid in the brief video clip below. It's simple to use, has cool graphics, and even features a (very) friendly female voice. Not only does she try and seduce you into falling in love with these cheeses, she also pronounces the names for you, so you can sound like a real gourmet at the store. Enjoy!
For tips on setting up a cheese plate, check out this video I did for About.com last year.
Also, you can contact Aaron Jonas at the "Chef Within" Cooking School in Petaluma for more information about his upcoming classes and events.