Category Archives: * Dutch cheese

What to drink with cheese . . .

Oh the list is endless, needless to say if you like to drink something with some particular cheese then do it!
Don’t worry about what people tell you, everyone is different with our own tastebuds, of course there are suggested options that pair well but if their not to your liking do you own thing!

Here is what I’ve found works for me over the years, of course you may differ but that’s ok.

We’ll, start by working our way down the cheeses and I’ll suggest cheeses from the list that I personally think works best.


These are cheeses which have been produced and have had no aging, so no more than a week old and to be enjoyed soon after production. Like Mozzarella, Ricotta etc.


A fresh wine like a fruity Sancerre or refreshing Rose
A light refreshing crisp ale like a lager
A fresh apple cider with a little sweetness
A Spanish Sherry with a little sweetness
Either a dry refreshing Junmai Ginjo or a sweeter Umeshu


With such fresh cheeses and gentle flavours it’s best to not have anything too overpowering. Anything with a crisp refreshing mouth feel that’ll match nicely with a gentle delicate flavoured cheese


All Brie & Camembert cheeses are classified as white mould cheeses, as well as triple cream Bries. But here they have been put into their own category below.
White mould cheeses are the most versatile of all the cheeses, they marry well with numerous beverages.


White wine of a dry and fruity nature such as Sauvignon Blanc & Rose
Dry barrel oaked wines such as Chardonnay
Full bodied red wines such as Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon
Crisp refreshing Pilsner style cheeses
Dark full bodied beers
Classic savoury Normandy Cider
Port or Sherry
Like wine, from the dry minerality to the sweet dessert wine style


With a delicate interior of the cheese it pairs well with dry wines
More robust Bries such as Brie de Meaux can handle the stronger full bodied red wines
Fresh crisp beers can withstand the stronger style Bries & Camemberts
Dark heavier beers can give a coffee/chocolate & cream effect
Camembert & Cider both hail from Normandy making them a perfect match
The sweetness of a fortified can pair wonderfully with the creaminess of a white mould cheese
Sake like wine, will pair with all manor of white mould cheeses


The dry crumbly citrusy cheeses such as any Holy Goat cheeses from Victoria.
Or classic French Goats cheeses from the Loire valley such as the ash coated St. Maure, or Chabichou du Poitou.


A fruity wine, such as a Sancerre, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, Un-oaked Chardonnay or fruity Rose.
An equally fruity sparkling wine such as a Champagne or sparkling wine from the Loire valley.
A sweet dessert wine, like a Late harvest Botrytis or similiar.
French Cider, these tend to have more savoury apple notes than the sweeter versions outside of France
A crisp fresh Pilsner, Wheat beer with more malty notes such as a Kronenbourg Blanc.
Junmai Ginjo – A fruity and semi dry Sake, similiar to a Sauvignon blanc


All of the above suggestions match the gentle acidity and fruity notes in these cheeses
Sancerre is France’s Sauvignon Blanc and grows in the Loire valley.
The Loire Valley was originally the home of French Sparklings, until the Champagne region became the largest producer. Hence the name, Champagne now being well known as French Sparkling.
The dessert wine would give a lovely contrasting flavour to the goats cheese, much the same way as you’d drizzle some honey over Goats cheese.



Or strong soft goat’s cheeses, such as a Mothais sur feuille, which is matured in very high humidity and gives way to a softer, creamy fudgey interior. These cheeses when aged can have quite a punch to them, leaving the gentle acidity behind and bringing forth more of a zing on the palate.


A sweet dessert wine as you would with a fresh crisp goats cheese.
A robust red wine such as a Pinot Noir, but try to steer clear of anything with too much tannin such as a Cabernet.
A fortified such as an aged Port or a Spanish Sherry such as a Pedro Ximenez.
A whisky, such as a Japanese or Scottish Whisky variety. Possibly not an American Whisky as the smokiness can over power the cheese I find.
A classic Pale Ale, with a hoppy finish.
Umeshu – A sweet dessert Sake, with a sweet yet slight sourness.


With such a tang to these cheeses they behave similarly to a washed rind so you can pair them with something more robust to bring forth their subtleties.
The sweet wine and fortified will mellow the tang.
A whisky will bring forth the smokiness.
The red wine and Pale Ale will enhance the sweet leaving a creamy texture.

