Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wine & Cheese? Yes Please!

I was so inspired by a recent dinner my husband and I had with friends that was just so amazing I had to report. I fully planned on making a full meal for our friends this Friday night. The one request we got for the night was for the meal to include lots of cheese. Toby and I had a whole meal planned, and at the last minute decided to make a cheese plate as an appetizer.That is where the meal ended. With lots and lots of cheese. Cheese plates are so amazing because you can sample lots of different cheeses and accompaniments with vehicles to shovel this `amazingness into your mouth. Ours was so good we didn't even cook dinner. We ate cheese all night and could not have been happier. 

My husband picked up the cheeses and came home with many tips from the cheesemonger. I was so intrigued with the knowledge this "cheese guy" bestowed on my husband I wanted to share it with you also! The Food Network also had some great information so check it out!

Before you get started, here's what to consider:

How many people are you serving?
What are you serving for dinner?
What is your budget? 

The Main Event
The cheesemonger asked us who our guests were and if we knew them really well. He let us know that if your guests aren't foodies or uber special you can choose less expensive cheeses. He said he has seen cheese plates cost anywhere from $20 to $200. Lucky for our guests we love them so we picked good cheese. 

Select different cheeses within the same family  or different styles of cheese. Your cheese plate can include one soft-ripened cheese such as Brie and Camembert , a pungent blue cheese and a bold cheese like manchego. Also label the cheeses so people know what they are eating!

Cheese Vehicles

It is super important to choose yummy vehicles to spread cheesy yumminess on. We chose a variety of vehicles since we used four different kinds of cheese. We used baguette, buttery crackers ( like Ritz) and sesame crackers. 

How do you Serve it?
We had two amazing cheese boards. Both are slate which allows you to write on the board with chalk to identify the cheeses for guests. It also makes for an amazing presentation. You can also put bread or crackers in bowls or baskets.

Take cheese out an hour ahead of time for it to be room temperature. 

Don't forget to serve other munchies that accentuate the delicious cheese like olives, nuts, mustard, honey comb and pickles. 

And don't forget...

Serve the cheese plate with amazing wine. Tell your local wine shop what cheese you will be serving and they can suggest wines to pair. 

Also ask your cheese monger at a local market what kinds of cheeses to serve for your party. They will give you  great suggestions for all price points! 

Good Luck! Say Cheese!

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