A beautiful (but easy) ramp up to dinner, that was what I was trying to create.
My dear friend, Kerry, was our house guest for the better part of a week and two of the nights we had planned to cook at home. I imagined us puttering around the kitchen chopping vegetables and prepping dinner and I wanted to have an easy-breezy something we could snack on.
I decided to choose one cheese that I know I like (a Spanish Manchego that is nutty and mild) and another cheese that I had never tried, but was intrigued by. I saw this British cheese called "Wensleydale with Blueberries" and I loved that the blueberries were incorporated into the cheese and thought it would compliment the Merlot. This Wensleydale with Blueberries (by Ford Farm in Dorset, England) is dry, crumbly and sharp tasting. I really enjoyed the taste of blueberry and know that I will break up the balance of this block into a salad with dried cherries and a tart vinaigrette. Yum!
I placed a really cute "wine & cheese platter" cheese button into huge block of Manchego (to steady it while slicing), pulled out some crisp wheat crackers, filled a miniature trifle dish of olives and we were ready!
Having company is so much more relaxed when everyone is participating. Kerry made the salad and set the table, I worked on the sauce and vegetables and we nibbled on our little cheese platter all the while. Success!