Be wary of red wine with non aged goats cheeses, the wines tannin and the cheeses acidity create a very unpleasant mouth feel. Be sure to taste your combination first before unleashing it on your guests!

Mothais sur feuille
Mothais sur feuille


Generally your smellier cheeses, with a sticky rind due to the washing during its maturing period. These cheeses are best eaten and smelt little, they have an oozy texture that coats the palate. Created by the monks who used to eat these cheeses on their ‘fasting days’, which is why sometimes these cheeses are referred to as having a meaty texture!
Such things as Epoisse, Taleggio and Raclette are the most well known.


Washed rind cheeses are best with a dry fruity white wine such as a Gruner Vetliner with a savoury finish.
A sweet Sauternes lends well to these cheeses.
With these cheeses having such a strong taste, and softer washed rind a yeasty taste, they lend well to heavy Trappist beers such as Chimay or a light Stout (Porter).
Depending on the strength of the cheese a Cider can be a pleasant pairing.


Epoisse is washed in a pomace brandy, so best paired with the same. The ‘meaty’ texture lends well to such strong flavours. Also from Burgundy, so the old adage what grow together goes together. It brings forward the creamy texture.
Raclette being from more Alpine areas, the local wines tend to be more minerally which match the savoury character of the cheese.
A sweet wine would hide a little of the punch whilst still allowing the flavours to penetrate.
A savoury cider would allow for a little sweetness contrasting with the cheese whilst also allowing the full flavours to come though.
The monks were the ones to play with cheese and created their Trappist beers, both having yeasty notes, they really do marry well together.
chimay and cheese


Such as the Dutch Wyngaard Chevre, Midnight Moon or Queso de Cabra from Spain
These aged semi hard goats cheeses still have a little of the goats cheese acidity but also have a more mellow sweetness that comes through the cheese and a fudgey texture in the mouth


A dry fruity wine such as a Gewurztraminer, or similar sparkling wine.
Sweet dessert wine with Pineapple notes, or try a more gentle fruity Riesling or Chablis with a savoury finish.
A crisp Pilsner or Wheat beer.
Umajun Junmai – a nutty savoriness and yet a gentle citrus note.


A sparkling wine to bring forward the cheeses sweetness.
Dessert wine to match the sweetness with the acidity of the Goats cheese.
Beer to refresh the palate with crisp bubbles
Sake to provide lively vanilla notes and finish with a crisp citrus to contrast the sweetness.

Learn more about Sake pairing here . . .



These cheeses are not for your faint hearted. Most definitely creamy and with minimum 70% fat content it’s not a cheese I recommend eating everyday. But, we have some wonderful suggestions on how to tone down that creamy mouth feel when you cant help but to over indulge!
So, whether you’re into your Brillat Savarin, Delice de Bourgogne or many of the other incarnations, this one is for you!


This type of cheese matches with so many things its hard to narrow down, but here are some of the ways I’ve enjoyed
it. . .

A dry classic French Champagne
A light fruity Rose, to bring forth memories of ‘strawberries & cream’
A sweet dessert wine such as a Vouvray
For something more heavy this cheese stands up to a full bodied Cabernet
A crisp refreshing Pilsner
A heavy Stout, try a Chocolate Stout ‘chocolate & cream’
A full flavoured apple cider with gentle sweetness, I prefer the Sidra del Verano from Spain
With a Tawny Port or for a sweeter version try a Spainish Sherry, Pedro Ximenez
A blended malt whisky from Speyside in Scotland, called Monkey Shoulder
Umeshu – A sweet dessert Sake, with a sweet yet slight sourness.


A Sparkling with lots of bubbles helps to cut through the richness of the cheese
Whilst I’m not a huge fan of dark beers, this is like a chocolate and beer cream delight.
However the bubbles in a Pilsner lightens the cheese cutting through the richness.
The sweetness in the Port helps the cheese feel like a all in one dessert luxury
This particular Whisky has a lovely mellow sweetness that pairs so marvelously with this cheese.
A fruity Sake reminiscent of a dessert wine.

brillat savarin cheese


So, now we’re talking of cheeses such as Ossau Iraty, Chebris & Alpine cheeses such as Uplands pleasant ridge from America, or France’s Comte & Beaufort . . . Manchego which we’ll come to later.
Some of these cheeses are made during certain times of the year but for arguments sake were going to put them into this category for now!


