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There's probably never been a better time to sign up for a cheese subscription box than right now. For one, there's a wonderful surge of small-scale cheesemakers across America who are using locally sourced milk to make creative, world-class cheese. Meanwhile, European producers continue to produce the legendary cheeses that have been the hallmarks of fine cheese.
Subscribing to regular shipments of cheese curated by expert cheesemongers lets you try excellent cheeses you may not yet know about, plus cheese subscription boxes are also a reliable way to support independent cheesemakers and creameries, both established and emerging. We found plenty of fine choices you can trust to get more top-quality cheese in your life.
Best Cheese Subscription Boxes of 2021
- Best Overall: Murray’s Cheese
- Best for American Cheeses: Saxelby Cheesemongers
- Best Variety: Curdbox
- Best for International Cheeses: Zingerman’s Artisan Cheese Club
- Best for California Cheese: Cowgirl Creamery
- Best for Charcuterie Lovers: Cured & Cultivated
- Best for Cheese and Wine Pairings: Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club
- Best for Customizable Cheese Boxes: The Cheese Grotto
Price: $63–$113 per month, depending on subscription
Types of cheese: U.S. and international
Why We Chose It: The variety of cheese subscriptions Murray’s Cheese offers, plus its decades of experience selecting cheese for customers, makes it a trusty go-to for many cheese subscription options, whether for yourself or gifting.
Lots of choices for subscriptions
Options for subscription frequency
Murray’s Cheese has been around since 1962, starting out in New York City’s Greenwich Village and eventually branching out to multiple locations in the city. It is also known for its virtual and in-person classes. Because education is central to its mission, Murray's selects cheeses for subscriptions in a manner that will teach you something.
Want just cheese? The Classics Club ($63 per month) sends you three to four selections a month with a range of origins (domestic and international), textures (buttery to firm), and intensities. The Cheesemonger Club ($73 per month) offers a slightly rarer fare.
But for those who’d like something more exciting, try the Perfect Pair of the Month ($85 per month), which pairs two cheeses with two accompaniments, such as preserves or salami. There’s even a cheese board of the month ($113) with one to three cheeses, one to two charcuterie items, and one to three accompaniments, plus a cutting and serving guide.
Many of the clubs come with a monthly cheese-themed word game to get you in the mood. One caveat: You’ll pay slightly more for the same amount of cheese with these clubs than you would for some other subscriptions offering cheeses of the same quality. But if you want a good variety of cheese subscriptions to browse over in one spot, Murray’s is the place.
Price: $295–$1175, depending on subscription
Customizable: Per customer request
Types of cheese: U.S. cheeses
Why We Chose It: There are many world-class American-made cheeses that cheese lovers overlook because they just don’t know about them. Saxelby Cheesemongers advocates for small American cheesemakers and gives them the spotlight they deserve.
Spotlight on artisan American cheeses
Cheese knife and cheese journal in first shipment
Shipping not included
No month-to-month options
A cheese subscription from Saxelby is a thrilling schooling in what’s happening in American cheesemaking today. There’s a perception in America that fine cheeses must come from Europe or emulate European styles as closely as possible, but American cheesemaking has very much come into its own in the past few decades.
Cheesemonger Anne Saxelby opened her shop in New York’s Chelsea Market in 2006 to offer the best cheeses of America’s artisan cheese renaissance, focusing on cheesemakers in the Northeast and Midwest. With a subscription, you’ll receive only cheeses from those regions.
You get three cheeses with each shipment in the basic cheese club, totaling about 1.5 pounds; you can opt for three-, six-, and 12-month subscriptions. The Seasonal Cheese Club ($385) offers four shipments of seasonal cheeses not available at other times of the year. And the Connoisseur's Club offers four themed boxes, one a season, aimed at giving you a deep dive into aspects of specific cheese styles. Saxelby Cheesemonger can also accommodate requests for your cheese preferences, avoiding any types of cheeses (stinky, raw milk, etc.) you don’t want.
Price: $49.95/month plus $10–$15 for shipping
Types of Cheese: U.S. and international
Why We Chose It: Curdbox’s monthly boxes are entire experiences with fun monthly themes, offbeat pairings, curated playlists, and plenty of extra information that take cheese subscriptions way beyond a few cheeses plopped on a board.
Collaborations with chefs and artisan producers
Not for those who want cheese the main focus
Monthly frequency is the only option
Talk to any cheesemonger and they’ll tell you that storytelling is half their job. Curdbox takes storytelling through cheese to a new level. It’s the monthly cheese subscription box that grew out of Jenn and Matt Mason’s Brookline, Massachusetts, cheese shop Curds & Co. Since a subscription makes the personal connection of traditional in-person cheese mongering impossible, they looked to other ways to assemble an experience.
