There are few things J and I like more than wine and cheese.  Take us to a fancy restaurant, and we will order a cheese plate.  We will also grab one at the airport Starbucks. Whether it’s lunch, dinner, apps or a late night snack, a few nibbles of different cheeses and a bottle glass of wine sounds like heaven to us.  Here are our tips for creating the perfect cheese plate at home.

1. Include a few different kinds of cheese. The best variety includes something soft, something hard and something strong. Our picks for the plate:

Soft Cheeses

– Brie is our favorite soft-ripened cheese. Slice it and serve cold with a grind or two of sea salt, or let it get really mushy and smear it on a slice of french bread. Check out the Whole Foods Market Brie Guide for ideas.

– Over Brie? Try Sweet Grass Dairy Green Hill. Made in Thomasville, Georgia, this double-cream cheese (sorta like Camembert) will surprise and delight you.

Sweet Grass Dairy Green Hill Cheese
sweet grass dairy green hill cheese.

– We also love goat cheese (chevre), a mild, soft cheese that spreads easily. Feeling Pinterest-y? Try this awesome recipe for Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese spread and wow your friends for sure.

Cinnamon Cranberry Goat Cheese Spread
photo courtesy of Sweet & Salty Southern Comfort

Medium to Hard Cheeses

– Try an aged cheddar, Gouda or even a wedge of  Parmesan. We like Ewephoria Sheep Milk Gouda (mainly because the name is awesome).

Flat Creek Lodge Cheddar – Another local fave (hello, farm to table?).  This firm cheddar is aged a minimum of six months. It’s smooth, not overpowering…and will make you forget bright orange grocery store cheddar forever. Unless that’s your thing. We’re not haters.

Flat Creek Lodge Cheddar
flat creek lodge cheddar.

– Parmesan – Grab a wedge of Parmesan and use a cleaver-style knife to break off a hunk or two.

iGourmet Parmesan Cheese
iGourmet has a great selection of hard, aged cheeses.

Smelly/Stinky Cheeses

– Bleu cheese is delicious on its own and is the perfect end to your cheese course. You seriously only need like two bites, and you’re done. Cabrales and Point Reyes are two of the best varietals.

Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese
“just original blue” cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead in California.

2. Include accompaniments like nuts, fruit and baguette slices. This is the beauty of the cheese platter: you can go simple (a sharp cheddar, a creamy brie, some grapes and a few Triscuits) or deluxe (four to six varieties, walnuts, almonds, honey, marmalade, the works).

Cheese Plate
photo courtesy of The Picky Eater.

3. Can’t do cheese without wine. We definitely don’t believe that expensive wine is better (plus, we’re saving for Loubotuins), so we usually end up with something from Trader Joe’s.  Check out the Trader Joe’s wine guide, and pour your choice into a cute wineglass.

Kate Spade Larabee Wine Glass
these Kate Spade wineglasses are adorable and practical. just try to tip one over.
Crate & Barrel Oregon Stemware
find a glass for your favorite wine in the Crate & Barrel Oregon stemware suite.

4. Bust out your cutest serving pieces.When else are you going to use them?  We love these:

Mariposa Cheese Board
got this Mariposa cheese board as a wedding gift. it’s the most-used piece in my kitchen.
Pottery Barn Cheese Dome and Tools
monogram this Pottery Barn cheese dome for your favorite cheese-lover…or snag it for yourself.
Picnic at Ascot Cheese Board
J busts out this cute Picnic at Ascot cheese board when I come to visit! #hostesswiththemostest

Gah, now we’re hungry for a cheese plate. What’s your favorite wine and cheese combo?

xo

L+J

PS – To make a cheese course lunch, just add a romaine salad tossed with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt and a sliced baguette. Done!