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Party Planner: How to Display Cheese for a Party

Hi, I'm Sara Vivenzio of the Cheese School of San Francisco,

here to share with you some presentation tips for hosting a cheese and wine party at home.

First things first, before your guests arrive, be sure to take your cheeses out of the fridge

at least one to two hours before-hand. It's crucial that

your cheeses are served at room temperature in order to maximize their flavor.

There are several different ways you can approach your cheese selection

I think it's nice to have a cow, goat, and a sheep, as well as differing styles and textures of cheese.

Also think about color. One thing you can do to get a lot of the prep work done in advance,

is lay your cheeses down on a board, and out them under a glass dome,

they can stay there for several hours and they'll be just fine.

Then when you're ready to serve, just lift off the dome.

If you have room for them, one great thing to do is to concentrate

all of your cheeses onto one table, to give it the look of abundance,

and fullness, and also to create highs and lows. These Pottery Barn wood pedestals are

perfect for creating that visual element.

And another thing you want to do is punctuate with color,

using fresh fruits or dried fruits breads, and nuts,

it really adds a lot to your table.

So that your guests know what you're eating, I think it's important to label your cheeses.

And these Pottery Barn porcelain cheese markers really make the cheeses pop

on the table. When putting your cheeses on the table, place them from mildest to strongest,

because you don't want your guests eating a blue cheese before

they've gotten to a softer delicate cheese, the palette just can't recover.

And when displaying your cheeses, I like to precut some, and also leave a

bigger piece for display, and then with cheeses that have rinds on them,

I think it's nice to leave some rind on, just to give a difference in color and texture.

All of your cheeses should be assigned their own knife, you don't want to muddy flavors

by using the same knife on different cheeses.

For a harder cheese, you're going to want to use a tool like this,

which will allow you to chunk the cheese off the bigger piece.

For a softer cheese, this spreader is a really great tool,

and then for a cheese like a brie, this knife is great

because you can cut off your piece of cheese, and then your guests can pick it up

with this end fork. A lot of people ask me when and where to buy cheese.

I think it's good top buy cheese as close to the time you're gonna serve it as possible,

and your local cheese shop is your best resource.

Otherwise, a gourmet grocery will have a great selection.

With all of these elements put together, I know you'll be able to host

a fabulous cheese and wine party at home. Have fun!

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