Tis the season for all the parties and all the hosting. Throughout the fall I have been hosting mainly homegating and game day watch parties but for the holidays, I decided that I wanted to kick it up a notch. You all know by now that your girl loves a good themed party! For my 30th birthday Cameron and I went on a European trip and France by far was one of my favorite stops. The shopping was amazing of course but my greatest take away from our time there was the food and wine…oh the wine!!! For my holiday cocktail party I am trading in my texans t-shirt and sneaks for a cocktail dress and French cheese and wine for a fun French inspired holiday twist for my guests. If you want to class-up your next house party with a little French flair, check out my 3 tips for creating the perfect cheese board.
1.Pick A Good Variety
A good cheese board should have a good mix of cheeses of varying style, appearance, and flavor. For fun I selected my cheeses from different regions in France. Just like your party guests, mix it up a little! A good rule of thumb when purchasing your various cheeses is to get about 2 oz. per person. If you are also serving fruit, wine, bread, or other accompaniments you can factor in a little less cheese per person.
On my board I have blue cheese from the Auverge region which is a hard and intense cheese. Great on top of a salad and just as delicious on a cracker, with almonds or lightly toasted nuts, or with pears.
I included a traditional fresh Chevre goat cheese from Poitou Charentes on my cheese board which is great on a baguette, cracker or even melting.
Probably my favorite addition to my cheese board was the Double Crème Brie from the Normandy region of France. The milky and buttery taste of this cheese is EVERYTHING! Bake it and slide your cracker in that warm brie with a glass of white wine and your night is instantly made!
The 4th cheese that I included and Cameron’s favorite is the Saint André® soft ripened triple cream cheese from the Normandy coast. The salty and creamy taste is perfect to pair with fruit or chocolate and a must with white wine.
2. Serve It Up Right
Set your cheese out early so that it can adjust to room temperature. This allows their flavor and aroma to be more intense. For hard cheeses, pre cut the slices so that guests don’t have to hack at a block of cheese with a thin cracker! As far as accompaniments to serve with your cheese, toast, crackers, and baguettes are great for their simple flavors. Fresh or dry fruits provide a sweet or tart contrast to the saltiness and cream of the cheese.
3. Pair It With Wine
Naturally I had to pair my French cheeses with French wine. For hard aged cheeses like the blue cheese, pair it with a nice red wine such as Légende Rouge at just under $20 or George Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2015 ($10-$12). For softer cheeses great French white wine pairings such as Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuissé 2015 ($25-$35) and Légende Blanc ($18) are great options.
Be unique and try something new as you plan your parties for hosting this holiday season! Doing the research and trying the different cheeses was half the fun of creating the cheese board for my guests to enjoy!