Classically a dry fruity white wine pairs best with Alpine cheeses such as a Vin Jaune
Fruity full bodied red wines have their place too
Belgium Pilsners, with a crisp finish or Pale Ale with more hoppy notes
Tawny Port or local Topaques
Karakuchi – with a minerality and upfront fruity notes, perfect for complex cheese flavour profiles


Vin Jaune made in the Comte region (what grows together, goes together)
Ossau Iraty used to have such a pungent aroma/taste that heavy red wines were used to mask the cheese. Thankfully this is no longer the case however the tradition still remains and with its fudgey texture pairs quite well with a fruity full bodied Pinot Noir.
Belgium beers are fruity enough whilst having enough savoury notes to match the complex cheeses
Ports with their sweetness bring out the more savoury notes of these cheeses
Karakuchi Sake, with its minerality makes it a perfect fit for savoury cheeses bring out out its subtle flavours


Talking of classic British cloth bound cheeses (although there are some great American ones too known as ‘bandaged wrapped’) such as Cabot. These are drier and crumblier than your supermarket versions with a tang that lingers on the palate due to the cheese being aged for 12 months or more


Depending on the strength of the cheese, a hearty red wine such as a Shiraz
A dry oak smoked chardonnay
A bold brown ale
A Tawny port
Umeshu, a sweeter style fruity sake


A hearty red wine can match the the strength of a sharp cheddar without becoming overpowering
The oaked Chardonnay will match the dryness of the cheese bringing out the grassy notes
Unless you have an Isle of Mull cheese which has strong whisky overtones so a whiskey would be best!
A full strength beer would match the cheddar without being too strong, what grows together goes together. British Cheddars are best with hearty British ales.
The sweetness of a fortified Port or Umeshu sake contrasts with the sharp cheddar bringing forth other subtle nutty flavours


Gentle Cheddars such as Cantal, Barbers Cheddar or Double Gloucester which have a more buttery texture and softer notes.


A fresh fruity wine from the same region
A crisp pilsner style beer
A crisp savoury cider, not too sweet
A blended malt whisky from Speyside in Scotland, called Monkey Shoulder


The wine would contrast the butteriness of the cheese bringing other flavours through
A Pilsner style beer would cut through the buttery notes with its refreshing bubbles
A refreshing French style savoury cider to contrast the butter notes
This particular Whisky has a lovely mellow sweetness that pairs so marvelously with this cheese.


A sheeps milk cheese, these generally have a natural oiliness to them with hazelnut overtones


A big bold red wine with heavy tannins
Local Rioja wine
Spanish beer from the La Mancha region with malty notes
Spanish Sherry
White Spanish Port
Sweeter Spanish cider like a Sidra del Verano


Manchego is a cheese that pairs wonderfully with heavy tannin red wines and compliment each other
The malty notes of the beer pair beautifully with the nuttiness in the cheese
Spanish Sherry with its sweeter notes brings out the subtler cheese notes
A savoury Spanish white Port would match the savoury notes of the cheese allowing others to come to the fore
The sweeter Spanish cider contrasting the savoury notes of the cheese


Aged Goudas have been aged for 12 months or more and as they age the flavours intensify from a caramel sweetness to a grainy salty texture.


Riesling or something floral
Champagne or something bubbly
Karakuchi – with a minerality and upfront fruity notes


The floral notes will mellow out the intense sweetness
The bubbles will have the same effect as above
Sherry will match the cheeses sweetness and contrast its saltiness
The Sake with its minerality will match perfectly for complex cheese flavour profiles


Blue cheeses tend to vary in strength but have a saltiness throughout the pate with a strong smell


A sweet dessert wine with fruity pineapple notes
A dessert wine, like a Late harvest Botrytis or similiar.
Full bodied Pale Ale
Port or Muscat
Spanish Sherry like a Pedro Ximenez
Glen Garioch


The sweetness mellows the saltiness of the cheese
The beer will match the strength of the cheese allowing other notes to come to the fore
The sweetness of the fortifieds pair to bring forth the gentle blue cheese flavours
This whisky has lovely vanilla notes with a gentle smokiness that matches with the cheeses intensity

Be wary of red wine with some blue cheeses, the wines tannin and the cheeses react to create a very unpleasant mouth feel, Metallic almost. Be sure to taste your combination first before unleashing it on your guests!


