December 29, 2012
While champagne or other sparkling wines are practically expected at nearly all 2013 soirees, the cultured host or hostess plans a way to engage their guests' intellect and taste buds. A jaunty and eclectic cheese plate is just the way to go in order to provide a bit of culinary effervescence to your party. The thing to remember when it comes to a sparkling wine cheese plate is to go all out. Get rid of the goudas and toss the Taleggio because what we want is butterfat, cream, and lots of it. This is where triple creams, full fat blues, and cheeses laced with truffles all sparkle like the bubbles in your fluted glass. Truffle Tremor: Cypress Grove is mainly known for their revolutionary cheese, Humboldt Fog. This creamy, layer cake looking specimen is pretty boss, but when it comes to pairing with Prosecco look to Truffle Tremor. A delightful, bloomy rind goat cheese that's been lightly aged, this cheeses finishes with salt and a cacophonous POW! of truffle. The earthy, mushroom flavors of the truffle match well with most dry of sparkling wines. It's also rather delightful when paired with potato pancakes or perhaps a simple piece of toast. Another fine truffled cheese, Sottocenere al Tartufuro, will do just as well in a pinch. If by some miracle you have leftovers of either, mix it into polenta or mix with mashed potatoes for a true treat. Delice de Bourgnon: A triple cream cheese is one that possesses 75% or more butterfat. In other words, you will be going to the gym tomorrow and begging your trainer to whip your cheese addled thighs back into shape. However, this seductive and very French cheese is worth any amount of suffering (read: cardio) that you might have to endure. This cheese and other triple creams such as Brillat-Savarin and St. Andre cut through the sugars and dry, crisp flavors of sparkling wines making them a pair as sophisticated and indulgent as a bride's wedding shoes. Cambozola: I knew a man once whom in private I called my Little Cambozola. He was spicy, alluring, and had some real zing to him - just like Cambozola cheese. Often considered a blue brie by many, Cambozola is a double cream cheese (65%-75% butterfat) that has been laced with blue cheese cultures. While delightfully creamy, the blue veining provides enough bite to compete with sparkling wines and make itself the dominant partner. The spice and salt shocks the tongue while the wine alleviates it. A young Gorgonzola - often called Gogonzola Dulce - will do just as fine, too.
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