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With winter truly behind us, you now have more opportunity to entertain. Having friends, family, or even colleagues over, but not sure what to serve them?

Why not consider a cheese platter, which most people seem to love. Cheese is also the perfect partner for a glass or three of wine - hopefully from our alcohol removed range.

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Treat your cheese right Treat your cheese right and you will get so much more from it. That means enjoying it at room temperature, so make sure you take it out of the fridge at least an hour before you serve it. Also, cover it with a damp tea towel until you are ready to serve so it doesn't dry out. And if you have any leftover, store it lightly wrapped in baking paper and cling film in the fridge.

Cheese platter etiquette The first thing you need is a decent serving platter or board… make sure it is nice and clean, and big enough for your selection. Then you need a separate knife for each cheese, because you don’t want them contaminating each other. You should also label your cheeses, which will help guests choose what they like, or help them to explore new varieties and flavours. Look to serve between 3 and 6 different cheeses, and budget for each guest to eat around 50g. In terms of the appearance of your platter, space your cheese out with room for garnishes like fruit in between. And if you are a turophile - that is a dedicated cheese lover - and want to impress, arrange your cheese from mildest to strongest.

What cheese to serve? There are a lot of cheese varieties out there, so choosing the cheeses for your platter can be bewildering. The perfect cheese platter should have a variety of flavours and textures, including:

  • A firm cheese such as Manchego or even Parmesan
  • A soft cheese like Camembert, Brie or a fresh goat cheese or Chevre
  • An aged cheese like an aged Cheddar
  • A salty, powerful blue cheese like Gorgonzola or Stilton

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What to serve with your cheese platter You can serve anything with your cheese, including crackers, but look to nuts, grapes, stone fruits (dried apricots, peaches, cherries), figs and walnuts for the best match. Fresh bread is another winner, as are honey, jams and chutneys. And if you are looking for other accompaniments for your cheese platter, then olives and cured meats, like prosciutto and even chorizo, are always crowd pleasers. What wines to pair with your platter Here are some pairing pointers to get you started…

  • Big bold wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz, go well with intense cheeses like an aged or smoked Cheddar.
  • A buttery, oaky white wine like Chardonnay, or even a Sparkling white wine, pair well with Camembert or Brie.
  • Fresh and soft cheeses, like Mozzarella or Feta, are complemented by crisp whites like a Sauvignon Blanc or even a dry Rosé.
  • Firmer cheeses like Edam, Gruyère, or a young Cheddar pair well with medium-bodied whites or a lighter red like Pinot Noir.
  • Soft, so-called smelly cheeses, like Taleggio, need a light wine that is not going to compete with their flavours - try a Riesling for these.

Planning a get together? Then why not find a local stockist to make sure you have the right Edenvale wines to serve with your cheese platter.

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