Cheese and wine – a match made in heaven and one of life’s finest culinary pleasures we all so enjoy.
Here’s Food & Home Entertaining’s guide on how to host the perfect cheese and wine pairing party in the comfort of your own home.
First things first: let’s get a little cheesy, shall we?
How to pick the right cheese for your cheese and wine pairing party
With so many cheeses available, where do you even start when picking the perfect cheese for your party? Easy. Choose between a variety of hard, strong, soft, mild and creamy cheeses. Try:
• Mature Cheddar
• Goat’s cheese
How to choose the perfect wine for your cheese and wine pairing party
When choosing the perfect pair, it is important to get a feel for the cheese first. Think about the distinct characteristics that set this cheese apart from others and what flavours will complement this cheese?
Tip: Sweet wines (like Port) match a salty partner, like blue cheese, perfectly.
Soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert pair perfectly with Champagne or MCC, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and White Port.
Cheese like Edam, Emmental and a young Cheddar (semi-hard cheese) pair well with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Merlot and Port.
Hard cheeses like mature Cheddar, mature Gruyère and mature Gouda are great companions to red Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.
How to rustle up the perfect cheeseboard for your party:
Once you have your cheese and wine sorted, it is time to prepare the cheeseboard.
1. Start by placing your cheeses on a beautiful platter.
2. Use a selection of fresh meats to pair well with each cheese. Salami sticks, salami and prosciutto work great.
3. Add a selection of accompaniments that are sweet and offer an array of textures to contrast or complement its paring cheese – the sweetness helps to cut through the richness of the cheeses. Try adding pumpkin-seed brittle, fresh pears, tinned baby apples, fresh figs and roasted grapes.
4. Surprise your guests by adding baby radishes and caperberries to your platter. Radishes will lend colour and a dash of spiciness and caperberries will add complexity and a tangy flavour.
5. Finally, you need to “carry” your selection on a crunchy base. Try these: instead of using biscuits or Melba Toast, we love an option of low-carb seed crackers. Sun-dried tomato squares also offer a crunch and the perfect savoury-sweetness.
All that is left to do now is to invite your guests and cosy up indoors with a large glass of vino and a gorgeous, rich selection of cheeses with perfectly paired accompaniments.