Cheese & Wine To Go

By Beau
Beau is the founder of Apollo Social. He recently relocated to Melbourne with his husband and has begun a love affair with the city.
Determined not to let lockdown get in the way of our exploration of the culinary and cultural delights of Melbourne, we sample a picnic hamper from the licensed fromagerie “Milk The Cow”. The box that is delivered comes jam-packed full of wine, cheese and adventure!

My husband and I relocated to Melbourne in May 2021. The timing seemed right at the time - the city’s 16-week lockdown was safely in the past and cases were down to zero. It seemed like the right time to make the move to our dream city. Little did we know that was just a brief window before the city was plunged into another extended lockdown, this one with the added drama of riots, earthquakes and whatever else the universe has in store for us.

However, we are determined not to let lockdown get in the way of our Melbourne adventure. With restrictions being relaxed enough to allow picnics, it was a great opportunity to sample a hamper from a Melbourne institution, Milk The Cow

Their website has a large selection to choose from with a variety of local and international labels, different styles of accompanying drink (wine, champagne, beer, spirits) as well as bonus extras such as chocolates. Most are in the range of $100 to $160 with a few higher than that if they include extra-fancy French cheeses, or a bottle of spirits rather than wine. A rosé felt right for a picnic so we went with that.

Ordering is easy and delivery is free for the Melbourne area. They offer same-day delivery if you order before 10:30 AM, however they recommend ordering for the day before your picnic because deliveries can be as late as 6 PM. Ours arrived in East Melbourne at 1:11 PM.

What Do You Get?

The package arrives in a cute box about the size of 1 ½ shoeboxes with a surprising amount of weight to it. The products are nicely presented on a bed of straw-like packaging. Here’s what our box contained:

  • Welcome letter plus tasting notes for each of the cheeses
  • 1 x 750ml bottle Bon Vie Rosé, France 
  • 150g Parmesan-cheddar BellaVitano Raspberry, USA
  • 200g Wyngaard Goat Gouda, Netherlands 
  • 200g Camembert Delice des Cremiere, France 
  • 200g Section 28 Priscilla, Australia     
  • 120g Forage Feast Quince Paste
  • 120g The Fine Cheese Co Rosemary Crackers

The wine was chilled and the box contained a freezer block to keep everything cool.

Box containing wine, cheeses and quince The hamper arrives packed neatly into a cute black box

My first impression is that it’s a lot of cheese. More than I was expecting so I called in reinforcements to the picnic. While great company, our thin waife of a friend did nothing to help get through the mountain of cheese so I recommend a huskier friend if you have one. The volume of cheese actually makes the crackers and wine a little insubstantial in comparison so we beefed up our picnic with some more crackers, dips and rosé.

The first thing you see after opening the box is a “cheesed to meet you” welcome letter with instructions for storing the cheeses and a special note about moulds. The language is casual and fun and adds to anticipation of what’s to come.

The tasting cards contain flowery descriptions of where and how the cheeses were made and the different notes of flavour. The descriptions are a nice touch and add some interesting context to the cheeses. I am by no means well versed in food critic language but I couldn’t help but chuckle to read that the camembert has a note of “wet straw” and the Mont Priscilla has a hint of “fresh hay”. I had no idea the flavours of livestock feed were so desirable.

The selection of products feels gourmet and high-quality; nothing you would pick up in your local grocery store. You get the impression you’re setting off on a culinary journey.


On the day of the picnic, we repacked the products into the box along with the few additions and set off to Carlton Gardens to scope out the best picnic spot. Once the cheeses were laid out we grabbed a knife and let the games begin!

Each of the cheeses had a great flavour individually and complemented the others well. Two of the cheeses had bold flavours while the other two were more muted with a touch of sweetness. 

I was slightly worried about the camembert because of its strong blue-cheese smell (which I’m not a fan of), however its bold flavour and creamy texture were my favourite. The Parmesan-Cheddar had a strong salty flavour that gave it instant appeal as it hit the tongue. The goat cheese and Mont Priscilla had more subtle, complex flavours each with a sweet aftertaste.

If I had to fault anything, I would say the quince was quite dry and had the flavour of candied fruit rather than preserved fruit. By the end of the picnic it had barely been touched so I was not the only one who thought this.

A picnic kit including cheese, wine, cutlery and glassesAll set for a picnic

Final Thoughts

While a little pricey, there is enough value in the hamper to make it worthwhile. Could you put together a similar hamper at Woollies for ⅓ of the price? Perhaps, but you would miss out on the adventure you get with the hamper: a special delivery on the day before the picnic, unpacking the box and drooling over the products, feeling a little bit fancy at the park when you unpack all of your gourmet products. The selection of wine and cheeses comes from further afield than you would typically get your hands on. Plus, the amount of cheese ensures you’ll get more than one picnic out of it. But best of all, it creates a special occasion to arrange an outing for the day and invite along your friends which is exactly what we all need after months of lockdown.

Two men holding wine glasses in a park With a pre-prepared picnic basket, all you have to do is pour the wine and enjoy