How To: Put Together the Ultimate Charcuterie Plate {featuring Boutique Wine Club}

So… I have a confession.

I. LOVE. CHEESE.  Of all kinds. Unconditionally. Head over heels. Wanna marry it. Obsessed.  {Phew, thanks for listening. I feel so much better with that out in the open.}

But, a man cannot live on cheese alone [that’s how the saying goes, right?].  A perfectly-balanced cheese plate needs more than just, well, cheese.  This is when the fancy term “charcuterie” comes in.

Pro tip: it’s pronounced “shar-KOO-ter-ee” — now you can sound very French and sophisticated. You’re welcome.

We wanted to open a couple of special wines that we received from Boutique Wine Club [see our blog post here], and knew they needed to be paired well in order to truly appreciate them.  Thankfully, BWC sends along a great pairing guide, that gives guidance for each wine in their shipment.  Also, most importantly, it emphasizes that the wine should be enjoyed with friends — so, that’s what we did!

Here’s what to do:

1. Gather items from each category:

  • Cheese (2-4 options)
    • Aged [Aged cheddar or Gouda]
    • Firm [Parmigiano-Reggiano or Gruyère]
    • Creamy [Brie or Camembert]
    • Crumbly [Chèvre, a.k.a. goat cheese]
    • Blue [Gorgonzola or Stilton]
  • Cured meats (2-3 options)
    • Prosciutto
    • Capicola
    • Sopressata
    • Salame
  • Nuts (1-2 options)
    • Rosemary Marcona Almonds
    • Truffled almonds
    • Pecans [candied, toasted, or raw]
    • Flavored almonds [we love Giddy Up Nuts]
  • Crackers/Bread (2-3 options)
    • Plain [water crackers/wheat]
    • Flavored [rosemary/Italian herb/garlic/salted/etc]
    • Grilled baguette
  • Jams/Spreads/Other (2-3 options)
    • Garlic Onion Jam
    • Fig jam
    • Honey
    • Grainy mustard
  • Fruit (1-2 options)
    • Pears
    • Apples
    • Olives

2. Plate it pretty

Gather wood cutting boards, white dishes, vintage plates — feel free to mix-and-match!  Cheese knives are a must, as well as little knives for spreading.  If you’re feeling fancy, you can even use a little wooden honey dipper for the honey!

Now, for the fun part — just go for it!  Harness your inner Food Network Star, and arrange cheeses, meats, and crackers as you wish.  Place nuts in small ramekins or vintage tea cups, dollop jams and mustard directly onto the cutting board… you can’t go wrong!

3. Create Combos

The best part about a charcuterie board is that you really can’t mess it up.  Want to spread goat cheese on a cracker, drizzle on some honey, and then dip it in fig jam?  Go for it.  Want to skip the cracker altogether, and use a piece of salami as a mode of transporting cheddar directly to your mouth?  YOU DO YOU.  Just start putting together differrent flavor combinations, and you might be surprised what delicious ideas you come up with.

Don’t forget to consider a few squares of dark chocolate to pair with your reds, too!

Now… drink, enjoy with friends, and let the week roll off.

Also, don’t forget to check out our post on Boutique Wine Club for your chance to sign up for pretty much the best wine club everrr.

Bottoms up, and get cheese-y!

xx, Nicole {LL805}

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