Such things as a coffee rubbed rind Bella Vitano American cheese, spiced Cumin Gouda, Isle of Mull Cheddar


These cheeses are interesting as they have so many options due to their flavourings

Pair with either a coffee or caramel flavoured drink to match the cheese
or a crisp wine or beer to contrast

Pair with either a spiced Rum or Whisky to match the cheese
or a sweeter fruity wine like a Riesling to contrast

This cheese is made with the milk of cows which are fed some of the leftover draff from the local whisky distillery.
Pair with a local Whisky to match the cheese
or a crisp refreshing white wine like Sauvignon Blanc to contrast

Bella Vitano Espresso

No matter what you enjoy, there is no wrong or right answers. You’ll be amazed just how much the cheeses can change with what you pair with them.
Everybody has different tastebuds!

Lamb chopper

History of Lamb chopper

A relative to the Midnight Moon, lamb chopper is a sheep’s milk cheese made by the Dutch exclusively for Cypress Grove.
A new comer in the cheese world only having been around since the 1980s.

Maturing & tasting notes

Aged only 3-6 months this is a Gouda style cheese, made using pasteurised milk and vegetarian rennet. In a classic tomme shape and weighing in at approximately 4kg per wheel.
Soft and buttery on the palate, this cheese has incredible sweetness redolent of salted caramel and fresh vanilla beans. With a slight hint of citrus to contrast the savoury qualities of sheep’s milk making this cheese a very well balanced cheese.



Gutshofer Ziegenkase

Pron. Goods-herf-er Zeeg-en-karse

A hard cheese Goats milk from The Netherlands. In the characteristic shape and size of a Boerenkaas weighing in at 2kg and having been a washed curds cheese with a distingtive rubbed rind.

History of Gutshofer Ziegenkase

Made by the Gutshofer family in the area bordering Germany known as Twente.
Due to the nature of the land this part of The Netherlands lends itself towards Germany rather than mainland Holland. The area to the west of Twente consisted of marshes and peat bogs, creating a natural defence but also made the area lean towards the German town of Munster and therefore had close ties in relation to politics, fashion & trade. The area of Twente had to rely upon its agriculture but with the meadows and lush pastures intermingled with scrub, farming was no disadvantage and the area flourished.
Goats being a hardy animal thrived in this rugged area and so this cheese was born.
Interestingly Grolsch is produced here and is one of the Hollands largest brewies, German influenced maybe?


It is a raw milk cheese goat enzyme coagulation and pressed pate cheese that is made in the traditional Dutch Farmhouse style. t is aged in warm cellars for a period upto 8 months, during this time the cheese is washed and turned regularly where it forms a natural rind.
As the cheese ages the pate turns from softness to a tangy, spicy acidity. It is at some point at the end of the maturing process that the cheese is rubbed with a caramel.

Tasting notes

It is at this the end of the maturation process when the cheese is then rubbed in caramel, that the flavours give way to a cheese with a sweet salty finish.
A hard textured cheese much like a Gouda cheese, with the milk proteins having broken down to provide the crystallisation, a slight saltiness on the palate, a citrusy tang from the Goats milk, yet the forever prominent caramel sweetness.
It does sound like there’s a lot going on but the balance is a perfect combination creating a moreish cheese that you wont want to stop nibbling on.
A perfect combination with a Stout or heavy beer as the coffee/chocolate notes will blend wonderfully with the lingering sweetness.
Having said that, the old saying stands that ‘what grows together goes together’ try with a crisp Grolsch.

Or as an Aussie treat, try it as a surprisingly decadent addition to your Vegemite on toast.


Pron. Bor-en-karhs
boerenkaas logo
A Dutch Farmhouse cheese, also known as Boeren Kaas.
Literally translated as ‘Farmers cheese’ its a raw milk cheese made from a combination of cow, sheep, goat & buffalo milk in the style of Gouda which accounts for more than half of Hollands cheese production.

History of Boerenkaas

Gouda was first mentioned in manuscripts dating back to 1100s.

Today, most Dutch Gouda is mass produced using machinery. However over 300 producers now make the more traditional Boerenkaas. In Holland the cheese making has usually been the role of the women of the house with mothers passing the duties down to their daughters.
Due to the cheese being made on many farms its important to know whereabouts the cheese came from as the terroir and hand making techniques can alter the flavour profile quite considerably.

Most Boerenkaas is made from May until October when the herd is out in the field eating fresh Spring grass.The term ‘Gouda’ however is not protected under the EU regulations and therefore can be produced globally but Noord-Hollandse Gouda & Boerenkaas are.

