Serve Your Guests in Style: Charcuterie Boards and Wine
HOW TO ARRANGE A DELECTABLE CHEESE BOARD
Complement your favorite wine picks with a selection of cheeses, meats, olives, nuts, and other goodies for munching. Charcuterie boards are perfect for the holidays or everyday entertaining, and they’re a delicious addition to any gathering. The word “charcuterie” originally referred to the culinary art of preparing meat products such as bacon, salami, ham, sausage, and pâtés, but it has evolved into including cheeses and other accompaniments that pair well with meats and cheeses, such as fresh or dried fruit, olives, nuts, and spreads.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE YOUR BOARD
Follow the tips below to create an attractive and delicious array of appetizers.
Start with the board. Cheese boards are typically assembled on a slate, marble, or wooden tray, but you can also use a plate, a cutting board, or even a baking sheet. Any flat surface will work.
Select the cheeses. Try to include a variety of flavors and textures by selecting cheeses from different families (see below).
Add some charcuterie, or cured meats. Prosciutto, salami, sopressata, chorizo, or mortadella are all good options.
Add something savory. Think olives, pickles, roasted peppers, artichokes, tapenades, almonds, cashews, or spicy mustards.
Add some sweet. Think seasonal and dried fruits, candied nuts, preserves, honey, chutney, or even chocolate.
Offer a variety of breads. Sliced baguette, bread sticks, and a variety of crackers in different shapes, sizes, and flavors.
Finish it off with some garnishes. This is a great way to give your cheese board a seasonal touch. Use fresh herbs or additional fruits to give your board the look and feel you want.
HOW TO SELECT CHEESES
A good rule of thumb is to include cheeses from a variety of different families. Some basic families include:
Aged: Aged Cheddar, Gruyere, Gouda.
Soft: Brie, Camembert, Goat.
Firm: Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Edam.
Blue: Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton.
Use cheese markers to label the cheeses so everyone knows what they’re getting.