|Reypenaer Cheese Tasting Rooms|
Reypenaer is the only cheesemaker in the Netherlands still aging cheese the traditional, natural way: by allowing cheese to ripen through natural environmental changes in it's century-old warehouse, as opposed to storing it in a constant temperature. Reypenaer also has a second warehouse with its environmental conditions yoked to the original warehouse, so that its cheeses can be aged similarly. Cheeses produced in the second warehouse carry the "Wyngaard" label, while the "Reypenaer" label is reserved for cheeses aged in the original warehouse.
The Reypenaer Cheese Tasting Room offers different variations of its cheese class; we opted for the Connaisseur class which included six cheeses, as well as white wine, red wine, and red port. The reservation I tried to make using Reyenaer's online system didn't go through; luckily, a follow-up email was returned promptly confirming our spots.
We arrived a few minutes before the class began and scored a front row seat in the basement tasting room. We started with a short video describing the cheesemaking process at Reypenaer, and when it came time for the tasting, we cut thin slices of each cheese (apparently that's the way to taste them) with a cheese guillotine and discussed the color, texture, taste, whether there were "crystals" (caused by mineral and protein crystallization), and how wine changes the taste of the cheese. The six cheese were, in order:
- Wyngaard Chèvre Affiné (aged 16 weeks)
- Wyngaard Affineur (aged 20 weeks)
- Wyngaard Chèvre Gris (aged 10 months)
- Reypenaer (aged 1 year)
- Reypenaer V.S.O.P. (aged 2 years)
- Reypenaer XO Reserve (aged 2.5 years)
|Cheeses for the tasting|
|The tasting came complete with a cheese evaluation form and certificate|
|Wines to go the cheese|
Upstairs is a cheese shop, where we purchased some souvenirs and got ourselves a wedge of the Reypenaer V.S.O.P. to take back home with us.
|The cheese shop|
We both had a fabulous time. The cheese tasting class was a fun experience and was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. I just hope it didn't turn me into a cheese snob! ;-)
Reypenaer Cheese Tasting Rooms
Singel 182, 1015 Binnenstad, The Netherlands
On the web: http://www.wijngaardkaas.nl/en/proeflokaal/
+31 (20) 3206333
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Our honeymoon food adventures are archived here.