There’s something special about enjoying a warm summer night with a glass of wine paired with delicious snacks and small bites. A great way to spend time with your family and friends, or even a yummy start to your meal, everyone knows wine and cheese are the perfect pair. When visiting upscale restaurants and wineries, you’ve probably noticed the elegance and craft that goes along with these pairings, especially when they bring out a Instagram-worthy charcuterie board. Although sometimes you may only have time to throw together some cheese and crackers, creating a decadent charcuterie board is a fun way to learn more about wine pairings and also use your creative side! Whether your charcuterie board is for a large dinner party full of guests or just for you and your significant other, use these tips to help create one that will impress and make a lasting impact.
Both wine and beer go great with a charcuterie board, but he classic glass of wine and cheese is our favorite option. Wines can enhance the flavor experience of the meats and cheeses you choose, so make sure to have a few options. Different types of wine also go together better with different cheese and meat combinations, so we recommend either sticking to one style or having a few different options if your charcuterie varies! The rule-of-thumb is that bold-flavored meats and cheese go with bold-flavored alcohol, so for example red wine pairs great with blue cheese, cheddar, and salami. On the other hand, white wine is generally paired with lighter flavors like goat cheese and prosciutto.
The perfect charcuterie board should have a wide assortment of cheeses to choose, not just one! There’s such a variety of cheese available at most grocery stores, think about trying something new for your next charcuterie board. Mild, medium, and bold flavors allow your guests to pick and choose their favorites or even step out of their comfort zone. Also remember that textures have a hand in the different elements of your charcuterie board, for instance brie is much softer. A cheese combination of aged cheddar, Gruyere, Brillat-Savarin, goat cheese, and Gorgonzola provides a wide range of options!
Charcuterie technically only refers to the meats included, although most charcuterie boards are thought of as including all the items presented. Meats are a great way to mix up the textures and add a more substantial element to the meal. The same goes for the meats involved as the cheeses too: There should be a wide assortment from mild to bold flavors. This allows everyone to mix up their options and try new combinations!
The perfect charcuterie board doesn’t just stop at meats and cheeses. There are tons of other fun elements you can add to really impress your guests, like fresh fruit, jams or preserves, pickled items, and even other spreads. Stacking meats and cheeses on top of a crispy cracker and piling up some other flavors creates an entirely new taste! We love including fig spreads and fresh grapes to be enjoyed. Honey and sliced apples also are a huge crowd pleaser. The more tastes and textures, the better!
Although the food should be the focal point of your charcuterie board, part of the appreciation for a great one comes with the aesthetic appeal. This is why high-end charcuterie boards are usually set up in a strategic way and feature a unique board, like rustic wood or shiny silver platters. Make sure to grab a board that reflects your style. For example if you want to write the names of cheese in chalk, use a slate board! There are tons of options so don’t be afraid to explore your local stores to find something perfect.