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Flights and Bites for a Posh (and Low-Cost) Holiday Soiree

11/16/2015 04:37AM ● Published by Family Features

Holiday hosting doesn't have to be stressful or expensive. This season, ALDI partnered with Leslee Miller, a dually certified Sommelier through the International Sommelier Guild and the Court of Master Sommelier, to provide holiday hosts with sophisticated and low cost wine and cheese pairings that will please your guests' palates and your wallet.

Style the Perfect Platter
Creating a beautiful cheese board can be simple and spectacular. Follow these tried-and-true tips for selecting and styling the components of your holiday cheese platter:

  • Provide a selection of cheeses that have different textures and tastes.
  • Include at least one cheese that is familiar to your guests, such as cheddar.
  • Limit your selection to 3-5 cheeses so your guests can really taste and enjoy all pairings.
  • Serve your cheeses with accompaniments: crackers for soft cheeses, apple slices for creamy cheeses and nuts for smoky cheeses. Jams and jellies go great with semi-hard cheeses.

Create the Flights and Bites
Rule of thumb: you need approximately 2-4 ounces of cheese per person and will get six pours per bottle of wine for tasting. You can keep it elegant and affordable with gourmet cheeses and award-winning fine wines from ALDI. This pairing menu will provide a satisfying tasting experience for your guests:

  • Zum Riesling + Specially Selected HandRolled Goat Cheese Log (Blueberry Vanilla): Notes of peach, honey and blueberries from the goat cheese intertwine beautifully with the succulent tones of the Zum Riesling.
  • San Zenone Toscana Rosso + Specially Selected Manchego: Ripe black cherry and pepper spice from this complexly flavored wine combine with delicious manchego for bursting cherry and salty butterscotch tones.
  • Dove Creek Cabernet Sauvignon + Happy Farms Preferred Blue Cheese Wedge: The smoky, raspberry sides of this wine melded with the distinctive flavors of blue cheese make a dark and juicy match!
  • Chiaré Blanc de Blancs + Specially Selected Brie Cheese Round: A glass of this sparkling wine paired with creamy brie cheese creates an impeccable flavor blend of nuts, caramel and fall-ripe apples, reminiscent of an autumn caramel apple.
  • Broken Clouds Pinot Noir + Specially Selected Cranberry White Cheddar: The dark cherry fruit and earthy spices of Broken Clouds Pinot Noir highlight the fresh cranberry and nutty tones of this cheese.

Make the Most of Every Sip
Help your guests properly taste the intricate flavors of each wine to get the most out of every pairing:

  • Check the color of the wine. European wines tend to have less color, while other countries' (New World) wines show deeper colors.
  • Smell accounts for 90 percent of taste. Swirl the wine in your glass to release the flavors. European wines tend to smell earthier, while New World wines lead with fruit.
  • Taste with oxygen. Suck air into the front of your mouth at the exact same time you sip to catch all the flavors. European wines tend to taste tarter, while New World wines have bolder, fruit flavors.

For more holiday inspiration and recipes, visit aldi.us.

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