How to Host a Cheese Judging Party!

Cheese Judging Party

Looking for an excuse to get together with friends and enjoy some wine and cheese? Host a Cheese Judging Party with a variety of cheeses and let your friends pick their favorites.

How to Host a Cheese Tasting Party

Read on for tips and ideas for hosting your own Cheese Judging (Cheese Tasting) Party! Let’s get started shall we?

Cheese Varieties

Including a variety of cheese is the most important element to a cheese judging party! You can’t judge cheese without — well — cheese! So what cheese should you include?

You want to be sure you include cheese in a variety of moisture contents (see chart below). This will also ensure you have a variety of textures as well.

Here’s what I suggest:

  • Parmesan, Romano
  • Cheddar
  • Provolone
  • Swiss
  • Gouda
  • Brie or Camembert
  • Blue
  • Mozzarella or Burrata
  • Neufchatel

I love the idea of serving up each guest’s cheese varieties on his or her own mini cheese board! This would also make a cute take-home favor idea.

Cheese Judging Stations

Give each guest a judging station. I used simple slate boards to hold the cheese along with a few accompaniments like dried pomegranates, arugula, pecans, honey, and crackers.

These snack additions help cleanse the palate. Be sure each guest also has a glass of wine to sip along too.

Be sure each guest knows the types of cheeses so they quickly judge away at their faves. Create a list or label them with toothpicks and little flags.

Cheese judging is an art so make it easier on guests by providing them with a copy of the “Cracker Barrel Tasting Square” below. Click here to download the the PDF.

How to judge cheese

Here is a brief introduction into more detail of cheese styles by moisture. Most of my choices fall into the medium category but I encourage you to include cheeses from all 4 columns to give guests a wide variety!


Cheese Judging Score Sheet

Every cheese judging party needs a score sheet!

This one divides choices by points and makes it very easy to determine the winner. I love all the details and room for comments.

Cheese Judging party score sheet

So how do you fully judge a cheese? Well view the score sheet above as a guide. You’ll want sniff the cheese, slice the cheese, and savor it. Be sure to take a look at these elements when scoring. The main 4 elements of grading the cheese are Appearance, Flavor, Body and Color.

  • Flavor Defects (fruity, salty, yeasty, etc)
  • Body & Texture (is it grainy? crumbly?)
  • What is the Make-Up and Appearance?
  • What is the color of the cheese? Marbled?
  • What is the rind? Is it dry and cracked?

These guidelines above are a great start to cheese judging!

Did you know there is a World Champion Cheese Contest where 3,400 cheese are carefully evaluated each year? Naturally, it takes place in Wisconsin!

Check out a few of my cheese-lover recipe and party ideas below!

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  1. Such a cute idea! Thanks for all the tips. My family and I love cheese, every friday night we have our own little party. Looking forward to inviting friends and making it an upscale cheese judging party, like yours.

  2. This gives me an idea for a cupcake tasting party.

  3. I love cheese! Seriously. I eat it almost every meal of the day. I think I might host a cheese judging party this weekend now!

  4. What a unique party theme! And my friends and I love all types of cheese and we will definitely have to combine it with different types of wine.

  5. What a fun way to get everyone interacting at a social gathering. I love Cracker Barrel but I also love Velata Fondue Cheese,, so I will have to give this a try at our next party. Thanks for the great tips!

  6. What a fun way to bring everyone together, especially with Cracker Barrel Cheese. Yum!!

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