Cheese really is one of the world’s most scrumptious foods, especially with a great bottle of wine. Cheese can make a wine taste fabulous and wine can make a cheese taste amazing!
My two favourite cheese shops happen to be on one side of the water and the other. One across the strait in Vancouver and one here in Victoria, literally down the street from me.
Interestingly enough there are some remarkable similarities, or not. Charelli’s on Foul Bay Road in Victoria has aptly named themselves the Cheese Chicks. It is a gaggle of fantastic women who know cheese, love cheese and make buying cheese a wonderfully pleasurable experience. They have a teeny tiny store stacked full of cheese, specialty foods, meats, tapenades, pates, crackers, chips and a whole lot of of other delectables. Carmen who is the ultimate cheese chick runs the show with Nicole and Lauren enchantingly smiling at you and helping in anyway they can. They proclaim to have the best sandwiches in Victoria, and with the quality of the bread, cheese and meat, I have no doubt they very well could. Many a time I have named a wine and the cheese chicks have found the best cheeses to compliment the wine, and rarely are they wrong.
Across the water, interestingly enough we have the cheese hunks. The Benton Brothers, Jonah and Andrew along with friend, Ryan, These men of cheese might get as many visits from female buyers for their hunk status as they do for their cheese and other goods. The Benton Brothers have two locations on Cambie and Kerrisdale with a soon to open location on Granville Island. They are cheese importers and bring in cheese from all over the world. They have been known to provide for restaurants as well as cheese shops in BC. In fact some of the cheese at Charelli’s comes from the Bentons! The Bentons too, have amazing sandwiches at their Cambie location. They smoke their own duck breast, have amazing salamis and cheeses and just today introduced a smoked meat sandwich filled with fabulous cheese curds.
The Benton Brothers have chef experience and extensive cheese education in their background, so they can tell you just about anything you want to know about the cheese you are eating, it’s bouquet, the tastes you will experience and can help with wine pairings
Interesting how these two wonderful entities, Charellis and Benton Brothers mirror each other. Perhaps the cheese chicks should visit the cheese hunks for a throw down?!
Either way, you cannot go wrong the cheese menu, the amazing sandwiches and the friendly cheese seducing smiles will keep you coming back for more on either side of the water.
Check them out, you will not be disappointed.