Whether it’s for before or after a meal, a carefully curated cheese platter is the perfect pairing to a glass of wine. There are so many ways to do a cheese platter, but if you want to have your guests in awe of your cheese platter creating skills, there are a few things you need to consider. Cheese can be expensive- so after you’ve gone to the effort of buying everything you need, you don’t want to just throw it all together.
How much cheese is enough?
While they’re the centerpiece of the platter, you don’t want to go overboard and overwhelm your guests with too many tastes. It’s best to stick to 2-3 types of cheeses if you’re serving your platter on a small place, or up to five if it’s a huge board. Also consider non-dairy cheeses if you will have vegan or lactose-intolerant guests.
Let’s talk about texture
You need to consider everyone’s tastes (and not just choose three of the same cheese because it’s your favourite, even if it’s tempting). When choosing, you should select a mixture of cheeses- soft and hard, with mild and strong flavours. Here are some hints on the texture of cheeses:
- Soft: brie, camembert
- Medium/Hard: swiss, gouda
- Hard: parmesan, aged cheddar
What else goes on a platter?
While cheese is delicious, it needs to be accompanied by sweets and/or savouries. If you’re preparing a cheese platter to be eaten before a meal, consider savouries such as a variety of cold meats, and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil. If the cheese platter is for after a meal, you might want to include things like candied nuts, honey, or dark chocolate.
Cheese platters are a perfect entertaining option all year round, in warmer weather you can add fruits like pear, strawberries, blueberries and grapes, while in the colder months, you can create a spread of nuts, preserves and olives.
How to serve
Cheese is best when it’s served at room temperature, take it out of the fridge an hour before serving (unless it’s a warm day, then take it out 20-30 minutes prior to serving). When out of the fridge, cover with a damp tea towel to prevent the cheese drying out and losing its taste. The ‘best before’ date on a cheese indicates when the cheese maker predicts the cheese will be ‘ripe’ for eating. It’s best to ask for guidance when shopping if you’re unsure.
You’ve done all the hard work, now it’s the fun part. Making your cheese platter look Instagram worthy.
It’s best to serve on a wooden board, but if you don’t have access to one, a large plate or platter will do.
When arranging all the components, keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t overcrowd it- leave enough space for guests to easily cut and serve the food
- Don’t try to fit all the biscuits on the board- it will look messy, instead scatter a few and keep the rest nearby to refill when they’re low
- If you’ve gone to the trouble of finding food that matches the tastes of the cheeses, serve it next to or scatter over the top of the cheese they match
- Cut cheeses in half or take out a wedge and take lids of dips so guests aren’t intimated and waiting for someone to make the first slice.
Pairing with wine
Everyone has their favourites, but if you want to bring out the taste of both the cheese and wine, try these pairings:
- Mozzarella and Sauvignon Blanc
- Gouda and Merlot
- Cheddar and Cabernet Sauvignon
- Parmesan and Chianti
- Ricotta and Pinot Grigio
- Brie and Chardonnay
- Camembert and Champagne
- Blue and Riesling
Wanting to impress your guests even more?
Wine Design offers customised labelling of wine. Our customised labels are high quality and we offer a range of designs that will suit your needs. Contact Wine Design or drop by our office at Pokolbin to chat to us!