Transform Your Ordinary Holiday Gathering With These Extraordinary Cheese Plate Ideas

It’s the holiday season and along with lots of cooking and shopping comes the annual celebrations. If you’re throwing a holiday party this December, consider hosting a wine tasting. And of course, no gathering would be complete without a cheese plate. Add some crackers, crusty bread, olives, maybe some charcuterie, and you’ve got an amazing spread ready to be devoured.

Here are some dos and don’ts of putting together the cheese board, ahem–your best cheese plate ever along with tips for choosing the perfect wines to pair them with:

Do select from a variety of cheeses and consider flavor, texture, and region.

Don’t go overboard: 3 cheeses is ideal; 5 is acceptable; more than 5 is unnecessary and 1, of course, isn’t enough!

Do provide simple condiments on the side such as chili-flaked honey or quince paste.

Don’t buy all spreadable cheeses: consider that some partygoers will want to eat their cheese without the bread.

Do select wines that are versatile enough to pair with a varied cheese plate, but don’t miss out on finding that special marriage between wine and cheese.

Don’t choose your cheeses without first tasting them–if possible. Make friends with your local cheesemonger.