We traveled to France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Italy for seven weeks and found some of the best wine and cheese in Europe! And now we’re sharing our best finds!
On our recent travels throughout Europe, a common theme was to spend an afternoon with a platter of local cheese and a couple glasses of local wine. That, paired with people watching, was a great way to taste both the local cuisine and culture.
What Could Be Better Than Wine and Cheese in Europe While Enjoying Beautiful Sights?!
Prague, Czech Republic
This was hands-down our favorite local cheese selection in Europe! It included a deliciously nutty blue cheese called Niva, as well as a soft cheese and a hard cheese (that we weren’t able to get the names of! But the blue cheese was everything).
We skipped the fruit and instead saved our carbs to enjoy a Czech brew that had cherry liquor.
We also had cheese at another restaurant in Prague and it was also incredibly delicious! We ordered a marinated Camembert, which was served with a selection of pickled onion, cabbage, and cucumber.
And we ordered another similar cheese platter that also included a clove and orange-spiced cranberry jam. (Try your hand at making Low Carb Cranberry Sauce at home!)
We liked the stoneware plates so much, we ended up purchasing them at a bargain of $40 for two large and two salad-sized plates. (Shout-out to our very sweet waitress who made our day!)
Pro Tip: Skip the bread, dried fruit, and/or jam that come on the cheese board and instead save the carbs for local wine or a local brew.
This was one of the best values for a cheese plate we had (it cost about 12 euros and also included bread, which you can skip to keep it low carb). It included slices of Brie, Emmental, and Gouda, as well as something similar to Pimento Cheese, but with caraway seeds (it’s hiding under the pile of red onion in the center).
There were also individual packets of butter and cream cheese on this cheese platter if you want to increase your fat intake even more. We loved that this platter also had a ton of pickled vegetables.
Pro Tip: We took the butter back to our Airbnb to fry eggs the next morning! How is that for keto on a budget while traveling?!
The platter of cheese we ordered included the following: Fontina, Gorgonzola, Ricotta, and Parmigiano. These cheeses were incredible; the Ricotta literally melted in our mouthes, the Fontina and Parmigiano were nutty, and the Gorgonzola was creamy and mild.
Pro Tip: Everything came out drizzled with honey, which wasn’t noted on the menu, so be sure to ask if it comes with any sweet condiments or sauces drizzled on top so you can ask to leave them off.
Tuscan Countryside, Italy
We went to a private wine tasting in Tuscany that our Airbnb host recommended. The tasting also included a full spread of food with several kinds of cheese.
There was a platter with two kinds of sheep cheese, one hard and one soft that came with a green tomato jam (of course skip the jam to keep it keto).
There was also melon, pickled vegetables, charcuterie, small mozzarella balls, chèvre balls with fig, olives, bruschetta with homegrown tomatoes, and a selection of bread. You know the drill; skip the bread for low carb!
We got to try two of their wines (full glasses), and a sweeter wine from their vineyard as well. All this along with a tour of the estate was only 18 euros per person. And of course, nix the bread products and sweeter wine to keep it low carb. (Here’s the full review post on our Private Tuscan Wine Tasting experience!)
This cheese selection was mostly hard cheeses, but the only cheese that we were able to get the name of from the waiter was chili cheese, which is basically similar to our Pepper Jack, but a touch spicier and a touch drier. These cheeses came with small dishes of pear compote and honey, as well as walnuts. Simply leave off the sweet condiments to keep it keto!
We also had an antipasti platter in Rome that had grilled eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper with Ricotta cheese. It was delicious along with a glass of dry Italian wine.
Pro Tip: Ask your waiter for olive oil to drizzle on top!
This charcuterie and cheese plate included three types of meat (two types of salami and one type of prosciutto), as well as Buffalo mozzarella balls and sliced Parmesan.
The platter came with bruschetta, which we ate the tomatoes off of and skipped the bread. It was was on a bed of fresh arugula. Lara ate the meat and Faith ate the cheese – we make a great team!
Pro Tip: Turn it into a big salad with a generous glug of balsamic vinegar and olive oil (the two condiments that are always on any table in Italy!).
The crazy thing is that we never actually ordered a cheese plate at a restaurant in Paris during the entire month we were there! Instead, we bought cheese from local cheese shops and made our own French cheese platters at home for a fraction of the price. (We included rosemary and olive oil Pili nuts for some crunch!).
Pro Tip: Lookout for the high-end cheese shops because often you can find cheese that’s just as good at smaller markets that’s much more reasonably priced. Buy a few different cheeses and put together your own cheese board! Also, note that when you buy cheese at fancy shops, it’s not wrapped and often has flies swarming on it; however, when you buy at the cheaper markets, the cheese is cellophane-wrapped.
Share your favorite spots for wine and cheese in Europe with us in the comments below!
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