The variety is in its playful themes. Each box includes three cheeses (about .75 pounds total) and three creative pairings that play off that month’s theme. Past themes include Fireside Glow (booze-infused cheeses), Sugar Mama (cheeses and sweet pairings from women producers), and Too Gouda to Be True (three types of Dutch goudas). Every month, there’s a Spotify playlist and one or more blog posts telling you about the cheese, plus often offering wine or beer pairing ideas.
This box is best for adventurous budding cheese lovers who don’t want to be bothered assembling the components of a clever cheese board themselves.
Price: $200–$360, depending on subscription
Types of cheese: European, with one selection from California
Why We Chose It: Those who want to travel Europe via international cheese will get solid schooling through Zingerman’s club, which covers all the classics.
Good sampling of iconic European cheeses
Generous 1.5-pound amounts
Three cheeses from one country per shipment
No summer shipments
Just cheese, no pairings
There are cheeses we hear about our whole lives, it seems, but perhaps have never truly experienced from their origins: Spain’s Manchego, Gouda from the Netherlands, Mimolette of France. Through solid selections of cheese classics that have stood the test of time, Zingerman’s Artisan Cheese Club gives a tour of foundational European cheeses for both those new to cheese appreciation and those yearning for a taste of their old favorites.
If you want to get acquainted with the world of cheese one country at a time, this is the club. Each month spotlights three cheeses from a single country (starting off with Italy and going from Parmigiano Reggiano to Fontina to Taleggio). And they total a generous 1.5 pounds, for weeks of tasting and primo snacking. There are three- and six-month subscriptions, with the latter slipping in a trio of U.S. cheeses, but who can say that’s a bad thing?
Zingerman’s started out decades ago as a deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and eventually grew into an emporium of fine foods from all over the world. The shop has its own cheese cave, and cheese tastings have been a popular fixture there for years.
Price: $95 per month, shipping included
Types of Cheese: California, with other U.S. selections
Why We Chose It: California was at the front of the American artisan cheese rebirth, and you can try selections from renowned Cowgirl Creamery as well as their friends in thoughtfully curated boxes.
10% off online orders for Cowgirl Club members
Monthly live virtual tastings
Not all selections are from California
Sometimes it’s gratifying to really dig your heels into a cheese with a sense of place. Not far north of San Francisco, Cowgirl Creamery has made award-winning cheeses in tiny Point Reyes Station since 1997 and celebrated Marin and Sonoma Counties’ dairy industries by using pasture-based cow’s milk. It is a Bay Area institution committed to promoting other like-minded cheesemakers and food producers.
Each month features at least one Cowgirl Creamery cheese, along with two others, totaling three or more different cheeses of four servings each. You’ll also get an edible accompaniment, background info on the cheeses, beverage pairing suggestions, and recipe ideas. Better yet, there’s a monthly virtual Zoom tasting; if you miss it, you can still follow along with the recording.
One past box included flagship Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk, as well as cheeses from Marin French Cheese Co. and Oregon’s Rouge, plus summer sausage from Olympic Provisions in Portland. Oregon. While these are not all California producers, but they all share the same spirit.
Price: $94.50/month plus shipping
Types of Cheese: U.S. and international
Why We Chose It: For those who prefer cured meat with their cheese, Cured & Cultivated’s well-chosen selections of cheese and charcuterie balance classic pairings with cheeky creativity.
Cheeses and meats from multiple origins
Charcuteries are as interesting as the cheese
Not many visual examples for building your board
Shipping not included
Cured and Cultivated, based in Paso Robles, California, gained a reputation for making the kind of elaborate grazing tables and cheese and charcuterie boards you see all over social media. Its Cheese & Charcuterie Club keeps a steady focus on pairing an eclectic range of cheeses with artisan cured meat, something that’s hard to find in other cheese subscriptions.
Each month includes three cheeses and two charcuterie selections. You can subscribe for three or six months, or you can opt for a one-time shipment. One month you’ll be enjoying duck prosciutto and Finish-style bread cheese, and another it’s speck from Italy, chewy salami from California, and a clothbound Devonshire Red. If building your own picture-perfect board is what you had in mind, use Cured & Cultivated’s photos of its boards as inspiration, though there’s no specific how-to.
Price: $38.95–$$55.95 per month for cheese, $39.95–$72.95 per month for wine
Types of Cheese: U.S. and international
Estate-bottled, limited-run wines
Freedom to design your own club
Wines aren’t selected to go with the cheeses
Not available in all states
If enjoying cheese at your house also means enjoying wine, there aren’t many subscriptions that offer solid offerings of both. With the Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club, both the cheese and wine are of equal caliber. The catch is they aren’t actually picked out as a pairing.
That’s because this subscription is really a customized mashup of two subscriptions. First, choose your cheese subscription: the Classic ($38.95 per month) or the Rare ($55.95 per month). With each shipment, you get three different cheeses totaling 1.5 pounds. Selections range from a basic French brie to Italian sheep’s milk Fiore Sardo.
