If you’ve been tasked with bringing an appetizer—or dessert—to an upcoming holiday party, head to the Truffle Cheese Shop on Sixth Avenue. There, owners Rob and Karin Lawler (and their experienced and passionate cheese specialists) will help you put together a trio of cheeses with contrasting tastes, shapes, and textures. I stopped in last weekend and came away with this impressive trio:

1. Époisses de Bourgogne (France): A classic washed-rind, cow’s milk cheese that is delightfully pungent, slightly runny, and seductively creamy. A half round is plenty for a gathering of four.

2. Nocciolo (Italy): A white cube of goat and sheep’s milk cheeses, which have been blended to create a mild, slightly tangy, easily spreadable cheese.

3. Roomano Pradera (The Netherlands): A hard, crumbly, and slightly nutty aged cow’s milk gouda.

If presented as an appetizer, serve the cheese with slices of French baguette. If served after dinner, include sweet preserves (such as Primo‘s blackberry-serrano) or fresh fruit. Either way, be sure to serve the cheeses at room temperature. The flavors are more pronounced that way.

2906 E. Sixth Ave., 303-322-7363