With the holidays in full swing, I’m sure you are like me and have parties to attend and to host this year. I have been as busy doing what I love, getting the house decorated for Christmas. We are now ready to host family and friends so I’m turning my attention to what we want to serve. A great bottle of wine and a holiday charcuterie tray is top of my list, so today I’m sharing just how I create mine along with an easy ingredient list for you.
This post is sponsored by Wente Wine, however, all opinions are my own.
My husband has an Italian family heritage, and he loves having food to pick on before a meal and we especially love a good cheese and charcuterie tray. The great thing about these trays is there are so many options! Over the years we’ve tried lots of different things, and have pretty much settled on these ingredients as our favorite, and add in a bottle of Wente Chardonnay and it’s the perfect combination!
There’s no better way to way to spend time with your loved ones than sitting around the table enjoying a meal, and there’s no easier way to feed a crowd than providing something that everyone can enjoy and have a conversation over.
PLAN YOUR CHARCUTERIE TRAY
When planning what to include on my charcuterie tray, I think of taste, color, texture, and I always want to offer a number of things so I can please a variety of tastes. I like to make a list and then peruse the grocery store to see what else looks fun. My local grocery store often has cheese available for tasting and they will run great sales. Cheese can quickly add up in cost when you’re purchasing several at a time, so I always check that department to see what they have on sale.
CREATE YOUR CHARCUTERIE TRAY
I like to start by gathering all my ingredients, so I can see what I have and the colors and textures to choose from. I start with placing my cheese first. You can always adjust later but you definitely want to start with your bigger items first. I then add my meats, leaving space in between everything because I know I will fill those spots later.
My next step is to add the crackers and/or bagel crisps, again these are items that take up a little more space than your fruit and olives. I love to also add in a small bowl or two filled with my jam or olives. This will add in a little more texture and layers of interest!
Once I’ve added my bigger items and bowls, I’ll fill in all the holes with my fruit and other remaining toppings. The final step is to add a few pieces of greenery whether it’s a sprig of fresh herbs or here I clipped a few pieces from my garland. It gives you a little pop of green and adds a little more decoration for your charcuterie tray. I think it gives this the perfect holiday touch!
INGREDIENTS FOR CHARCUTERIE BOARD
We love fresh mozzarella and prosciutto rolls and I think they look so festive rolled together. Salami is a staple for a charcuterie tray. When selecting your cheeses, be sure to include soft and hard cheese. I found a fun cranberry pepper jam which is perfect for this time of year and it’s so yummy too! I like to use basic water crackers because they don’t compete with the flavors of the cheeses, and meats but I added some bagel chips as well.
Of course, a charcuterie tray would not be complete without a selection of gourmet olives and there are so many great options available around the holidays either in jars or the deli department of your favorite store. I included some cornichons in too because my kids love “baby pickles”.
In addition to the meats and cheeses, I love to include fresh and dried fruit to break up the saltiness. Here I added dried cranberries and apricots along with fresh sweet cherries, grapes, and blackberries.
Have fun making your own charcuterie tray by choosing from fresh, local offerings and being creative. You could add nuts, local honey, marinated vegetables, fresh fruits and veggies, and a variety of spreads and dips like hummus, garlic dip, and chutneys. Create a variety of textures and flavors and everyone will be pleased!
Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay pairs very well with a charcuterie tray, and it’s great for hosting as well. One of my goals over the next few weeks is to slow down a bit and really savor time with my family and friends. I really enjoy this Chardonnay because it is smooth but full of fruity flavors like green apple, peach, and lemon. It also has vanilla and spice notes. It’s 98% Chardonnay grapes with just a 2% touch of Gewurtztraminer which make it a great accompaniment to a nice charcuterie tray for an informal gathering…or just an evening at home relaxing.
Have fun making your own charcuterie tray by choosing from fresh, local offerings and being creative. You could also add nuts, local honey, marinated vegetables, fresh veggies, and a variety of spreads and dips like hummus, garlic dip, and chutneys. Create a variety of textures and flavors and everyone will be pleased!
I hope this charcuterie tray tutorial was helpful, and this encourages you to make time for family while enjoying Wente Wine. Here is a handy pin for you, thanks for stopping in today. I hope your holidays are off to a great start!