How to Create the Ultimate Wine & Cheese Board for Your Dinner Party
Charcuterie boards are trending! Traditionally, this platter is filled with aged cheeses and cured meats. Much like an antipasti platter, you arrange bite size treats, and your guests choose morsels to place on their plates.
My board, is a mixture of both charcuterie and antipasti. It’s not shy on cheese or meats, and has a special stuffed fig recipe you’ll find at the bottom of this post. I had a lot of fun arranging this platter. What would be the first thing you’d reach for? Marinated olives, crunchy bread sticks, radishes rubbed in sea salt, chunks of fresh shaved Parmesan, prosciutto or Italian salami?
For all offerings on my buffet table, I keep portion size at 2 to 3 ounces of meat per person, and 5 to 6 ounces on all the other appys.
What Do You Drink with Charcuterie?
Wines that taste best with charcuterie boards are Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Bordeaux style wines – any vino that is low alcohol, fruity and higher acid. For whites, I recommend champagne or sparkling wines. There should be one bottle for every pair of guests.
For the cheese – arguably the best part of any charcuterie board – sheep’s milk cheeses tend to go best with red wine. A good rule of thumb is that the older the wine, the firmer the cheese should be. Unless it’s truffle infused, I don’t think brie is necessarily the right choice. Gouda and aged cloth-bound cheddar are what go into my shopping cart when I’m planning a romantic evening.
As you go to assemble the board, little bowls of marinated olives, the little pickles known as cornichons, nuts and dips are always welcome – as are the occasional edible flower: think roses, deep purple sage flowers, pansies and violets. Hibiscus flowers are also as pretty to look at as they are to nosh on.
Fresh Figs Appetizer
8 ripe figs
4 ounces Blue cheese, crumbled, room temperature, about 1 cup
2 tablespoons sour cream
Honey for drizzling
Cut each fig in half, horizontally. Use a spoon or fork to mix softened (room temperature) blue cheese with sour cream. Use the sour cream to make the blue cheese spreadable. Spoon the blue cheese onto the figs. Drizzle with a bit of honey.
Serve the figs at room temperature.