Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Wine and Cheese Evening with Friends

We had a little wine and cheese gathering on Saturday evening at Crest Avenue.  A small gathering of the very core of the core group - me, Steven, his brother Bob and everybody's best friend, Mark.  We have all been friends for so long that it no longer warrants lavish, over-the-top preparation.  I nice cheese plate and a few other munchies, a bottle or two or everyones fav wine, and you've got a wonderful evening all planned.  I served a Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.  I have been drinking these Robert Mondavi wines recently and I really like them.

And a Sutter Home White Zinfandel.

This was a wonderful combination cheese plate - yellow and white cheddar and port wine.  Port wine cheese is a favorite of mine.  My mother would buy it frequently when I was young, so it brings back fond memories.  I especially remember it during the holidays.  And, of course, the cream cheese boats are a tried and true favorite from many years ago.

You can use your favorite crackers with any cheese plate you put together.  There is no right or wrong selection.  You will decide over time which crackers you like best with which cheese.  These crackers were very buttery and that helped enhance the flavor of the cheese.

I used these little felt flower petals on the stems of the wine glasses so everybody would know which glass was their assigned glass.  You know, after a glass or two, that can become difficult to do!!

These came from Crate and Barrel.  

Finally, I used my new "Rabbit" wine opener.  If you enjoy a glass of vino every now and then, you must, must, must get one of these.  Oh my gosh!!  Until now, I had been using a regular corkscrew to remove the cork from the bottle, and that worked just fine.  At least I thought so.  I mean, you can't miss what you've never had.  I would use a knife or a safety razor to cut the foil and then use the corkscrew.  Most times I would just leave the cork on the corkscrew because it was too difficult to remove it while it was still wet.  That was what I USED to do.  With this handy opener, you get the round foil cutter (at top of picture.)  You simply place that on top of the bottle, squeeze it and turn the bottle.  It cuts the foil perfectly.  Then you lift the handle and place the Rabbit fully over the neck of the bottle.  Hold it tighly and bring the handle down and then back up.  Voila.  The cork is out.  You bring the handle down and it dispenses the cork.  No house should be without one of these.

So that was Saturday evening at Crest Avenue.  About the cream cheese boats - I like them.  But I want to try something new.  I have an idea that I want to try that I think will add some interesting flare to them.  Give me this week to test things out in my kitchen and hopefully I will have a new recipe for you next week. 
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