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Fromage Platters and Pairings

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By Sophie Boban-Doering.

As the creator and owner of Fromagerie Sophie, I know how daunting creating cheese platters and pairings can be for our guests when they are at home.

I put together the following go-to guide for platters and wine pairings to help choose cheese that will be a palate pleaser.

Fromagerie Sophie cheese and wine bottles Picmonkey

Think about the texture of the cheese selecting ones that are soft, semi-soft, semi-hard, crystally and hard.

Search for a good balance of flavors ranging from strong to mild.

Brighten up the board with dried and/or fresh fruit and nuts, as well as charcuterie for the meat lover and to introduce more textures and flavors.

The recommended serving size is two to 4 ounces per person. This is also dependent on how and when cheese is served. The amount is different if it's an appetizer, a meal, or to be enjoyed as dessert.

Creating a wine and cheese pairing is like going on a road trip without a GPS. It's nearly impossible to know what you're going to experience along the way – and that's the best part! The journey is to find a pairing where the wine brings something different to the cheese and vice versa. Each should stand out individually and together they should highlight new flavors that weren't present before.

The best way to experience this is to sip the wine, have a bite of cheese, take another sip of wine and then see how the flavors develop on the back of the palate. And most importantly, have fun! Here are four tried and true pairings.

•             Cabernet Sauvignon pairs great with Regal De Bourgogne a la Moutarde de Meaux. It's a pasteurized cow's milk, triple crème cheese coated with mustard seeds that create a cheesecake-like texture and taste.

•             A Rhône varietal blend, like GSM, is best with a hard cheese called Beppino Occelli Cusie Foglie di Castagno. It's pasteurized sheep and cow (or goat and cow) and aged 18-24 months. The cheese wheels are then wrapped in chestnut leaves giving the cheese its unique and exceptional flavor.

•             Rosé is a perfect pairing with Langres; a pasteurized cow's milk that is aged five weeks after it's washed with marc de Champagne during its ripening period of 15-21 days. It's delightful.

•             Zinfandel is made for Beenleigh Blue, a pasteurized sheep cheese with remarkable aromas suggesting sweetness of nectar and honeysuckle. It's a mild blue and a crowd favorite.

It's also important to remember that cheese is a living product so the taste and texture are always changing. Any leftovers can last for a long time if wrapped in parchment or wax paper and then stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. The paper is important because it allows the cheese to breathe without collecting moisture. It's even ok if it starts to grow mold as that's part of the process. Feel free to cut it out and eat around it.



Sophie of Fromagerie Sophie Picmonkey


About Sophie Boban-Doering

Sophie is the proprietor of a European-inspired cheese shop in San Luis Obispo, California selling cheeses from all over the world; as well as artisanal charcuterie, pâtés, and specialty accoutrement. There are typically 60-80 cheeses in the case at any time made according to old world traditions. You can find more about her at www.fromageriesophie.com.

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