Articles from: January 2012

Cheese Culture Lacking

Cheese Culture has an identity crisis.

The small, mom and pop cheese and wine shop located on Las Olas Boulevard, in Ft. Lauderdale, doesn’t know whether it wants to be a small wine and cheese purveyor, or simply a quaint cafe that serves wine and cheese.

It doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s a cafe/store/place you really should avoid. In fact, the folks at Cheese Culture may want to brush up on their people skills.

On this particular evening we attended a sparkling wine tasting “event” that we had received a “special invitation” via email hosted by Cheese Culture requesting an RSVP.  We expected a cheese pairing (or at the least recommendations for pairings) for each wine.  How silly of us to expect that at a cheese shop.  There was neither.  The wines were laid out on display with no description or pairing recommendations, just bottles on a table.  This was really just a distributor sampling much like you find in any grocery store on any given weekend.   No RSVP required.  Okay, we got that and went in for the tasting fully expecting to want to order a cheese platter at some point.

The host and hostess of the event, representing the distributor, were in the very back of the small store.  They were pleasant people, offering decent pours of five sparkling wines just in time for the New Year’s holiday celebration. We enjoyed sipping on some delicious sparkling wines (a Prosecco most notably, that shined above all the others), though there were a couple forgettable ones. Still, the hosts were amicable and answered any questions that came their way.

As we wandered the store we stopped in front of the one (yes, only one!) cheese case to see what we wanted.  The Cheese Culture’s staff made no effort whatsoever to ask us if we needed any help, if we were interested in any cheese – nothing.  We were especially taken aback by a gentleman (who may or may not be one of the owners) that walked right in front of us as we eyed several cheeses in the glass case.  He was clearly able to hear our conversation inquiring about what we may like to try but chose to ignore us.  Mind you, this is the second time we’ve gone to Cheese Culture and both experiences have been similar.

We had great hopes for this shop as we started to watch the signs go up and were able to get a preview at the Las Olas Wine & Food Festival.  Our hopes were dashed not one, but two times since.  There are other great local cheese shops with large, but unique choices that want our business, so that’s where you will find us.

Cheese isn’t the only stinky thing in this establishment.



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