In need of an easy, crowd-pleasing appetizer? The cheese plate is a natural, especially when you choose flavorful selections from Buena Vista’s Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy.
Ruby Mountain Wine–Soaked Cheddar
This mild cheddar spends three weeks steeped in a dark ruby wine. The results are hints of blackberry and cherry and a beautiful deep red outer ring.
Pairing: Spanish olives (such as the citrusy pico limón variety)
A chipotle chile core gives this cave-aged cheddar a smoky kick. Sunset Chipotle packs enough spice and boldness that it can stand alone on the plate, but the fire is nuanced and subtle enough so as not to dissuade the spicy-adverse.
Pairing: A German Riesling, such as Carlson Vineyards’ Laughing Cat Grand Valley Riesling 2010
Like Brie, this French-style bloomy rind, ash-dusted goat cheese has a buttery, slightly nutty taste. The variety is rich but approachable, ensuring that it’s a crowd pleaser.
Pairing: Candied pecans (recipe below)
A citrusy, spreadable chèvre packed with cranberries, Cranny Nanny—the name refers to one of the dairy’s favorite goats—is only available in the fall and winter. Paired with nuts, this earthy cheese satisfies the universal sweet and savory craving.
Pairing: 34 Degrees crisp breads and pistachios
(makes 4 cups)
¼ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
4 cups pecans
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter two large baking sheets. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add remaining ingredients (except nuts) and stir until sugar dissolves. Add pecans and cook until nuts are sugar-coated, about 5 minutes. Pour onto prepared sheets and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.