When planning for a cocktail party or an intimate gathering, summer cheese plates and respective pairings are the way to win hearts and take your guests’ on a perfect pairing palate journey.
Our friend, Mark Venette from Black Sheep/Trio is the perfect local Martha’s Vineyard artisanal cheese monger and charcuterie to help educate and expand our palates while offering great entertainment décor options.
Three important elements Mark considers before making his cheese selections: textures, flavor contrasts & cheese accompaniments should always be complimentary not contrasting. Depending upon the size of your summer gathering, cheese plates usually present 3 to 5 selections.
– While considering the summer heat, Mark recommends the Rougette Bavarian style Brie because no matter the temperature or location, this beautiful triple cream will not run all over. The texture is slightly different and pairs beautifully with fresh fruits or a paste. Apricots are always a lovely summer accompaniment.
Perfect Pairing: French Chardonnay – Nicolas Reserve
– Americans do it better! We may think English Cheddar is the way to go, but this cheese tends to be a little creamier. American cheddars tend to be dryer and more crumbly. Beechers Flagship Reserve – Seattle
Perfect Pairing: Nice Summer Red – Yali Cabernet/Carmenere, Chile
GOAT CHEESE – GOAT GOUDA
– A firm cheese with a wonderful nutty flavor. The Ewephoria Sheep’s milk Gouda absolutely lives up to it’s name and brings culinary euphoria with every savory bite.
Perfect Pairing: Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc –
Bianchi Sauvignon Blanc, CA
Blue Cheese – Smokey Blue Cheese
-A smokey blue cheese with Black Sheep’s homemade bacon onion jam is an absolutely mind-blowing combination sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Perfect Pairing: California Chardonnay – Bianchi Chardonnay, CA
(Not a Chardonnay fan, no worries! Try a Spanish white – Destinos Bianco)
Charcuterie – MEATS
With any charcuterie choice the meat should be placed at room temp until the golden glistening indicator appears on the meat. Once that beautiful sheen is spotted, your charcuterie is ready to be served.
Proscuitto, Serrano Ham, Salami’s & do NOT forget the pate! Black Sheep’s Chicken Liver Mouse Pate with bourbon soaked cherries will create a feeding frenzy so be sure to buy a little more than anticipated!
Another meat, we must mention is the Mangalica Ham, which is a wintery wooly pig that is a cross between a sheep and a pig. This charcuterie choice will absolutely melt in your mouth.
– Mark’s Top Recommendations: Create a beautiful arrayment of cheeses, charcutier and fruit. Consider using butcher paper to cover your tabletop and treat your guests to a culinary map of perfect palate pairings. Use a marker to label selections and draw arrows to exceptional pairings!
– Top Recommendations: A firmer cheese, salamis’, dips and spreads. Keep your culinary choices in easy portable containers that are arranged accordingly and ready to rock once you step aboard the deck.
For more information and culinary expertise, stop in at Black Sheep/Trio on S. Summer in Edgartown and talk to Mark or his wonderful staff to create the perfect pairings for your summer party.