Holiday entertaining always comes back to one thing: the food. While planning and preparing elaborate meals can be intimidating, assembling a cheese plate and finding great-tasting pairings doesn’t have to be. These impressive cheeses will be even more exciting for guests with well-selected beer and wine pairings, not to mention accoutrements. And, it’s the perfect excuse to pull out that cutting board or serving platter from holidays past to show off the selection. Pick one, two, or all of these to make merry this holiday season:
Aged English Cheddar made with real champagne, this cheese is special to the holidays and available at Whole Foods Market.
· Wine: Champagne such Gosset Champagne, festive Presto! prosecco, or affordable (just $9.99) Roger d’Anoia cava
· Beer: IPA
· Accoutrements: Figs and flatbread, fantastic in fondue or soufflé
Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche
Creamy and decadent, this goat cheese screams holidays.
· Wine: Rosé like La Vielle Ferme Rosé
· Beer: Saison
· Accoutrements: Honeycomb, plain wafer crackers, prosciutto, and chocolate-covered almonds
Rogue Creamery Blue
Single-sourced raw milk from cows that graze on the Rogue River. The cheese is creamy with earthy complex notes.
· Wine: Oregon pinot noir
· Beer: Porter
· Accoutrements: Pears, baguette, hanger steak, beets, truffles
Bon Homme Brie
The milk from Normandy has long been recognized as the best in all of France. This Brie uses milk produced when the cows are out on grass giving the cheese rich flavor with slight mushroom overtones.
· Wine: Champagne like De Chanceny Cremant de Loire Brut
· Beer: Pale ale
· Accoutrements: Sour cherry spread, Raincoast Crisps (the cranberry with hazelnuts flavor), truffles. Put in a turkey sandwich to glam it up.
If you live near a Whole Foods Market store, be sure to head there Tuesday night, Dec. 10 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All stores will be hosting Cheese Nights, a new quarterly event series where shoppers can learn while sampling delicious cheeses. This first-ever event will be all about cheese plates, just in time for holiday entertaining!
— Cathy Strange, global cheese buyer for Whole Foods Market