The holiday entertaining season is almost upon us. Do it in style with this Old River Road Wine Cask Lazy Susan ($84.99). While your guests are noshing on delicious gourmet cheeses and sipping wine, they will be delighted by your impressive home decor statement piece. Here are some tips for creating a cheese plate.
About five different cheeses is the ideal for any size gathering. You’ll need an ounce of cheese for every guest. For example, for eight people, you’ll need 2 1/2 pounds of cheese. Store the cheese in the refrigerator, wrapped in wax paper, then covered in plastic wrap, to lock in moisture.
Take the cheese out of the refrigerator about an hour before guests arrive to let it reach room temperature. Just before serving, unwrap the cheeses and place them on the wooden wine cask clockwise from mildest to strongest. Encourage guests to sample in this order so they don’t overwhelm their palates. Leave about an inch of space between the cheeses and include a knife for each. Big blocks look more impressive than slices. Write the names of the cheeses on toothpick signs to identify them.
Unless you are specifically having a wine party, it’s fine to serve just two: a white (like Sauvignon or Riesling) to go with the milder cheeses and a red (like Pinot Noir) for the more intense cheeses. If you’re serving blue cheese, make the white wine sparkling and sweet (Moscato is a good choice).