You’ve got enough to worry about as you plan for the upcoming holiday season. Fret not, hostess with the mostess—we’ve taken the guesswork out of creating a cheese and appetizer spread, and added a few wine pairing tips to take your pre-meal meat plates and cheese boards to the next delightful and delicious level.
Tip 1: Make room for each cheese
Cheeses are like humans; they don’t like to be crowded! Make sure you have enough space on the cheeseboard between each type of cheese, because there’s nothing worse than finding your knuckle in a cheese that you didn’t want in the first place.
Tip 2: Bring the cheeses to room temperature
Arrange your cheeses anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes before guests arrive to let each cheese reach optimum flavor and bring the cheeses to room temperature. If you are plating meats or duck delicacies, give yourself 15 to 20 minutes to cut and arrange the meats or spoon the delicacies on a wood cutting board, cake stand, marble dish, or sampling bowl.
Tip 3: Think of a theme
Do you love cheeses from France? Follow your heart and reach for Camembert, Brie de Meaux, and a Munster. Take your palate on a taste tour through the United States, Spain or northern Italy, but whatever you do, it’s good to narrow down your cheese plate theme.
Tip 4: Choose cheeses with different textures
The most seasoned hostess will tell you that reaching for a soft cheese (like Brie), a firmer cheese (like cheddar or Gruyère), and a hard cheese (like Parmigiano-Reggiano) is always a good rule of thumb when you’re planning your cheese plate.
Tip 5: Don’t forget the meats
A cheese plate is usually the prelude to a bigger meal, but it’s always good to have a few meats on hand to nosh on. A good cheese-to-meat ratio is 1 or 2 ounces of cheese and 3 slices of meat per guest.
Tip 6: Serve more condiments
Jarred condiments like artichoke hearts and olives are easy-prep and fuss-free complements to a more robust cheese plate; they also cleanse the palate in between samplings and enhance flavors.
Tip 7: Wise up to wine pairings
Sweet wines balance salty cheese like aged Gouda or blue cheese, and rich, creamy cheeses blend well with oaky white wines. Sparkling wines also pair well with rich cheeses, as they “scrub” the tongue clean, readying your palate for more cheese samplings!
Are you salivating yet? Entertaining is easy with gourmet global foods delivered right to your door with World Market Gourmet Delivered!