Winter is cold, lacking in light and humidity, and therefore the pasture is not at its best. The cows, ewes and sheep are therefore usually fed on hay, which gives a milk lacking in aromas.
Most of the cheeses matured for a short period are therefore not at their best during this period.
On the other hand, this period is best for:
• Cheeses matured for a medium length of time, made with milk from the summer or autumn (Laguiole, Salers, Tomes, Ossau Iraty)
• Blue cheeses (bleus, fourmes, Roquefort, Tête de moine, Stilton, Mont-d’or) or cheeses matured for a long period, made in the previous summer (Comté, Gruyère, Beaufort, Appenzell).
In winter, when composing a cheese platter, the following are advised:
• Banon, Cantal, Chaource, Trape d'Echourgnac, Roquefort
• Beaufort de Chalet, Langres, Saint-Marcellin. Rollot de Picardie.