If you don’t have a local cheese shop, or if you want to send the gift of cheese, check out these online options. Some also have retail locations and all are experienced in handling and selling cheese.
In the late nineties, Caroline Hostettler introduced chefs and cheese lovers in the US to high-quality cheese imported from Swiss affineur Rolf Beeler. Today, his Gruyere, Appenzeller and other cheeses still set the standard for what great Swiss cheese should taste like. Rolf Beeler cheese can be bought from this site, as well as small-production cheeses Caroline and her husband seek out and import from other countries. This is a good site to check out if you want access to a unique and well-curated selection. Wine, condiments and accessories are also sold.
Francophiles, this site is for you. All your favorite French cheeses and some you've never heard of are sold from this site, with a small smattering of cheese from other countries. Buy cheese individually, paired with wine or in a collection. There are many collections available, some grouped by milk type (only goat cheese) and some endorsed by chefs (Chef Joel Robuchon's personal favorites.)
igourmet launched in 1999. This online store boasts more than 800 cheeses from 35 countries and an endless selection of other gourmet goodies. On the igourmet site, look for the link that says "Cheese Gifts" to peruse a large selection of cheeses paired with food items and packaged for that special someone in your life who loves cheese.
In existence since the 1940s, Murray's began its ascent to being one of Manhattan's top cheese store in the early 1990s when it was bought by Rob Kaufelt. The online store offers an extensive selection of cheese (many of them hard-to-find gems), gourmet food and a Cheese of the Month club.
Established in 1997 by two San Francisco chefs, Cowgirl Creamery makes its own cheese and has three retail locations. The online store offers a small but carefully curated line-up of cheeses sold as collections and a Cheese of the Month club.
Formaggio Kitchen has been in Cambridge, Massachusetts for more than twenty-years and now also has stores in Boston's South End and New York's Lower East Side. The online store offers an extensive selection of gourmet items from around the world - everything from chocolate to grains to cutlery. A large selection of cheese is also available, as well as "sampler" collections of cheeses.
Based in Manhattan, Artisanal Premium Cheese also sells cheese at a restaurant of the same name and offers classes, but exists almost exclusively to sell cheese online. The online store offers a small selection of gourmet foods to accompany an extensive, rotating selection of cheeses they believe to be in peak ripeness. Numerous cheese collections are available, as well as a Cheese of the Month club.
Located in Beverly Hills, CA since 1967, this store is a Los Angeles food institution. The online store offers fifty or so cheeses, including a Cheese of the Month club, gift baskets, wine and other gourmet items.