01 Mar Food, Glorious Food! The Wild Goat Grazing Platter
This month we’re taking a detailed look at what goes into our signature Wild Goat grazing platter
Focusing in on our favourite elements – WINE + CHEESE (my mouth is watering as I’m writing this).
Paired together for centuries, the quest to find the perfect wine + cheese combo to me, is as important as finding your life partner (and easier). However, just like partners, not every wine goes with every cheese, so feel free to give a few different combinations a try before settling down.
Tannic, light, sweet or dry – there’s a wine out there for every cheese. You can stick with classic pairings (tried and tested over the ages) or expand your horizons by adding a new-age modern day twist.
Firstly, lets talk cheese.
A grazing platter must have
Blue (pungent, salty) – Gorgonzola, Bleu, Cambozola, Stilton,
Fresh (soft, tangy/mild) – Ricotta, Mozzarella, Goat, Feta, Burrata
Hard (sharp + salty) – Gouda, Cheddar, Parmesan, Pecorino, Gruyere
Bloomy (creamy, soft rind) – Brie, Camembert, Robiola,
When assembling your grazing platter, I recommend including at least one type of cheese from each of the four groups, and remember to take your cheeses out of the fridge 30 to 60 minutes prior to serving (so flavours can emerge).
Now, for the wine. Read on for some classic combinations (think Romeo + Juliet, but a happier ending).
Now, for the wine.
Essential accompaniment to any grazing platter
Champagne & Brie/Triple creams: The creaminess and rich texture of these silky cheeses simply melts away in the bubbles of the Champagne.
(Personal favourites: Ruinart, Blanc de Blanc or Veuve, Clicquot Brut)
Prosecco & Parmesan: The Italian saying ‘La Dolce Vita’ (The Good Life) may have been penned with this combination in mind. The bubbles in the Prosecco cut perfectly through the saltiness of this hard cheese.
Cabernet Sauvignon & Aged Gouda: The nutty flavour combination matched with this tannic, full-bodied wine equals perfection!
Riesling & Ricotta: Sweet and deliciously creamy ricotta loves being paired with a tangy Riesling (sample both the sweet + dry variations before deciding on your favourite).
Mozzarella & Pinot Grigio: This soft, slightly sweet cheese is balanced perfectly with the acidity of the Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Noir & Brie: This dream combination brings out the brie’s distinct flavours, whilst remaining light enough not to overwhelm them.
(Personal favourite: I recommend trying Natus Pinot Noir, Black label).
Port & Bleu Cheese: This crumbly and pungent blue cheese is matched with the sweetness and thick body of a port wine.
Add some sweetness.
Once you have your cheeses sorted, it’s time to build in other elements to your grazing platter. Start thinking about what fresh and dried fruits, chutneys and jams you can use to help provide a bridge between the wine and cheese.
For example, figs, grapes, berries and peaches pair with milk and creamy cheeses, whilst pears, apricots and apples match better with flinty, harder cheeses (these also benefit from the added sweetness of a fresh jam or compote).
Next… to charcuterie or not to charcuterie?
It’s up to you! We recommend speck, Serrano ham, soppressata, salami & prosciutto (Tip: stuff dates with cheese + wrap in prosciutto – heaven).
Nuts, honeycomb, pesto, olives…
Colourful additions to the grazing platter
Then add in handfuls of nuts (I love toasted walnuts, pistachios, cashews), to help bring out the nuttiness of cheese even more. Try and source wild honeycomb and place in chunks (or a good bush honey will do) and for extra pops of colour and flavour, add in some tapenade, home-made pesto, semi-dried tomatoes, green olives, dark chocolate, and fresh basil.
When devouring your delicious platter, make sure you and your guests start with lighter wines and fresher cheeses, before moving to the ones that have sharpness and depth.
If you get more kicks out of sampling platters than creating them,
then we’ve got you covered.