The very day after we placed the last dish in the china cabinet, we threw a Wine & Cheese Tasting party for eight. It was splendid!
We let the cheese monger at Southern Season recommend five cheeses and I picked out a sixth. I put the cheeses on fig leaves picked from our trees. The cheese selection was perfect!
Appalachian, a firm cheese made from raw cow’s milk
Abbaye de Belloc, a semi-hard cheese made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk, still made by Benedictine Monks in France following a recipe centuries old
Rogue River Blue, a gorgeous semi soft blue cheese, wrapped in grape leaves (oh my goodness, this was amazing!)
Capricho de Cabra with Pepper, one of the best goat cheeses I’ve ever had, tangy and melt-in-your mouth creamy
Morbier AOC, a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from France with a distinct vein of ash running through the middle
Fromager d’Affinois, a soft, double-cream cheese. This one was a favorite and we finished it off the next day.
With a tight budget, we picked wine from our own rack. Unfortunately, we were out of all our favorite dry whites and these were on the sweet side. They still went beautifully with the cheeses.
The whites: Lillet, Riesling
The red: Cabernet Sauvignon
The non-alcoholic: Sparkling Cider
Even though there was no cooking, it still took well over an hour to plate everything because we chose the serving ware as we went. I’ll remember that the next time and plan ahead. And of course the cheese was set out at least an hour before to come to room temperature for best flavor. We used fig leaves from our trees in the back yard for the cheese trays.
I had printed up tasting note sheets for everyone to fill out but we didn’t use them. We just ate and talked and had a jolly good time commenting about favorite combinations of cheese with wine and accompaniments.
It was early afternoon and the party was a success. After having plenty of cheese and wine, we looked over the table and calculated that all we needed was another bottle or two of wine and there would have been plenty for a party of 12. Well, we’d need at least another pound of bacon too.
I’m glad I documented the party so it will be easy to duplicate again.
We made the baguette and bread sticks from scratch. I’ll post the recipes with photos next time we make them. The bread sticks made a great centerpiece!
We finished with a selection of chocolates. I could only afford a couple artisan chocolates so we carefully sliced them for sharing. The Vanilla Lavender and Cinnamon Mocha were delicious! The next time I go back to Southern Seasons, I’ll get more of those and post proper credit.
It was an excellent meal with excellent company. Cheers to all!
CreativeLive has terrific classes, especially the class this weekend – Andrew Scrivani’s class on food photography. CreativeLive airs classes free to view live, which is amazingly generous. And then if you love the class and want to view later, the classes can be purchased for a reasonable fee.
Andrew Scrivani is a wonderful food photographer and I’m really enjoying his class! He has such a fantastic breezy way of teaching and the knowledge he shares is clear, interesting (of course! ♥food) and FUN. He had a Facebook contest today, Photograph your Lunch, and he will select three photographs for critique tomorrow. There are so many wonderful entries I’m sure mine will be lost in the shuffle. I thoroughly enjoyed setting up this shot of my lunch and applying some of Andrew’s excellent photography tips.
It was rich to my soul to be able to reach up and pluck a ripe fig from the tree in our backyard. The chicken with ginger spread and thyme was delicious, especially with the lightly sweet current and mace bun.