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Once upon a time, there was a precocious little girl named Carolyn Stromberg whose first word was “cheese.” That fateful moment would start young Carolyn on a lifetime journey through Europe and Washington, DC, where she cultivated her love of food and wine at prestigious restaurants like Asia Nora, Palena and Komi.

At cheese shops like Cowgirl Creamery and Cheesetique, Carolyn learned the history of certain cheeses, how to care for cheese, and how best to serve it. Ten years later, she grew up, took that valuable knowledge and started her own company The Cheese Course, which hosts expert-led cheese and wine tastings.

You provide the space, and The Cheese Course will provide the cheese, wine, accoutrements, glassware, flatware and even a cocktail server. Like princess tea parties for adults, but with Brie instead of tea, and Chardonnay instead of cookies. You may figure that light wines go with light cheeses, but did you know that Pinot Noir with hints of cherries and licorice pair best with pungent blue cheeses? Or that an effervescent Patrick Bottex pink bubbly is soothed with triple cream L’Explorateur cow’s milk cheese from France?

You may hear about the small village of Castelcivita, Italy, where during the feast of St. Anthony, myrtle branches are burned in bonfires. The ashes are then collected and used to coat a precious Casa Madaio Cinerino cheese. It creates a tangy, rich, complex flavor to pair with a toasted, oak-aged cherry Seis de Luberri Rioja 2007. If you like goat cheese, ask for Capriole Dairy’s Sofia from Indiana. It is soft, ashed, smoky and mellow, to go with a light, crisp Broadbent Vinho Verde that smells of lemon and lemongrass.

Always looking to source local cheeses, The Cheese Course found a rare cow’s milk blue cheese from Georgia. Sweetgrass Dairy’s creamy, rich and robust Asher Blue tones down the sweet, thick honey-like Clos l’Abeilley Sauternes 2003 from France.

The Cheese Course will offer classes where you can learn how to serve cheese, how to pair with wine and accompaniments, its history and origins, but most importantly, taste pairings of six cheeses, three wines, and more. Class size is limited to 20 people and prices start at $40 per person. To book The Cheese Course for your next event, call 202.236.3044. You’ll live happily ever after.

Photo courtesy of Righteous Cheese.

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