Wine and cheese is a winning combination that is proving profitable for one south Tampa duo. They're now operating "Cheese Please" in a new location, with just as much fun and flare as ever.
Owner Michael Jones always starts the night by silencing the crowd with a melodic wind chime.
"Girls, ladies, for those of y’all who haven't been here yet, it's all about me," he said to a room with mostly women and a handful of men.
The tasting is the perfect blend, where wine and cheese are served on a platter of tasteful humor.
"If somebody called you a capriccio de cabra, they're calling you a pain in their..."
As in, adding a little sleaze to the cheese -- like when Michael displays a block of tetilla cheese, which just happens to resemble a woman's breast.
"I know nothing about this, I am breaking out in hives holding onto this," he says as the crowd cracks up.
With the merlots, moscatos and Michael’s sense of humor, it's a unique experience. Michael opened Cheese Please with his partner Carlos Kanamori after the two lived in Europe.
"It was a whim, and a weak moment for Carlos," Michael laughed.
Their new location includes a bar and the famous weekly tastings, which are often sold out.
"Babies, all about me!" he reminds the loud crowd as he calls for their attention. "It's, ‘Michael is the queen,’ as long as I'm the queen, we're all happy!"
The tasting includes eight courses of cheese, with and without a condiment, and with detailed descriptions of each course. It's a great chance to channel your inner cheesologist, and for wine lovers, it's a step towards becoming a connoisseur.
"People recognize the Rioja from Spain, the Tempranillo is probably the second most popular one," Carlos explains during one of the courses.
"The sheep's milk's gonna be grassier and the goat is gonna have more of a tang," Michael tells the crowd.
The portions may seem small, but throughout the night, Michael and Carlos serve 15 bottles of wine and eight pounds of cheese. If your sip of wine or slither of cheese isn't delish, the pictures of random handsome men on the TV screen always are -- always.
"I don't know his name, I just thought he was hot," Michael says.
It's all lactose, libations and laughs!
"We were doing naked goat cheese and a man decided to start taking his clothes off," Michael said. "Oh my God, girl, you have never seen goats so excited in your entire life.”
So as the wine flows, leave your whining at home. Folks like the five-year cancer survivor we met come here to celebrate with one big toast and lots of little ones.
"It's forget everything, let's just have fun!" said Michael, "Of course, alcohol helps!"
The Cheese Please tastings cost $20 and take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays.
For more information: http://cheesepleasetampa.com/
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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