* Estimate 1.5 oz. cheese per person when serving a
selection of cheeses. If more than three cheeses are used, reduce portions to 1
* If there is no main meal being served, increase the
portions or portion size.
Take into consideration the time of day as
well. People tend to eat more in the evening than mid-afternoon.
Here in the US we tend to serve a cheese
plate before a meal, as an appetizer. In Europe cheese plates are more likely
to be served after a meal, to be presented with their finest wines.
* Allow cheese to breathe out of the packaging and to
get to room temperature before serving, usually about one hour. Cheese that is
too cold lacks flavor.
* If you slice cheese in advance, cover it with
plastic so it does not dry out.
* Serve a variety of cheeses. Take into consideration
different milks - cow/goat/sheep. Consider texture - semisoft, soft, hard. Add
a blue...Combine sharp, mild, smooth, piquant.
* In the warmer summer months, serve lighter, younger,
fresh tasting cheeses.
In the colder months, harder cheeses, washed
rind cheeses, and blue cheese.
* In addition to doing a vertical tasting, where you
progress from lighter to stronger cheeses, another option is a horizontal
tasting. Serve a variety of cheddar from different countries, or a medley of
goat cheeses, from soft to hard. Try a simple selection of sheep cheese,
Pecorinos, with different herbs and textures. There are many ways to explore
new cheeses of the world.
Some ways to cut cheese:
* cut a wedge from a wheel and slice it sideways to form triangles.
* cut a wheel of semi-hard or hard cheese in half and chisel it out with
a sharp knife.
* shave cheese for texture and more delicate flavors.
Plain crackers/bread work well with strong
Flavored/herb crackers/bread can be paired
with simple neutral cheeses.
Fresh fruits in season, berries are
Dried fruits – apricots, figs, raisins,
dates, pears and plums.
Jams, conserves, chutneys
Olives – both the green and black provide a
nice salty contrast to fresh cheeses.
Nuts – walnuts, pecans work well, even better
Flavored or plain honey. Raw honeycomb, great
with blue cheese.
Sardines, wonderful with sheep’s milk hard
A good rule of thumb – for delicate wines,
serve delicate cheeses.
More robust wines can handle stronger cheeses
with concentrated flavors.
There are a wide variety of cheeses to share
with your favorite wines, but there are no hard rules, eat and drink what you enjoy.
There is a strong surge in beer and cheese
A few cheeses are being made with the
addition of hops.
Ports, stouts and IPA’s work well with most
We also do many scotch and whiskey pairing
Aged gouda, strong blue cheeses pair well
with smoky scotches.
Please contact us if you have any questions or would like assistance in planning a party selection.