For our session of about 20 people, the crowd was mixed between Americans, British and Dutch, half know-it-alls and half obvious beginners ("I like all cheeses?!"). Questions are welcomed, as is spouting off adjective-heavy opinions if your tastebuds are quite delighted.
The cheeses aren't ones you'd find in a supermarket, either; they are Wyngaard and Reypenaer, the latter aged in a warehouse that hasn't altered anything from the traditions of over 100 years ago. Tasting begins light, with Chèvre Affiné and a glass of Languedoc white wine. From there, you guillotine slivers of each new cheese, getting stronger (aged longer) as you go, until culminating at the Reypenaer XO, a "man's cheese" best complimented by a hard whisky.
While here, "you are a guest, not a customer" says Ron. Ask for a refill if you particularly like a wine, and don't be afraid to dislike either. "We get stag parties here, and sometimes there is a man who doesn't like cheese at alluntil he tastes the goat cheese and says 'hmm, I think I actually don't mind this!'" And when Ron's not eating the Reypenaer XO with a glass of malt whiskey, he recommends a good Blue Stilton or some Parmigiano Reggiano.
Bonus: If you do the cheese tasting, you get 15% off any purchases. We managed to smuggle a Reypenaer VSOP back into the USA...now we just need to make a shopping trip for some good Port wine.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for Jaunted]