Yesterday evening Jonathan and I hosted a little wine and cheese tasting garden party for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (the one where you are supposed to eat dairy- basically, my favorite holiday ever!). A friend brought plums from her tree and it was fun to see the early fruits of the garden, including blackberries that will arrive in a month or two.
I am no wine connoisseur, but I did some research online to find wine/cheese combinations that went well together, and then came up with simple, no-cook appetizer ideas using each cheese to pair with 5 different wines (ranging from bubbly to after-dinner port). I learned that when pairing cheese and wine, it’s best to match similarities in flavor (like a light fruity wine with a light cheese/fruit appetizer) or go for complete contrast, (like a sweet robust port paired with a pungent blue cheese like gorgonzola). It’s fun to take your time and pay attention to how the flavors dance in your mouth! I think they are best enjoyed in this order:
Prosecco: spread camembert (a brie-like) cheese on a toasted piece of baguette, top with a peach slice, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Pinot Grigio: spread fresh whole milk ricotta cheese on a toasted piece of baguette and top with lemon zest and honey. See more details on that recipe in this post.
Pinot Noir: stack a cube of watermelon, a cube of feta and a leaf of mint on a toothpick.
Cabernet Sauvignon: top a slice of sharp white cheddar with a slice of crisp green apple, then sprinkle with honey and black pepper.
Port: put a smear of creamy gorgonzola on a leaf of purple endive and top with a red grape or 2.
Happy summer entertaining!