I was honored to be invited to attend the first of hopefully many Di Bruno Bros. virtual cheese tastings hosted by Alex Stanton. I wanted to share my experience in case you were wondering about it and thinking about doing it.
In a nutshell, if you’re a cheese lover and want to learn more about cheese, I think it would be worth your while. I felt the price of the contents of the box + free ground shipping + virtual cheese tasting session was more than fair. Easily, this is a tasting for up to 4 people, depending on appetites, of course. This breaks down to $30/person. Maybe a little pricy, but you’re essentially attending an exclusive seminar by a knowledgeable cheese professional and enjoying delectable food.
The box came 2 days before the event. It was shipped with an ice pack. Everything was still cool inside and held up exceptionally well in transit. I put the cheese in the refrigerator upon opening it. On the day of the tasting, they suggest taking the cheese out at least 2 hours before, but I took it out a few hours before so that it was perfectly room temperature for the tasting. It was perfect. YMMV.
The virtual cheese tasting was run very efficiently. There weren’t any technical difficulties and I felt it was well-paced. Alex smoothly demonstrated a casual, yet professional presence. She exhibited confidence as she spoke of the products, often adding anecdotal facts and information along the way. I didn’t feel like she was reading from a script and when people asked questions, she effortlessly provided an answer. While all attendees are muted, the chat function is on for some interactivity. Attendees are able to ask live questions that way. Another member of the Di Bruno Bros. team (Noelle) is also available to moderate and answer questions.
The instructions were detailed yet easy to follow. So if you’ve never done this before, you should be able to pick it up without trouble. I recommend having everything plated and ready and reading everything before the presentation to maximize your time listening to Alex and tasting. Of course, it’s also a good idea to have your favorite beverage ready at the beginning, too. I noticed folks on video sipping in between bites.
My favorite cheeses for this particular tasting in order were: Ossau Iraty, Sofia, Comte, and Colston Basset Stilton. The only reason the stilton is last is that I’m typically not a huge fan of blue cheeses. I know I’m crazy, but I just can’t get over the funk that other people tend to love. I enjoyed this one, though, and felt it paired amazingly well with both the black cherry jam and honey. As a result, there was a nice balance of flavor for my palate. I can’t get enough of sweet & salty together. The sweet accompaniments went with all of the cheeses so well. There isn’t a wrong way to enjoy it all together.
If you are unable to attend the live presentation that day, they send a link to the recording a couple of days later so you can watch it at a time that is convenient to you or watch it again if you missed something the first time. They also provide a beverage pairing guide which is handy. Each product is matched with a drink or one beverage is recommended for the whole tasting.
All in all, it was a fun virtual food education event that can be done safely from the comforts of your own home. The next virtual cheese event with an emphasis on chocolate and cheese is on February 18th. I highly recommend checking it out!
Special thanks to Di Bruno Bros. for the complimentary gift box. As always, opinions are my own.