by Cheeses of Europe
Whether you’re having a glass of red, white, or rosé, the secret to making any grape or vintage magnifique is French cheese. Wine and fromage have a long history together, of course. For example, the French Brie region— legendary for its production of Brie cheese— is also known for its great variety of tannic wines. To wine and cheese lovers alike, this cannot be a coincidence! After all, in 1815 at the Congress of Vienna, at a contest held to appoint the best cheese, Brie was crowned the “King of Cheeses”—a moment that was likely toasted with a glass of red from the very same region.
While wine and French cheese have been an item for over 2,000 years, there are a few secrets to creating the perfect wine-pairing fromage board:
• Selection: A magnifique cheeseboard requires two things. 1) an assortment of textures including soft, semi-soft and hard, and 2) a variety of flavors ranging from mild to bold. In creating your cheeseboard, choose four or more cheeses of varying texture and flavor. Like wine tasting, contrast is your friend.
• Organization: Cheeses should be arranged clockwise from mild to medium to bold flavors. Because blue cheese is so strong, it should always be arranged in the last position.
• Presentation: For some added color and texture variation, garnish with fresh or dried fruit, nuts, and jam. Also look for a variation in the look of your cheeses: Mimolette is an earthy orange, Emmental is yellow with distinctive eyes (holes), and Brie has a bloomy white rind. Have fun with it.
• Serving: Take the cheese out of the refrigerator at least an hour prior to serving to allow it to come up to room temperature. Serve it alongside a freshly sliced baguette or some crackers and be sure to have a separate knife for serving each cheese.
Whether it’s for a few friends or a big group, these simple fromage board tips will not only impress but make your wine magnifique.