Food + Drink, Lifestyle

#TryThis: Custom pairings by the Wine + Cheese Specialists at GreenWise Market

GreenWise Market’s Finds section
GreenWise Market’s Finds section featuring their wine + cheese selection | Photo by @thelaltoday

Hey, Lakeland – Katelyn here. I was recently invited over to GreenWise Market to learn about building the ultimate charcuterie board – and learn more about the best food + bev pairings – from their expert food and wine specialists.

DYK? Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, have a romantic picnic planned, or just looking for the best bottle of wine to pair with your slice of carrot cake for dinner, you can head over to GreenWise Market and request to speak to the Wine Specialist, Joanna, and the Cheese Specialist, Gail, for their (free) pairing recommendations.

Here’s exactly what I tried, and how you can #TryThis. 

Experience: 

Custom pairing recommendations from the Wine + Cheese Specialists at GreenWise Market 

What we tried (with pricing): 

I spent about an hour with my new friends Joanna and Gail over at the FINDS section discussing both my likes and dislikes in terms of wine and cheese preferences. They allowed me to sample wines and cheeses, both those of interest to me and those that they professionally recommended for a full array of options. 

A glimpse of the cheese selection at GreenWise Market
A glimpse of the cheese selection at GreenWise Market | Photo via @thelaltoday

The specialists work in tandem with one another when building charcuterie boards or pairings and always try to come up with unique + fun suggestions. (Did we mention it’s totally free to consult either specialist?) I tried five different wines from the FINDS section ranging from reds to whites, dry to super sweet. A few of my personal favorites include Stags Leap Chardonnay ($27.69), Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling ($14.39), and the Elouan Pinot Noir ($24.39). 

#ProTip: Due to COVID-19, sampling diminished almost entirely, but now, sampling is back, safely and in small, responsible quantities.

Red Dragon Cheese
Red Dragon Cheese (my favorite) at GreenWise Market | Photo by @thelaltoday

With every wine sampling, Gail provided a bushel of cheeses, also from the FINDS section – including Cranberry Mint Goat Cheese Balls ($3-5), made in house. Others include Red Dragon Cheddar Cheese ($6) with Whole Grain Mustard + Ale (safe to say that this is my new favorite cheese – yum), Publix’s homemade mozzarella cheese ($4-5), and Triple Cream Soft-Ripened Brie with Mushrooms ($6). 

Fun fact: GreenWise Market has cheese available for those with a sensitivity to the A1 protein, including the brand Kimberly’s Best in both White Cheddar + Pepper Jack ($9.19). 

I also learned that they can build the charcuterie of your dreams (and mine) on any budget with wine pairing suggestions as well. It’s totally free to consult them, and – #ProTip – if you bring your own platter or board, you can save some extra cash.

Don’t miss:

Consulting the specialists on staff, of course. They are warm + friendly, and especially knowledgeable about their craft. 

Here’s some insider info they told us during our visit. ⬇️

  • Keep an eye out for Holiday Baskets. As we inch closer to the holidays, the specialists over in the FINDS section are hopeful that holiday baskets will make an appearance both pre-packaged and, potentially, customizable.
  • Yes, cheese “must-dos” are real, especially at GreenWise Market’s FINDS section. When consulting our new friend Joanna, the wine specialist, and our old friend Gail, the cheese specialist, we learned that there are cheeses you can’t miss. Must-haves on your next charcuterie board include a blue cheese, Brie, a hard cheese (such as Gouda), and something fun or out of the ordinary.
  • Portion it out. Gail says when building a charcuterie board, you should have 3 oz. of cheese per person and 2 oz. of meat. 
  • Born & Bread deliveries can make your trip memorable every time. The local bakery delivers to the market, and occasionally, Gail will set out special cheese samples over at the FINDS section to adorn the delivered goodies.

What we’re still talking about: 

Gail, GreenWise Market’s Cheese Specialist
Gail, GreenWise Market’s Cheese Specialist, preparing a cheese sampling | Photo via @thelaltoday

I’m pretty sure I’ve told all of my friends and family about the wonderful service we received Gail + Joanna were gracious hosts and made sure I tried and accomplished all that I wanted. Not to mention those Cranberry Mint Goat Cheese balls. If you’re a fan of goat cheese (or even if you aren’t), you have to try those. I can’t stop thinking about them and I’m sure any attempt to make them at home will fall short of Gail’s expertise.

And, who doesn’t love wine tastings? At my core, I’m a white wine fan and tend to steer far away from red wines, especially Pinot Noirs. After speaking with Joanna and trusting her expertise, I ended up trying my least favorite wine and now it’s a favorite of mine from the tasting. Thanks, Joanna. Plus: charcuterie, charcuterie, charcuterie. We had no clue personalized charcuterie boards could be built here + we will never be the same. 

GreenWise Market’s wine fridge
GreenWise Market’s wine fridge | Photo by @thelaltoday

#ProTip: See behind the scenes of all these must-do’s on our #TryThis Instagram Story Highlight.

How you can experience this: 

via GIPHY

All you have to do to experience this is head to GreenWise Market. Seriously, hop in your car, head to the FINDS section and Gail + Joanna will gladly take care of you as you discuss cheese + wine to your heart’s content. Again, y’all – their expert advice is free. 🙌

Our advice: Try to get there at a slow time, whether it be early morning, right after lunch rush, or late afternoon to ensure you get your time with the specialists. And, always ask if you have questions – they’ll answer any question you might have. For any samplings ‘on tap,’ be sure to head over to the POURS section to learn even more. 

Things to know if you go: 

Experience: Custom pairing recommendations from the Wine + Cheese Specialists at GreenWise Market
Price: Free recommendations; products range in price
Website: https://greenwisemarket.com/
Address:  4747 S. Florida Ave. Lakeland, FL 33813
Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
Social: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter