Do you get stuck choosing cheese? Follow my 5 tips for a stylish cheeseboard and banish the rabbit in headlights look next time you’re at a cheese counter. A couple of well-chosen cheeses, an easy wine and some quality bread – superb!
Today’s board, through simple, was a great reward after working hard in the garden. The ivory white cheese is Cilantro’s Billy the Kid Goat Cheddar, the orange-blue Talbot Forest’s Waihi Blue.
Cilantro Artisan cheese from Hamilton
Talbot Forest from Geraldine
My 5 top tips to easy cheeseboard
1. Choose contrasting colours, shapes or textures. I paired fruity, hard and flinty with creamy, fudgy and sharp. The antique ivory of the goat’s cheddar played well against the stunning orange of the blue. One was goat’s milk, the other cow’s. Also look for round versus wedge. You get the picture.
2. Try something different – Surprise yourself and try a cheese you’ve never tasted, you’ll have more fun discussing it with your mates. You can always pair it with something well known. There’s nothing wrong with Kikorangi, it won the People’s Choice award, but maybe hunt out other NZ blue cheeses – there are some gems out there or try a Goat’s Brie rather than the standard Brie.
3. Serve bread and encourage your mates to taste the cheese plain, using the bread to cleanse the palatte between cheeses, rather than as a cheese delivery mechanism. Of course anything goes but I love it when people eat with their fingers – food just seems to taste better eaten by the hand. If you just serve bread you don’t need crackers- keep it simple.
4. Pick an easy wine to match. If in doubt serve a nice light chardonnay – it’ll work with a range of cheeses. Of course try other matches, but don’t worry too much, cheese and wine matches are hard to predict. I read that cheap wine often pairs better with cheese. I like that rationale, spend more money on cheese!
5. Get them out of the fridge hours before – I mean that – hours not a piddling 20 minutes. I left a Waimata Brie out of the fridge for 2 days, I’d forgotten it, and I tell you it was superb. Sue from Whitestone cheeses thought it good to go to Cheesefest in the evening, as the cheese would’ve warmed up properly after sitting out all day. A great take home tip from a Kiwi cheese icon!
I hope that helps, a simple cheeseboard can be easy to put together and fantastic on the table.
Other posts you might like:
|Secrets to a great cheese board – Shape, texture, progression (part 1)||Secrets to a great cheese board – Prep, place and accessories (part 2)||Secrets to a great cheese board – Wine and cheese (part 3)|