A few years ago, I realized that entertaining friends in our home did not have to be a stressful ordeal of extensive menu planning and seating charts.
I found our best get-togethers were around the coffee table in the living room, talking for hours and drinking wine from mismatched glasses.
For something to enjoy with the wine, look no further than the time-honored traditional cheese platter. It’s easy, elegant and effortless because the secret is all in keeping it simple. If you want to add a few treats beyond bread and crackers, consider olives, prosciutto di Parma, Serrano ham, tapenades, apricots, pear, apples or figs.
Blue Stilton and Tawny Port
- Sandeman 10 Year Tawny Port, Portugal (about $38 retail)
- Niepoort 10 Year Tawny Port, Portugal (about $50 retail)
Brie and Champagne
- NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne, France (about $45 retail)
- NV Taittinger Brut La Francaise Champagne, France (about $74 retail) Goat Cheese and Sauvignon Blanc
- 2010 Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand (about $13 retail)
- 2010 Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand (about $19 retail)
Aged Cheddar and Syrah
- 2009 Frei Brothers Syrah, California (about $19 retail)
- 2009 Renwood Amador Syrah, California (about $27 retail)