Editor’s Note

For the inaugural #cheesesunday, a Twitter event organized by one of our favorite cheese geeks, @CurdNerd, what better post to share than our Thanksgiving post — just a few of the many ways we are thankful for cheese. What do you love about cheese? Please share in the comments — or over on Twitter. Cheers!

A cornucopia of cheese!

My family was never one in which we all went around the table and said what were thankful for that year. Truthfully, I always thought that tradition was kind of cheesy. But since this is a cheese blog, Colleen and I thought it would be appropriate to craft a short list of thanks as our blog celebrates its first birthday.

  1. We are thankful for Wine Spectator for creating the 100 great cheeses list. The idea for our blog came this magazine’s Sept. 30, 2008 issue, which Colleen discovered one day last fall, and we snowballed on it. Though we haven’t agreed with the magazine on the merits of each cheese on the list, it gave us a wonderful starting point for tasting new cheeses and relishing 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 definitely come again.
  2. We are thankful for the generosity of the cheese community. When we started this project last year, we didn’t have any special connections to the industry. We were just two cheese-obsessed women who wanted to do something fun and find an excuse to eat even more cheese. So it has been all the more gratifying to meet and correspond with many of the top cheesemakers, cheesemongers, cheese writers and bloggers and cheese lovers across the United States (and beyond). Everyone has welcomed and encouraged our interest in cheese and made us feel like we belonged. Being generous with samples is always appreciated, too!
  3. We are thankful for our readers. Anyone can start a blog, but there’s no guarantee you’ll have an audience. Hell, we’re pretty sure that our parents don’t read this blog. (Husbands, maybe?) So it has been fun to hear from readers through comments and e-mail, exchange links with other cheese and food bloggers and continue the conversations on other excellent cheese blogs. If you’ve been visiting regularly over the past year, thank you! If you’ve come a few times, thank you! And if this is your first time, thank you, too!
  4. We are thankful for Twitter. A technology that was under the radar screen until a year or so ago has much to do with the success of our blog. Not only does it bring readers to our site, it has made it easy for us to connect with other caseophiles on the Web. Twitter is how we met Tia, who scored us prime-time seats at Casellula and made sure we had cheese coming out of our ears by the time we left the restaurant. Twitter is how I reserve cheese with my cheesemonger friend Benjamin at France 44. And Twitter is how we keep on top of the latest cheese and foodie news. (No, we were not paid by Twitter for this.)
  5. We are thankful for cheese. What would this world be without cheese? Boring and less delicious. We’re lucky to be passionate about a food that offers so much variety and excitement that there is no end to the amount of tasting and talking we could do on the subject. Yes, we might have lower cholesterol levels or be a few pounds lighter, but what fun would that be?

Yours in cheese,
Colleen & Jill

originally published 11.25.09

World Cheese Awards 2009 — American winners
see official results 
 or click “more” for the list of American medalists


Wow, were we impressed with the poetic talents of our loyal and new readers! Thanks to all of you for entering our “Ode to Roqeufort” cheesy love poem contest. With no further ado, we are pleased to announce our winners:

3 – In third place, was MNCruncher‘s  emotional “O’ Roquefort, how I loathe thee for thy haunting beauty…”

2 – In second place, the laudatory “Ode to Roquefort” by DanG.

1 – And for the rather unconventional Roquefort rap, we award the first-place “Free Roquefort!” t-shirt to Cool Dude for the following:

Yo son, get on your salt tang
Get the hook up with this cheesy blue thang
France’s second most popular cheese
Go and get it for me please
It’s the roq to the fort
Enjoy it with some port
It won’t make you snort

We also have to extend an honorable mention to ohcassis for the bold, anti-Roquefort entry in our contest. We believe everyone is entitled to their own opinions on cheeses, after all. Be sure to read all the entries, if you haven’t yet.

Our second and third-place finishers will be receiving a stylish “Free Roquefort!” mini-button to help spread the word about the plight of our beloved cheese.  (Winners, please send your mailing address to dccheese at foodietots dot com to claim your prize!)

free roquefort button“Roses are red,

Roquefort is blue…”

Alright, cheese aficianados. You’ve signed the petition, you’ve stocked up on Roquefort while you can, what’s left but to enjoy it in every conceivable way until it’s yanked from our shores on March 23? Why not profess your love for the stinky French blue to the world, and submit your best sonnet, rhyme or haiku for the Cheese & Champagne “Ode to Roquefort” Valentine’s Poetry Contest!

Share your best cheesy lines in the comments below, before midnight Sunday, February 15. We’ll select our favorite on Monday … and ship the lucky Poet Roquefort a first edition C&C “Free Roquefort!” t-shirt!

Give us your cheesiest lines, rhymed or otherwise!

Welcome! Cheese & Champagne is a joint project by two cheese-obsessed friends tasting our way through the Wine Spectator “100 Great Cheeses” list.* One in the ‘burbs of Washington, D.C., and one in Minneapolis, MN, we will be 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 FoodieTots.com. 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 favorite grilled cheese combination is smoked gouda and tart apples on challah.

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 2-year-old to fine cheddars. Favorites include Chaource (France), Humboldt Fog (California) and Prima Donna Gouda (Holland).

Contact Us

Have a cheese question or tip? Contact Colleen @ < dccheese at foodietots 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.