I can spend a lot of time — and a fair amount of money — at the cheese counter at my local grocery store. And while I don’t mind spending a bit on a nice cheese, I’ll admit that I get a bit nervous about shelling out for an untested cheese. What if I don’t like it? What if I can’t serve it to my guests (because, in my mind, I always have guests over to try my new cheeses — it’s a great excuse to pick up something fancy!)? Then I’ve wasted not only money, but time, not to mention the opportunity to try a different cheese I might actually love!
So, what’s the solution? Well, if you’ve got someone knowledgeable behind the cheese counter, you can ask questions, get recommendations, maybe even try samples. But in a lot of cases, all you can really go by in the store is the cheese label, and unless you want to spend a bunch of time on the Googles, that’s … not ideal.
But you know what is pretty ideal? A subscription cheese service that takes your preferences into account. And that’s exactly what Bright Cellars does!
You might recall Bright Cellars from Jenn’s review of their wine subscription service, and now, they’ve branched out into the dairy-riffic realm of cheese, so you know I was happy to step up to bat to try it.
Here’s how it works.
Bright Cellars Cheese Subscription
First off, you take a quick, fun quiz that asks you about everything from your favorite snacks and drinks to how you best like to enjoy a nice cheese and how adventurous you’re interested in being when it comes to your box o’ cheese. Four cheeses are selected for you based on your answers — and, if for any reason you’re not digging one of the selections, you can take the quiz again or wait 10 minutes for the results to refresh.
You then have the opportunity to rate your cheeses, which will influence what cheeses are sent to you the following month. The monthly fee is $55 (plus shipping) — although, happy holidays to you, because if you use this nifty link, you’ll get 50 percent off your first box. Awesome, right?
And how’d my experience go? So happy you asked. I dutifully answered all the questions in the quiz and the following cheeses were selected for me:
- Antonella: Capers & Black Peppercorn
- Sartori Reserve: Gold BellaVitano
- Miavorno: 2-year Aged White Cheddar
- Bella Mara: Edam
Jared and I had ourselves a nice little living room picnic with our cheeses and a variety of … vessels for the cheese, like crackers, bread and apples. It was a lot of fun, actually — Bright Cellars sent along cards with tasting notes, which we referred to only after we tasted the cheeses and talked about what we noticed, what we liked, and what we didn’t.
We both really loved the Edam. It was very buttery, paired well with almost everything, and just the kind of cheese you could serve and expect everyone to enjoy. The white cheddar was also extremely tasty, although a little less exotic — probably because aged cheddar is one of my go-to selections when I’m staring at all the selections at the store.
I think the Sartori Reserve Gold BellaVitano was probably our favorite — it was harder and maybe a bit saltier and had a bit of bite, but still had a buttery finish. It was unusual, delicious, and exactly the reason why I’d want to sign up for a service like this. I found a new favorite!
The Antonella Capers & Black Peppercorn was the only one that we weren’t overly fond of — the capers and black peppercorn on the outside were extremely flavorful, and, for us, maybe a little too much so. But! If those were my favorite flavors, I might’ve thought they were just flavorful enough, you know?
All in all, if you’re someone who enjoys trying new cheeses — especially ones that you might not find in your local grocery store — this is a really fun service that I think you’ll enjoy. The fact that you get to give feedback continually (so your preferences are constantly tweaked to be more and more in line with your favorite flavors) is super cool, and the quantities are definitely large enough to share with a few friends.
Have you ever signed up for any sort of subscription service? If so, what kind, and what did you think? There are so many out there these days, it’s not hard to find one that’s perfect for you, right? I’m kinda hoping that they eventually do a wine plus cheese pairing box because how great would that be? —Kristen