Wine tasting is one of those things that I am obsessed with. Who doesn’t love trying a few different wines and pretending to be fancy? Dropping words like tannins and bouquet into a sentence when you have no idea how to actually use them appropriately. So, as you can understand, I didn’t think there could be another kind of tasting that would rival my love for wine tasting. But there is and its name is cheese tasting. That’s right. You heard me. Cheese. Tasting. I discovered this love amongst the narrowest canals of Amsterdam.
In preparation for my trip (read my guide here), I did a little research on some things to do in Amsterdam. With only 2.5 days to spend in the city, I wanted to make sure I at least planned ahead for a couple of things. During my search, I stumbled across a yelp review for the Reypenaer Cheese Tasting Room. I was intrigued. For the cost of only 16.5 euros, you can book an hour long cheese tasting experience.
And what an incredible experience it was! The tasting began with a short clip about the history of Reypenaer. Our guide was extremely comical and personable so as soon as the clip was done, he dismissed it with a wave of his hand and gave his own two cents. He talked us through the aging process and what makes up really good cheese.
The tables were perfectly set up for the number of people in your party. So, we had our own table all to ourselves. You know, so you can eat as much cheese as you want without any judgement from strangers. Each table had a tasting board with five blocks of cheese, wine glasses, and a tasting certificate per person. Being the nerd that I am, the tasting certificate had me really excited. For each cheese you tasted, you were to write down key elements such as color, taste, smell, consistency, age, and of course, a ranking of your preferences. At the end, you get it signed to authenticate your tasting certificate! I know, it’s super cheesy (see what i did there?) but I loved it!
To begin the tasting, we sliced off tiny slivers of the first cheese and took our time observing the different qualities. Each cheese had a wine pairing to really enhance the flavor. I was in heaven. You are free to eat as much cheese and ask for as many wine refills as you “need” (read: want. Even though you know you should stop). I could not have imagined a better place even if I tried. Each cheese was truly different than the last. You really were able to experience how the aging process affected the flavor of the cheese. Some of the cheeses were the same, just at different ages. And how was the cheese, you ask? Let’s just say, I had to stop myself every time from eating the entire block. The Dutch know how to make their cheese.
This was, without a doubt, one of the highlights of my trip to Amsterdam. We emerged from the tasting room slightly buzzed and full of delicious cheese. They gave us 15% off of our purchases, so you best believe we made full use of that. Talk about a fantastic experience.
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