Then, choose your wine subscription: two bottles of wine, red, or white, or one of each. Besides that, the wines you get aren’t specifically paired with that month’s selection of cheeses, so this subscription is for cheese and wine lovers who aren’t persnickety about everything being perfectly matched. Think of it as a game of chance—another element of the experience.
Interstate shipping laws for alcohol vary; this club is not available in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi, or Utah. And keep in mind that shipments of wine require an adult signature upon delivery, so choose your delivery date and location accordingly.
Price: $62 per shipment plus shipping
Types of Cheese: U.S.
Why We Chose It: A passion for small-scale cheesemakers and boots-on-the-ground knowledge of them makes Cheese Grotto stand apart.
Focus on American artisan cheesemakers
Tips on storage and pairing
Not fully customizable
Shipping costs more in the summer
True cheese geeks may have heard of Cheese Grotto not as a cheesemonger, but as a product itself: It’s a patented cheese storage box made of natural materials that lets you keep cheese unwrapped in a manner that allows it to breathe and extends its shelf life. Think of it as a mini cheese cave.
But Cheese Grotto also sells cheese, and its subscription is dedicated to supporting American artisan cheese. Each selection highlights an American cheesemaker. Cheeses included could come from California, New York, Wisconsin, Vermont, Ohio, Minnesota, Maryland, Indiana, or other states.
The demands of running a small eCommerce business with artisan foods often make customization for subscriptions difficult, but The Cheese Grotto can adjust the types of cheese included with two weeks’ notice. When you subscribe, you’ll get a quick email survey to make sure you get the cheese you love.
Subscriptions are either monthly or quarterly; with a monthly subscription you can choose between having one or three cheeses a month, so the total amount varies depending on the level you choose. Quarterly subscriptions include various cheeses totaling 2 pounds.
Cheese subscription boxes are a novel and convenient way to introduce you to cheeses you may have not encountered before. Oftentimes they include an educational component, allowing you to build your confidence with cheese pairings and filling you in on how the cheeses were made. They can also be a direct or indirect way to support independent cheesemakers and cheesemongers. Overall, we recommend starting your cheese subscription box search with Murray’s Cheese.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do Cheese Subscription Boxes Cost?
In many cases, cheese subscription boxes are not an incredible value on the face of it. You are paying for cheese, but also an experience and convenience: expert curation of cheeses and accompaniments, plus packaging, shipping, and thoughtful extras like tasting notes and suggested pairings. If you just want a giant wedge of a special cheese without any bells or whistles, you may be better off placing one-time orders from a favorite online cheesemonger or cheesemaker.
Shipping is included in the monthly cost of any, but not all, cheese subscription boxes.
Are Cheese Subscription Boxes Worth It?
Once you experience the difference between mass-produced cheese and small-scale artisan cheese, it’s hard to go back to the generic stuff. For those who want to savor exceptional cheeses and don’t have access to a cheesemonger, a subscription box provides you with a curated selection that you can delight in. There’s also a component of discovery and learning. A good cheese subscription is a special experience in a box. But if you just want cheese for everyday cooking, stick to the grocery store.
If you live in a city with a fabulous local cheesemonger or creamery, skip the mail-order subscription and support them in person. You won’t have to pay for shipping, and your local cheesemakers and cheesemongers need you in order to keep making their wonderful products. Some of them offer their own subscriptions with local delivery or a pickup option.
What’s the difference between a cheesemaker, a cheesemonger, and a creamery? A cheesemaker makes cheese. A cheesemonger not only sells cheese but offers education about where the cheese came from and how to best enjoy it. And a creamery is a place where dairy products are made into things like cheese or butter; oftentimes they have a retail space (brick and mortar or virtual) as well.
What Comes in a Cheese Subscription Box?
The contents of a cheese subscription box vary, depending on the subscription you go for. Most often they include a small variety of cheeses, though some offer only one cheese a month. Accompaniments like crackers, charcuterie, and nuts are part of many cheese subscription boxes. Almost every box includes tasting notes with information on the selections, and plenty also come with suggestions for wine or beer pairings.
How Are Cheese Subscription Boxes Packaged?
Most cheese subscription boxes are shipped with gel packs to keep the cheese cold. If you plan on going away for a period, contact the company to see if you can change your delivery date. Sometimes the gel packs melt, but as long as the cheese in the box is in good shape, melted gel packs are not a problem. When you get your shipment, unbox it and refrigerate the cheese and any other perishables.
When your cheese arrives, it may smell quite strong. Remember that cheese is a living thing, and it’s natural for it to smell pungent after it’s been in a small package without air circulation for a few days. Once you open the box, the strong smell should become much less pronounced after a bit.
While there are many noteworthy cheese delivery services, we chose the ones to spotlight by considering their passion, experience, and knowledge about cheese. Selection, customer satisfaction, and the structure of the subscription were also carefully weighed.