The lazy days of summer are here! While many of us in Canada don’t get a long summer, we make up for it in FUN. We love to entertain in the summer. The warm weather and sunshine make even the simplest parties feel like real soirees. One of the easiest parties to host is a wine and cheese party. Who wants to spend all day slaving away over a hot stove? Wine and Canadian cheese pair perfectly for an easy yet elegant summer party. One fun way to learn more about cheese is to do a cheese tasting. Start with milder cheeses and lighter wine and beers and then move on to stronger cheeses and full-bodied beverages. However, I find that a tasting can be a bit too involved for my group of friends at a summer get together. I prefer to have a variety of Canadian cheeses, accompaniments and a couple of my favourite Canadian wines for everyone to try on their own. Relaxed and casual just like summer! When determining the Canadian cheeses to feature at your party, make sure to mix and match different cheese textures and flavours. Here is a handy chart to use when deciding. Choose at least one cheese from each column.
|Bocconcini||Monterey Jack||Aged Provolone|
For our party, I chose to go with Canadian Jalapeño Havarti, Camembert, Gouda and 5-year Aged Cheddar. For accompaniments I added raw almonds, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, olives, honeycomb, a cut up baguette and a variety of crackers. A blue cheese, pear and arugula pizza and Canadian wine rounded out our spread. My guests brought a few items for dessert and voilà…we had a party! When shopping, be sure to look for the 100% Canadian Milk symbol whenever you buy cheese; it confirms the Canadian origin of the milk, renowned for its high quality, purity and great taste.
A few suggestions for putting together the perfect cheese spread:
- Pick cheeses with different tastes and textures.
- Bring cheese to room temperature before serving for optimal flavour.
- Fresh fruit works well as an accompaniment to cheese though it is best to avoid citrus fruits.
- Nuttier crackers work well with intense cheeses like blue cheese but make sure to have plainer crackers for less intense cheese.
- A large wooden cutting board makes a fantastic cheese tray. • Make sure to label the cheeses you are serving.
- When choosing accompaniments, mix it up. Have sweet, savoury and sour.
- And don’t forget to look for the 100% Canadian Milk symbol!
Want to learn more about Canadian Cheese and find great recipes? Check out allyouneedischeese.ca. While you are there, check out their contest to win $100 worth of Canadian cheese! Get all the details to create a Pinterest board filled with photos of your favourite Canadian cheeses to win at allyouneedischeese.ca/simplepleasures.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Chatelaine Tasters & Testers program. I received perks based on this membership. As always, all opinions are my own.