Wednesday, January 7, 2015

how to make a fantastic cheese plate

as a total little bit of a wine-o, i've had many a stellar cheese plate. they make me feel so luxurious. there's something so fancy about cheese with unpronounceable names spread out beautifully on a platter accompanied by a little vino. i often get cheese plates when i dine out, but making one at home is definitely just as fun.

to make your own cheese plate at home, i'd start with a tray, platter or cutting board that will give you a beautiful presentation. after all, we're going out of our way to make a cheese plate here, ok, so just play along & admit that aesthetics are kinda relevant. if they weren't relevant, you're just a girl in your sweatpants eating cheese out of the fridge, watching netflix, alone... not that that's ever happened.

remember: a cheese plate doesn't have to break the bank. if you keep some of your favorites on hand, setting out a few slices for entertaining or even a night in with a bottle of pinot grigio is no big deal. there are a wide variety of great priced cheddars, goudas and goat cheeses - head to your grocery store & experiment!

a cheese plate is about variety and balance. to start, select a hard cheese (cheddar, romano, parmesan, gruyere), a soft cheese (goat, brie, boursin) & a blue cheese (gorgonzola). with your cheeses selected, move on to some garnish. again, focus on a balance of flavors and textures, both salty & sweet.

sweet: grapes, fig compote, dried pineapples/apricots/berries, honey, jam.

salty: thinly sliced deli meat (chicken, turkey, beef), prosciutto, summer sausage, walnuts, pecans, almonds, crackers, wheat thins, balsamic vinegar + a small baguette for dipping, olives, biscotti.

remember the part about not breaking the bank with the cheese? don't feel like you have to spend heavily to get a delicious wine either. to start, read my post on my 3 favorite cheap wines under $10 - you can't go wrong with any of these!

to pair with light cheeses, try fresh, robust, light wines like pinot grigio, moscato or chardonnay. for firmer cheeses, try a pinot noir, port, bordeaux or red blend. again, remember to balance flavors and acidity. if a wine is bold and deep, complement it with a smooth, rich gouda.

for a wine that will pair beautifully with a variety of cheeses, try a dry riesling or champagne.

if you're planning to serve your cheese plate for more than a few friends, account for 2-4 ounces per person, or, if you have cheese fiend friends like mine, maybe a little more. be sure to have small serving knives available for the softer, spreadable cheeses, as well as small dishes/containers for honey, jam and mustard/vinegar. pre-slice some of the harder cheeses, or leave a block with a sharper knife so guests can slice up some more.

a cheese plate doesn't have to be for an event or party. sometimes, enjoying one with a friend over a glass of pinot grigio on a rainy saturday night is the way to go - and nobody judges you for polishing off a block of gruyere. cheers!


  1. Brb, going to buy some cheese!

  2. I'm going to make one this weekend. Thanks for the tips!

  3. So glad that you posted this! Nothing quite like a good cheese tray :) Yum!

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

  4. Great post! I love your point about the little details and being sure to keep serving sizes in mind. How about serving your cheese plate on this cutting board? ;) http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/totally-bamboo-alabama-state-shaped-cutting-serving-board/1041873540


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