Each year, Austin and I enjoy throwing a little holiday party with our closest friends. This year has been a bit tricky since we just moved and have zero furniture (more on that later) but we are going to try and do a small NYE party. We figured why not embrace the empty house. We will rent some chairs and tables and spend the evening ringing in the new year with our friends.
One appetizer we always have ready when our guests arrive is a charcuterie board with an assortment of wine. We don’t want our guests getting hungry while they wait for dinner so keeping drinks and snacks readily available is key.
When it comes to building your charcuterie board, it’s honestly up to what you and your guests enjoy. However, there are a few ingredients that make for a well-rounded board. Here’s what’s at the top of our list:
CHARCUTERIE BOARD CHECKLIST
Soft Cheese – we like Brie or gouda.
Hard Cheese – Austin loves a sharp cheddar.
Thin Cured Meats – we usually stick with salami or prosciutto.
Dried Fruit – you can’t go wrong with dried apricots and cranberries.
Green Olives – Ahh my favorite. Don’t forget to get the ones without the pit!
A variety of crackers or sliced bread – Trader Joe’s is the best for these…they are really affordable too.
Grapes on the vine – not only do these “fill your board” but they give even the pickiest eaters something to munch on.
Marcona Almonds – we get the truffle ones at Trader Joe’s. Warning: they are highly addictive.
Rosemary Garnish – this keeps things festive for the holidays
WINES TO OFFER YOUR GUESTS
Last but not least, what pairs better with a nice charcuterie board like a glass of wine? We like to have an assortment on hand so everyone can drink something they really enjoy. A few that we are serving this season include La Marca Prosecco (love me some bubbles), Ecco Domani delle Venezie DOC Pinot Grigio, Frei Chardonnay (I was able to try this when I went to Sonoma for Sonoma County Wine Month, it’s a smooth, buttery chardonnay that I really enjoyed) and the Bear Flag Zinfandel (another one of my favorites from the SCWM trip).
La Marca Prosecco
With delicate, golden straw color and lively effervescence, La Marca Prosecco offers aromas of fresh citrus, honey and white flowers. The palate is fresh and clean, with flavors of ripe lemon, green apple and grapefruit framed by mineral undertones. Enjoy on its own or pair with a variety of foods.
Ecco Domani delle Venezie DOC Pinot Grigio
This Pinot Grigio is a complex wine with notes of citrus and exotic fruit. It offers delicate floral and tropical fruit aromas of pineapple, passion fruit and mango. On the finish, an intense aroma of Williams pear complements the lively acidity. This pairs beautifully with light pastas, poultry and fish, and it can also be enjoyed as a refreshing “after-work” aperitif.
Established in the Dry Creek Valley over 125 years ago, Frei Brothers Sonoma Reserve is part of the fabric of Sonoma County. We had so much fun getting to learn all about this vineyard and the history behind the wine. For tasty holiday pairings, they recommend enjoying the Frei Brothers Chardonnay with seasonal goodies like caramel-covered popcorn and shortbread cookies, or with warm dishes such as roasted vegetable medleys and poached salmon.
Bear Flag Zinfandel
Isn’t this bottle a beauty? Drawing its name from the historic Bear Flag Revolt of 1846, Bear Flag Wines embodies the rebellious and independent spirit of California, where anything is possible. Winemaker, and Sonoma County native, Aaron Piotter harnesses the wild Zinfandel vines in the region that is known for and crafts a bold wine that is full of character and unrelenting flavor. If you hurry you can get $3 back on your purchase of Bear Flag with this offer. But don’t wait too long because this offer has limited quantities (first come, first served) and expires Jan 1.
What do you always have on your charcuterie board?
Cheers! xx Ashley
Images by Mary Hafner