I’ve talked about my wine club many times on the blog (here, here and here). This month’s meeting was hosted by yours truly and I’m so excited to share my theme with you and give you some idea’s for those who want to host their own “Charcuterie and Cheese” wine pairing party.
So you may be asking yourself what the hell is charcuterie? Well I’ve got a thorough run down about it here, but for times sake, aside from being a really hard word to pronounce the true definition is simply cured meat. Stuff like salami, prosciutto, pepperoni etc.
I’m a huge fan of charcuterie and love pairing it with my favorite wines and cheeses, so when I found myself hosting wine club I thought why not go with a theme that infuses my love of this simple yet complex appetizer.
The preparation of charcuterie and cheese is simple, the hardest part is just figuring out what cheese and meats pair well together and then figuring out how you will present them on your board. The presentation is key!
But fear not loyal readers, If you’re interested in throwing your own “Cheers to Charcuterie and Cheese” wine party, following these easy steps will ensure that you have a successful event.
- Educate Yourself– Now this was actually the funnest part of throwing the party…Like wines that pair well with certain foods, there are types of cured meats and cheeses that pair well together as well. While I love charcuterie and cheese I wanted to be able to speak to it more knowledgeably at my wine club, so I headed to Whole Foods (you can go to any specialty grocery store in your city) to learn. Not only did I get an education on how to pair the meat and cheese but I got to taste test them all too. Once you know what pairs well and you get a flavor profile set up everything else is a piece of cake. Taking pictures of my selections and writing notes also helped when I was ready to present the boards.
- Decide on a Theme- It’s so easy to get carried away what with all of the options you have to choose from so decide how many boards you want to present so that it doesn’t get out of hand. I shared three different flavor boards – a mild and buttery board, a middle of the road board, and a “funky” board that had the most pungent and distinct tasting cheese and charcuterie. I then picked wines that went well with those flavor notes. There’s so many different ways you can create a board – you can arrange them by region, by texture, or by smell. Get creative and remember there’s really no wrong way to do it.
- Shake Things Up a Bit– There’s so many ways to “shake things up” , I chose to head to the Whole Foods salad bar and add different flavored olives, pickled peppers and green beans. I didn’t want to play it safe so I chose garnishes that you’d never think to put together and guess what? It was a SUCCESS! The girls hadn’t ever tried the pickled green beans and loved it instantly. You can shake things up by adding an exotic fruit or a veggie that’s in season but rarely gets cooked.
- Keep it Cute– Play with how you place the food on your boards, make sure that the board isn’t overloaded with “stuff” and if you’re adding things other than charcuterie and cheese each garnish should have its own bowl and spoon. Have signs detailing what is what so that if guests like a certain dish they can make note of it to buy it later. You can do this by cutting out tiny flags and wrapping them around a toothpick and sticking the toothpick in that particular item. Get creative and use an actual cutting board to display your food. You could even go to Home Depot and buy a couple of slabs of tile (like this) to present your tray.
It was seriously that easy ya’ll! 4 easy steps and my cheers to cheese and charcuterie wine club was a success!
Drop me a line and let me know what you think my next wine club theme should be!
Here are a couple more pictures of that night for more inspiration.