- Various cheese wedges or blocks
- Fresh avocado
- Honey or honeycomb
- Preserves or jam ideas: fig, cherry, apricot, spicy pepper
- Fruit ideas: apples, cherries, blueberries, white nectarines, grapes, dried dates or figs
- Thinly slices proscuitto and/or hard salami
- Mixed olives
- Nut ideas: smoked almonds, candied walnuts, marcona almonds
- Toasted bread slices and crackers
Tips for Getting Started:
• Cheese comes in all textures and firmnesses, start with your cheese (or cheeses) of choice for your wine and build the extras around it. Plan on one ounce of each cheese per guest per hour.
• Use a fresh avocado in place of a soft cheese for a Southern California twist.
• Fresh and dried fruit provide a bridge between wine and cheese, as do chutneys and jams. Try to mirror the wines you’re serving: If the wine has cherry aromas, serve with dried cherries or not-too-sweet cherry chutney.
• Nuts bring out the nuttiness of cheese even more. Honey is a welcome touch, especially if you’re serving a dessert wine. If you’re serving red wine, a crack of black pepper will tie the wine and cheese together.
• Forget serving squishy white bread and saltines. Instead, serve fresh-baked crusty bread and the best artisanal crackers you can find.
• Ideas: Spreads, jams, honey, sweet or spicy preserves, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, olives, prosciutto, hard salami, other cured meats, crackers, and bread.
1. Remove all of the cheese from the fridge about an hour before serving. While cheeses are still cold, slice the hard cheeses and crumble any softer ones.
2. Cut up any fruits, meats, and bread.
3. Arrange your cheese board with better paired flavors next to each other (like olives and blue cheese, or brie and peaches) and serve with your bread and crackers.
4. Open your chilled wine and enjoy!