I have always loved wine and cheese and more recently, my love of Chardonnay has turned into a love of Cabernet. (I know! From one dry on the color wheel to another!) A well known local restaurant in downtown South Bend recently closed their doors and in its place came a Tapas restaurant. We called up our besties and tried it out two weekends ago. Mark and Court ordered a bottle of sweet wine while Dave and I ordered a bottle of Cabernet from Spain, the owner’s recommendation for what we liked. If you love wine or want to dive in a little more to experience something new, I highly recommend going to a wine bar or restaurant with a great wine selection and ask to speak to the wine specialist (aka sommelier).
We begin by ordering the cheese plate and as our waitress opens the bottle and has us sample it, I take a small taste and just melt in my chair. It IS that good. Then we all cheers to good friends and enjoy our night out. The cheese plate came shortly after and it was impressive! It gave me the idea for the holiday parties I was attending the weekend after and so I took notes and here is what I came up with for how to create the perfect holiday cheese plate that you can bring with you to your holiday parties and swoon your host and the guests!
- A great board (I took a wooden cutting board and put brown parchment paper over it for a Rustic look)
- Artisan cheeses from Whole Foods Market (they have such a big selection!)
- Honey, local
- Toasted nuts
- Dark Chocolate
- An assortment of crackers
- Olives (not shown)
See below for some amazing Cheese Board finds I discovered that you can pick up online for your next cheese plate!
- Start by cutting all the cheeses. I like to cut about half of each cheese brick, then leave the rest of the brick on the board for a beautiful look. Put cheese to side.
- Lay your parchment paper down or prepare your cheese board.
- Start by laying one cheese in the center of the plate, then scatter them so they are dispersed on the plate to where it fits your liking.
- Then add the nuts, the dark chocolate and finally, the crackers. For a final touch, sprinkly some sea salt or Himalayan salt over the dark chocolate then drizzle the honey over a cheese, I chose the mild cheese for this.
- The key to a cheese plate is that you want a mixture of textures, flavors and items that a diverse group could eat. For example, having both a mild cheese, a sharp cheese and even the extreme bleu cheese for those cheese lovers out there. Feel free to do this with the chocolates to by adding white, milk and dark so everyone can enjoy it. Then, do a little experiment to see what your family likes (what’s eaten and what’s left over) so then next time you can cater your cheese board to your family and what they like!
- Most of all, bring your cheese plate with you with a sense of pride that you put your creativity into this artwork. It truly is, as everything on the board is a choice and it all starts at the grocery store where you get to choose everything including the type of toasted nuts you get! Enjoy
My Favorite Cheese Plate Finds!