So here we are in December at the end of a very strange year. Christmas will be a little different this time as we adjust to the new world of limited social contct and celebration.
As we hunker down and spend more time at home, we have to remember that this is actually quite normal in the fall and winter when the weather usually dictates our lifestyle and habits. But we will still manage to get together and socialise.
So, luckily there is still cheese to be enjoyed!
When planning a get together, the questions many customers ask are “what kind should I get, and how much do I need ?” Well, it depends.
We usually put the customer through something like the Spanish Inquisition.
How many people are you serving? Any allergies? Are you wanting to pair the cheeses with wines from a particular country?
The answers are many and varied.
Normally plan to serve a minimum of 100gm of each cheese per person, and more if they are Turophiles (lovers of cheese). Try to avoid picking more than 5 cheeses otherwise you run the risk of confusing your guests, especially after a few glasses of wine!
Ideally you want a soft cheese, a semi soft cheese, a hard cheese, perhaps a goat or sheep cheese, and unless anyone is allergic to penicillin, a blue cheese. There are always one or two guests who love blue cheese, so forget your own personal preferences. Trust me.
Remember, there are no hard and fast rules. It doesn’t matter if that bottle of wine cost $50, if you don’t like it, that’s what matters. It’s just a bottle of wine that cost $50.
Although bread or crackers are important to the overall enjoyment of cheese, I always like to taste the cheese on its own. First rule of thumb is, always serve at room temperature. This means taking the cheese out of the fridge to let it breathe, absolute minimum 1 hour before your guests arrive.
If you are doing a wine and cheese pairing then you might want to pair the wines with cheese from the same country. French wines with French cheeses etc. However, Chilean and Argentinian wines are very popular as are Okanagan and Californian wines so you might want to match these with the wine type eg Cabernet, Merlot.
There can be a bit of snobbery about which wines are best but the fact is, in many cases it has nothing to do with price. Really, the point is to experiment and enjoy so until next time, Say Cheese!