Of all the types of parties I like to host, my favourite is the classic Wine & Cheese, or Cheese & Wine, depending on how you rank their importance. If you’re Canadian though there’s no doubt that cheese comes first, with some of the best cheeses in the world made in Canada.
This iconic party is popular among hostesses from coast to coast because it virtually guarantees party success. Put simply, there is no bigger crowd pleaser than Canadian cheese. (Hint: look for the 100% Canadian Milk symbol whenever you buy cheese. It confirms the Canadian origin of the milk, renowned for it’s high quality, purity and taste.)
The hardest part of planning this type of party is choosing the cheese! With over 300 types of Canadian cheese to choose from, you may find your head spinning at the cheese counter. To make it simpler, I try to choose one or two cheeses from each of these categories of cheese; fresh, soft, semi-‐soft, blue, washed‐rind, firm, hard, farmhouse and organic. Don’t be shy in asking for a sample either from the person helping you. (sampling, by the way, is the most fun of the whole party planning process). You’ll need about 250g of total cheese per person for this type of party. If you’re like me though, you won’t worry about having leftovers on hand. Canadian cheese never goes to waste in my house.
Once I have my cheese picked out I pick up an assortment of fine crackers, grapes and apples, confits, jellies and nuts. Two of my favourite things to serve with cheese are a Red Pepper Jelly and a Fig Jam. I find these to always be the perfect compliment to strong cheeses.
About 45 minutes to an hour before my guests arrive, I take the cheese out of the refrigerator (except fresh cheeses) to let it come to room temperature. Don’t get eager and do it too far in advance though, or your cheese will be runny. Make sure that there is separation between different types of cheeses as well so that flavours don’t mix. This is a great place to use those grapes! Also make sure that each type of cheese has it’s own knife.
Of course, if you really want to plan a successful Wine & Cheese then you need only visit the same place I do for all my information, allyouneedischeese.ca. This website, brought to you by Dairy Farmers of Canada, has everything you could possibly need to help you plan a successful get‐together. From how to present stunning cheese platters to pairing your wines, you’ll find everything you need here.
Don’t just visit when you’re planning a party though. Canadian cheese makes any dish delicious and you’ll find hundreds of recipes to please your family, maybe even a few for all that extra cheese you couldn’t stop yourself from buying.