I think one of the things that wow people the most at holiday parties is a great cheese board paired with some great wine.
It’s fun to be super creative when putting a cheese board together, and to me it’s fun to surprise people with what they find on it. The key is to make sure you pair the cheeses properly with the wines you are serving, and to make it as full and colourful as possible!
This week I tried out two new wines from Enigma – made in California and newly launched at the LCBO.
Both Enigma’s Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are sold at the very affordable price of $13.95.
The Cabernet Sauvignon (or Cab Sav for me because I can pronounce Sauvignon!) had hints of black cherry and vanilla. I thought it almost had a coffee taste to it as well. It was very bold, which paired great with some of the aged cheeses I bought.
I am not a big red wine drinker, but my husband loved it with the cheeses on the board. I felt like I would love to drink it with a steak or a spicy Thai dinner.
The Chardonnay had a fruity flavour, and I could pick out pears, apple and lemon in each sip. It wasn’t as fruity and sweet as a Riesling, and was much dryer in comparison. It was sweet, but not so sweet that you would go into sugar shock. I really liked it!
A Chardonnay is best paired with brie which I included on my board, along with other soft, surface ripened cheeses. I chose goat cheese to pair with this wine as well, and it went perfectly.
As for the Cabernet Sauvignon, semi firm, aged hard cheeses pair best so I chose a smoked Gouda, and an aged cheddar.
I think cheese boards look best when they are overflowing. To compliment the cheeses I added grapes and sliced pairs to add some sweetness. I bought a few different kinds of firm crackers (don’t use anything flimsy like saltines), and I made my own grilled crostini’s as well.
I brushed each slice of Italian bread with olive oil, then grilled it for a few minutes and rubbed it with garlic. So yummy!
To go with the crostini’s I made a tomato and balsamic mix. I cut up cherry tomatoes, and fried them in a pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a few minutes. I topped it off with balsamic vinegar and voila!
I added ricotta cheese to my cheese board, and it tasted amazing when I spread it on a crostini, then added a pesto or roasted red pepper spread, and topped it all with the tomato mix. So good! I purchased the pesto and roasted red pepper spread, but I have made both before and they are actually not that hard to make. It all depends on how much time you have.
The arugula was also an option to add to the ricotta, plus it looked pretty with my cheese board. It sounds silly, but making your board colourful is an important part of making it look tasty.
I added calabrese, soppressata, and a salami to the board for the carnivores. I filled in the spaces with rosemary because it smells amazing, and because it’s a pretty herb.
That’s it! Paired with some great wine and fresh flowers, it’s the perfect cheese board for a holiday party!
For more information on Enigma wines, please visit their website here.
This product was provided to me for review, but all opinions are fabulously my own.