I love my readers. Just when I think I have nothing else to say about cheese (yeah, right) along comes a question. This one was from jolly old England. And the issue was “I’ve never done a cheese and wine party and I have posh foodie friends coming over for one—help!!”
Naturally, I have some thoughts on the subject:
- Aim for 5 or 6 cheeses. About 1 ounce (or 25 grams) of each cheese per person is a generous amount and will look great.
- Aim to have at least one goat, one sheep and one cow's milk cheese. They should be consumed in that order (mild to strong). End with a blue, always.
- Try to capture a few different cheese-making styles. I.e., one "fresh" or un-ripened; one bloomy rind (think camembert); one washed (think "stinky"); one hard pressed (think "mountain" cheese); one cheddar (why not, it's England), and finally one blue.
- Try to get a variety of countries represented. I would suggest you get at least one Spanish, one Swiss, one Italian and one French, and of course one British cheese (maybe one Irish and one English?). If you lived in the US I would insist you get an American cheese, but I have no idea if the good ones make it to the UK.
Lastly, dress up the whole affair with gorgeous accompaniments, fresh fruit, crusty bread and lots and lots of wine. You can make little nametags for the cheeses or even tasting notes. Or hire Waldemar and Nadia and really knock everyone’s socks off ;) Enjoy!
For cheese shops in the London, click here and scroll to the bottom of the list.