A great article about affinage in the New York Times on October 4, 2011 : Cheese: A Coming-of-Age Story, by JEFF GORDINIER - Is affinage the fine art of ripening cheese, or is it a simple marketing ploy? Well worth reading. In my opinion, anyone who says the art of affinage is bunk or just a marketing ploy, not only doesn't know what they are talking about but the cheese they 'produce' won't be worth eating! I'd love to see what the response would be if these detractors told an affineur of Comté that what they do to their wheels is not necessary! Because unless you are a cheese producer who has the time and has the space with the proper quality of humidity and temperature control required to age your own cheeses, an affineur is required, otherwise the cheese will rarely, if ever, become what it is meant to be.