A cheeseboard full of artisan cheeses is a wonderful way to treat your guests at your next gathering. Here are a few tips.
There is nothing better than gathering around a table, opening up your favorite bottle of wine and snacking on delicious cheeses and meats with your closest friends. For some people deciding on which cheeses to put out can be a major decision. I am here to ease your worries by giving you a classic rule to stick to when putting together your delectable platter.
You should have anywhere from 3 to 5 cheeses, a variety of textures, and be sure to include something fun and different. Some of my classic go to’s are listed below…
Brie – A French, cow’s milk cheese that is incased in a rind. This cheese is creamy and melts in your mouth. It pairs beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
Blue – A salty, creamy texture cheese that has beautiful tangy punch when you eat it. This cheese pairs beautifully with Riesling, Port, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Red Dragon – This semi-soft cheese falls into the fun and different category. This cheese is beautifully speckled with mustard seeds and has a slight hint of horseradish on the finish. This is a great beer cheese for your non wine drinking friends.
Old Amsterdam Aged Gouda – A hard aged cheese that carries a rich nutty flavor. This cheese can be cut easily and the bright orange color looks great in the mix. When you bight into this cheese you will feel a slightly crunchy texture, these are the gorgeous crystals that develop during the aging process. This cheese goes perfectly well with a more full bodied red such as Zinfandel.
A few other tips to keep in mind when putting together your cheesy work of art. Always include some sort of fruit. I prefer fresh grapes, figs, and apples, but dried fruits offer something special as well. I also like to include a little bit of honey; the sweetness is nicely cut by the saltiness of the cheese and are a marriage made in heaven.
Crackers are the finishing touch. I usually offer two kinds, one baked with sea salt such as the Firehook Sea Salt Flatbread. This cracker is baked and not fried. It has a wonderful crunch and clean flavor.
I would also include some sort of crostini that has nuts and dried fruit such as the Rustic Bakery Tart Cherry Crostini. Let your cheese come to room temperature so your guests can enjoy them in all of their glory. Now just pop that bottle and enjoy this simple but stunning treat. ENJOY!!