Creating a Wine & Cheese Plate!

Creating a Wine & Cheese Plate
We love a cheese plate in my home!  This could be our meal just about every night.  But it’s also a simple, creative way to entertain your family, friends or the New Year’s Eve crowd.  The important thing to remember is to have variety.  If this is all you are serving, you need to remember some people may not like cheese.  So offer a few other options to accommodate them.  But what I also like about having a variety is that you experience different flavors and textures that go great with a glass of wine.   I created this cheese plate to go specifically with red wine.  I used one of my favorites as the inspiration, a De La Montanya Cabernet Sauvignon!Burnt Macaroni - Cheese Plate 050abcdRed wines pair great with firm, mellow cheeses and the older the better.  I enjoy cheeses like this Aged Gouda that are at least 6 months old.  Gouda and Manchego are easier to find than these other cheeses.  But if you go to a Central Market or another cheese shop, you can ask the staff which cheeses go with Red wine.  If not, go with the cheese you like.  It’s always important to like what you serve so go with your favorites.

Burnt Macaroni - Cheese Plate 062abNext I added a variety of Olives.  Olives go great with these cheeses and pair nicely with the wine.

Burnt Macaroni - Cheese Plate 065abThe crunch comes from Almonds.  I’m always a fan of having nuts to even out the softness of the cheese.  Nuts make salads better and I think that is true with a cheese plate.  And these are healthy and easy to cleanse your palate when changing wines.

Burnt Macaroni - Cheese Plate 068abAdding a Summer Sausage, like this one from Hickory Farms,  adds some spice to your cheese plate.  Sausage goes incredibly well with the Red Wine.  It’s also nice to offer something for those guests that don’t eat a lot of cheese.

Burnt Macaroni - Cheese Plate 072abFor me a cheese plate wouldn’t be complete without some fruit.  We usually start with Strawberries.  Strawberries add some sweetness to your plate.  As I mentioned with the nuts, it’s nice to have something to  cleanse the palette while you are going between cheeses.

Burnt Macaroni - Cheese Plate 075abI also added some grapes to this plate.  Grapes are just fun and easy to pick at on your plate.  And Grapes always go with wine and cheese!

Burnt Macaroni - Cheese Plate 118abIt is also nice to offer a spread of some sort.  Sometimes I do a Basil Pesto spread but for this plate I did a traditional Hummus.   Most people will eat Hummus or at least try it!  Just add slices of a French Baguette or your favorite crackers and you have the perfect Cheese Plate.

So again here are the ingredients of my Cheese Plate:

  • Bottle of Red Wine – this is a De La Montanya Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cheeses  Queso Al Vino ,  Aged Gouda, Pecorinoa Toscano Italy,  Manchego and  Piave Aged 1-Year
  • Olives (variety)
  • Almonds (un-salted)
  • Hickory Farms Summer Sausage
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Hummus
  • French Baguette
  • Crackers

Put on and old standards classic CD – I recommend Frank Sinatra or Michael Buble and you have the perfect Wine and Cheese Party!  Enjoy and Happy New Year!

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