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  • Tips to compose the perfect cheese plate for your next wine party

Wine and cheese? Yes, please! Cheese and wine date back nearly 10,000 years, both made through fermentation and continually evolving with age. It's no wonder that these two deliciously complex delights make a great match.

Recently, scientists determined that the fat in cheese offsets the astringency of alcohol and creates a balanced mouthfeel while also accentuating distinct flavors in the wine. Different styles of cheese will bring out different characteristics in the wine, allowing tasting to mix and match for an action-packed sensory experience.

Follow our tips to compose an ideal cheese plate for your next wine party!

The Selection

Here are some tips to curate the perfect selection of cheeses:

1) Include a variety of cheeses: aged, firm, soft, and blue. Four to six selections are ideal. Also, choose from a variety of cow, goat, and sheep milk cheeses, as each type of milk offers singular characteristics. And don’t overlook vegan nut milk cheeses. There are some excellent ones out there. (We’re particularly fond of Miyoko's Creamery in Sonoma!)

2) To further diversify, consider choosing cheeses from around the world. Or enjoy a “local study” of a variety of cheeses from your area.

3) Portion approximately one ounce of each cheese per person. And if you are featuring a particularly popular cheese, buy a little extra.

The Accompaniments

Feature a selection of breads and crackers that are fairly neutral in taste but varied in texture—and don’t forget a gluten-free option. Other accompaniments for your cheese plate should span the salty-sweet-spicy-umami spectrum.

Jarred condiments such as gourmet chutneys, jams, pickles, and olives require no prep at all. Slice some fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, scatter a mix of sweet and salty nuts, include some cured meats, and you’ve got all you need for countless flavor combinations!

Serving

Now the fun part—assembling your cheese plate!

  • Set out your cheese an hour before guests arrive, so they're at an ideal temperature of 68-72 degrees F.
  • Arrange your selection on a platter that's large enough to allow space for accompaniments and makes it easy for your guests to cut and grab their pieces without feeling like they’re playing a game of Jenga. If you have invited more than a few guests, create several platters to avoid a traffic jam.
  • Provide a separate knife for each cheese, and, if you’re featuring a particularly pungent cheese, you may want to serve it on a separate plate, so it doesn’t overpower the more delicate options.
  • Label each cheese which can be as simple as printing out label strips and affixing them to cocktail sticks to stick into each selection.

The Wines

Feature three to four unique wines—from dry to fruity, light to bold, planning approximately half a bottle per person. Make your party especially memorable by scheduling one of our wine educators for a virtual tasting!

Consider our Sparkling Classics trio featuring 2017 Ultra Brut, 2017 Estate Brut, and 2018 Brut Rosé or enjoy a foursome of our best-loved bubbles and Pinot Noirs with our Château Sampler.

Once you receive your wines, call us at 707.257.0101 extension 122 to arrange a 30-minute guided introduction by our winery experts. After you and your guests learn the basics, mixing and matching the wines with cheese will be even more fun!