Traditional Boerenkaas market
Traditional Boerenkaas market


Boerenkaas cheese are to follow the following regulations as well as many other to ensure the cheese is made to the same strict guidelines and therefore ensuring its quality and longevity.

* Must be made by hand on the farm

* The milk is not to be heat treated

* Fresh milk is only to be used

* The milk must be turned into cheese within 40 hours of milking

* Wash curds in hot water

* The curd must never rise above 37C

* Certain additives maybe used (there’s a list and guidelines for these too)

Many farms make a Boerenkaas which starts showing its distinctive taste after 9 months and will be perfect for aging up to 3 years.
The cheeses are placed into moulds creating a 12kg wheels with rounded edges, its at this stage the cheeses are branded with the name Boerenkaas, codes relating to the farm where the cheese is produced and the lineage.
After the required pressing and turning the cheese is soaked in a 20% brine solution.

Tasting notes

This cheese has many variations as mentioned above and as the cheese ages the flavour profile intensifies. having said that the cheese is a wax/paraffin wax coated hard cheese that exhibits flavours ranging from young and fresh grass notes with nutty characteristics to a butterscoth sweetness with the classic ‘crunch’ due to the crystalisation of the milk proteins as the cheese ages.
Never dismiss this cheese as they range quite considerably and when you find one you like remember the area and the producer so you always have your favourite on hand.Boerenkaas wedge

Paired with a full bodies red wine or Classic Dutch beer when young and with a Fortified as the cheese ages.

Midnight Moon

Produced in Netherlands for Cypress Grove dairy, this Goats cheese has a deliciously sweet pate.cypress1

An ivory white colour with less of the acidic characteristic familiar with Goats cheeses. In this creation it has a gentle sweetness that comes through with age.
This cheese has been purposely designed for an American market. It’s produced in Holland and matured in USA.

History of Midnight Moon

This cheese came about in the 1970s when mother of 4 with a background in biology was searching for a cheese that her lactose daughter could eat. During this time lactose was an uncommon allergy and the knowledge around cheese and lactose was unheard of outside of Europe. Goats cheese is the best cheese to have as the lactose is processed differently in goats due to their biological make up, goats do not transferred the lactose into the milk and therefore the cheese.
During this period goats cheese was virtually unheard of in America.

With a blue wax coating and an art deco style lady on the front this cheese is a delight not only visually but to the tastebuds when you open the cheese.


Tasting notes

It has a fudgey texture that melts and coats the inside of your mouth leaving that caramel sweetness on the palate. Made with a vegetarian rennet this cheese has a vast appeal.

Check out more of their wonderful cheeses at…


Pron. Rep-en-yeh

If you’ve ever had the family of Reypenear cheeses you’ll never forget.
And if you haven’t? You need to walk over broken glass to find yourself some!

History of Reypenear

The beautiful Cow’s milk Dutch Gouda with a history of cheese making dating back over 100 years with the use of their specially designed cheese warehouse, on the banks of the Oude Rijn river in Woerden (in the green, lush heart of Holland).


This cheese has the most distinctive ripening process with the use of the custom built cheese warehouse which opens every single day of the year no matter what the weather. Not only externally but within floors allowing the movement of air to fully circulate inside the building and around the wheels of cheese.

Slats between floors

Reypenear warehouse

This allows for a microclimate within the warehouse, meaning every batch of cheese can vary due to the weather conditions outside. They do allow for heating within the building during the winter months.

Reypenear VSOP

This is a 2 year aged cheese. Reypenaer V.S.O.P. is matured for two years during this time it looses 25% of its original weight. It develops protein crystallisations which is essentially milk proteins breaking down throughout the pate.
The flavour is intense with a noticable sweetness yet creamy with caramel over tones.

reypenear 2

Reypenear XO

Reypenear XO is the 3 year old variety, and it packs a punch.
The flavours become intesified with the beautiful crystalisation still remaining and the sweetness takes it to another level with pronounced butterscotch and intense caramel notes.
This cheese really is a cheese to savour, and matches wonderfully with a fortified wine.

This guillotine is recommended by the cheese makers as the best way to serve and eat their cheese.

reypear all of them

Right to left: Reypenear XO, Reypenear VSOP

A special thanks to ..

for additional information and to guide us through the wonder that is their Reypenear cheeses.