Cheese & Champagne is a joint project by two cheese-obsessed friends tasting our way through the Wine Spectator “100 Great Cheeses” list.* One in Washington, D.C., and one in Minneapolis, MN, we are sharing our tasting notes here twice a week.

About Us

wineandcheeseColleen Levine (dccheese) is a cheese fanatic who also writes about cooking fresh, local, seasonal and sustainable food for the whole family at She was born in Portland, Oregon, but now resides just outside Washington, D.C. When not at the neighborhood cheese shop, she can be found at farmers markets, taking her toddler on train or tractor rides, and ranting against high fructose corn syrup ads. Her current favorite sandwich pairing is Pond Hopper with pears and arugula.

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 two well-stocked cheese shops, covering the local foodie scene for the online food magazine The Heavy Table, and introducing her 3-year-old to fine cheddars. (Her newborn son will have to wait a while for his first taste of cheese.) Favorites include Chaource (France), Humboldt Fog (California) and Kunik (New York).

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 .).

* 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.

18 Responses to “About”

  1. Cheeseslave Says:

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

  2. Owen Dugan Says:

    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

  3. mncheese Says:

    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?

  4. Emily Says:

    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?

  5. mncheese Says:

    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. 🙂

  6. 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.


  7. Wendy Says:

    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

  8. michelle Says:

    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.

  9. Lauren Says:

    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!

  10. mncheese Says:

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

  11. allisence Says:

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

  12. george cundy Says:

    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


  13. Shawn Says:

    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..

  14. […] old favorites. Special thanks are due to Wine Spectator features editor Owen Dugan, whose kind words have meant a lot to us. Sorry we missed you when we were in New York last summer, Owen! We’ll […]

  15. cheesemonger Says:

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

  16. Sirana Gligora Paški Sir Says:


    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

  17. Amy Says:

    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!

  18. Kristen Says:

    I was at Houston Wine & Food Week, and learned about Alouette Cheese from their spontaneous vocal performance…it prompted me to visit their booth and try their brie! Really good, and I went home to find the video on their YouTube site–thought your readers would enjoy watching:

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