Let’s be honest we love cheese here a Brit HQ. It basically counts as its own food group in our opinion. So we like to have a solid cheese plate at our dinner parties. To help any cheese novices out with planning your first tasting, we’ve rounded up a few essentials to set the scene. Start with a board, then figure out how to label your cheeses. And finally the knives—you’ll want different ones for hard, medium, soft, and crumbly cheeses. Luckily, there are sets that help you remember which is which. With a couple of extras, you’re ready to host your party. Now let the taste-testing begin!
1. Brooklyn Slate Cheese Board ($40): We love this rustic slate slab. It also comes with a soapstone pencil so you can mark your selections directly on the board.
2. Monogrammed Bamboo Cheese Board and Slicer ($25): If you don’t have a steady hand, go for this board with an integrated slicer. It also makes a great wedding gift!
3. Marble Cheese Board ($79): Yes, this is on the pricey end, but it can serve so much more than cheese and will look great with colorful cheese labels.
4. Butler’s Cheese Set ($47): More than just a board, this set has a board, dome, and knives. If you want to one-stop-shop for your cheese party prep, this is the pick for you.
5. Olive Wood Paddle Boards ($19-$39): The most beautiful part about these wood boards is the way the grain runs through each piece. No two are alike, and we like it that way.
6. Rae Dunn By Magenta Cheese Markers ($34): If you’re new to planning a cheese plate use this guide to make it easier. Just buy a cheese to match each marker in this set, and you’ll be, well, set.
7. RSVP Animal Cheese Buttons ($11): These might not tell you the exact variety, but they are a great way to mark which cheese is made with goat, sheep, or cow’s milk. Plus the heads give you an easy handle to hold the cheese while you’re slicing. Oh, and did we mention they are dishwasher-safe?
8. Slate Cheese Markers ($15): If your cheese board is made of a material other than slate, go for these slate markers. You can list the kind of cheese or the kind of milk, or, really, whatever you want!
9. Set of 6 Cheese Markers ($10): Shout out your cheese varieties, with these speech bubble cheese markers. You can write on them again and again with a crayon, grease pencil, or dry erase marker.
10. Vintage Spoon and Fork Stamped Silver ($24): Definitely one of the most common cheese markers out there, we’re loving this hacked silverware set. The stamps make it easier to plan your plate as well.
11. Wood Cheese Knife ($12): This Vermont maple cheese knife is perfect for soft cheeses, both cutting and spreading. Plus, it will look great on your table.
12. Gold Cheese Knives Set ($29): There’s something luxurious about having a cheese plate at home. So, keep the luxury going with this gold knife set.
13. DCI Colorful Cheese Knives ($12): If you need a reminder which knife is for which kind of cheese, this colorful set is for you. Later you’ll be able to graduate to an unlabeled set.
14. Black Horn 4-Piece Knife Set ($30): This glossy black set is made from water buffalo horns. Yep, you read that right. Who knew such sleek utensils could come from such a not sleek animal.
15. Boska Cheese Slicer ($16): If you want the perfect slice of cheese every time, this is the slicer for you. The company that makes it has been a family business for four generations. They really know their cheese tools!
16. Cheese Trays, Bags, Stickers Set ($15): If you’re being a good host and sending home leftovers with your guests, or even if you’re just stashing cheese in your fridge, these trays and bags will help keep your varieties fresh. No cheesemonger training required.
17. Beechwood Cheese Curler ($40): Yes, real cheese curls are what have been missing from your life. This gadget also shaves chocolate. We’ll take two, please!
18. DIY Mozzarella/Ricotta Cheese-Making Kit ($26): Make your cheese party a bit more interactive, with this cheese making kit. Just be sure there are other snacks (and wine!) to enjoy during any waiting time.
19. Wine & Cheese Party Invite (from $33): If you want to get really fancy, send out a personalized invite. Sometimes it’s good to go analog.
20. Printable Swiss Cheese Favor Boxes ($9): If you’re sending your guests home with something other than cheese, use these cheese wedge favor boxes. We might just use these exclusively from now on.
What are the must-have varieties at your cheese tasting party? Tell us in the comments?