The perfect cheese plate
Whether for appetizers, dinner or dessert, a cheese plate is a classic and a highlight of your table. With little effort, a sophisticated cheese plate can be easily arranged. Check out our tips for the perfect composition, matching side dishes, and the right wine for a great evening.
Overall, about 5 to 8 different cheeses should be featured. Rustic wooden planks or slate and marble slabs, are perfect for serving.
The best cheeses
Ideally there should be five to eight different cheeses in different degrees of hardness and wort. For example, one from each group:
● a mild soft cheese, for example Camembert or Brie ● a semi-hard cheese such as Morbier, Reblochon or young Gouda ● a hard cheese like Cheddar, Gruyère or Emmentaler ● a ripened hard cheese like Comté or old Gouda ● a goat or sheep's milk cheese, for example Pecorino, Bûche du Pilat or Manchego ● a blue cheese such as Gorgonzola or Rochebaron ● or a red cheese such as Taleggio, Munster or Chaumes
Harmonious and unusual side dishes
If the cheese plate is served as a main course, pair it with bread. A classic baguette, focaccia or flatbread make good choices. Good olive oil, a little butter or seasoned cream cheese can be served as an option. The following side dishes can also compliment any cheese board:
● crackers, mini pretzels and breadsticks ● salted or spiced popcorn ● various chutneys and relishes ● classic mustard, served with fig mustard, orange mustard or Dijon ● balsamic cream ● walnut or fruit bread ● olives, Parma ham, pickled tomatoes, artichoke hearts or cherry tomatoes ● fresh fruit like Grapes, sliced apples or pears, ripe apricots, honeydew melons ● Dried fruits, such as dates, cranberries or figs ● at least two kinds of high-quality nuts, such as smoked almonds or roasted walnuts
The perfect wine accompaniment
Cheese and wine are like pasta and sauce: they make the perfect pair. Here are some simple suggestions when it comes to wine and cheese.
Wine and cheese from the same region understand each other in terms of taste. Mild cheese pairs well with light wine. With spicy varieties, it may be a heavier wine. Full-bodied Barolo goes well with Parmesan, or dry Riesling with red cheese. The more flavorful the cheese is, the sweeter the wine should be. The tannins contained in the wine also play a role: the harder and more mature the cheese, the higher the tannin content in the wine can be. As a rule of thumb, the wine should always be based on the strongest cheese on the plate, if only one variety of white is being served. This creates an exciting composition for every cheese. Even for beginners, there are simple basic rules for selecting wine and cheese that everyone will enjoy.