How to Build the Perfect Cheese Board

How to Build the Perfect Cheese Board

I love a great cheese board or plate and here are my tips for building the perfect one.

First, pick out the tray you would like to use. I prefer white, but any tray or even a wood cutting board will do the trick.

sartori cheeese

Start off with your favorite cheese.  Right now mine are the Sartori line of cheeses.  With flavors like merlot, rosemary, raspberry and balsamic it is hard to beat.  Whole Foods Market carries most of their cheeses and I wish to thank Whole Foods Market for supplying me with a gift card to purchase the ingredients for this dish.

Once you have picked out the cheese it is time to build around it. Just like wine some cheeses pair well with other things but I am not that picky and really like an assortment of choices.

sartori cheeese

Add some fruit.  Grapes are probably the most common but have fun with this and use what is in season. Apples and pears are divine in the fall while berries should be your go to fruit in the summer. Dried fruits work nicely year around. Try dried apricots or cherries.

Next add a little salt.  I love Castelvetrano olives.  They are slightly salty but also very mild and their bright beautiful green color is hard to beat. You could also add a few slices of cured salami or meat of choice.

Your going to want some crunch and that is where the nuts come in.  I really like walnuts but any nut will do. You can also throw in some crackers for added crunch as well.

Lastly is chocolate, dark is best but you can put out whatever kind you like. That is the beauty of putting together your own.

sartori cheeese

Cheeseboards can be terribly romantic, especially this close to valentines day.  Stay in this year and share a bottle of wine over your own cheeseboard creation. And then if you are still hungry, check out my recipe for Rosemary and Garlic Crusted Filet Mignon. With these two dishes up your sleeve, you may want to stay in for date night all the time!

The next time you are in charge of bringing dish to a party or hosting your own, cheese plates and boards could not be any easier, they look elegant and are absolutely delicious.

Below are some tips from Whole Foods Market on pairing the Sartori line of cheeses. Have fun trying different combinations and in no time you will have mastered your own perfect cheese board.

Sartori is a family-owned fourth-generation artisanal cheesemaker from Plymouth, Wisconsin. Each of the varieties below are based off of their BellaVitano Gold, a creamy, nutty, Parmesan-inspired Italian farmstead cheese.

Rum Runner – A Whole Foods Market Exclusive!
Buttery and slightly sweet, soaked in locally made rum.
Pairs with: Dark beers, smoked meats, and red grapes

Merlot BellaVitano
Berry and plum notes!
Pairs with: Crusty bread, dried fruit, and hoppy beer

Raspberry BellaVitano
Bright notes of raspberry combine with hazelnut and brown-butter flavors.
Pairs well with nuts, chocolate, or light Italian red wine



Holiday Sangria

Holiday Sangria


This Holiday Sangria is light and delicious and of course and will add a festive touch to your holiday table with the touches of cranberries and rosemary.  For added festive flair you can coat the cranberries and rosemary in sugar to give them a wintery frosted look.

Find that recipe here.


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As an ambassador for Whole Foods Market we are given content to share with you each month. This month is cocktail and holiday treats. So I decided to share my holiday sangria recipe with you.


1 granny Smith apple
1 honey crisp apple
1 heaping cup fresh cranberries
2-3 Large sprigs of rosemary
1 bottle Pinot grigio
½ cup white grape juice
¼ cup sugar
1 can club soda

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Chop apple into small pieces. Then combine all ingredients in serving pitcher. Mix well.  Fill serving glasses with sugared cranberries and rosemary if desired and pour sangria over top and enjoy.

Find more holiday cocktail recipes here.



The Generous Pour at The Capital Grille

The Generous Pour at The Capital Grille


The Generous Pour wine event returns to The Capital Grille and runs from July 7 to August 31.

The Stoli Doli at the The Capital Grille is just about the best thing on earth, but once a year I give up my precious cocktail and partake in The Generous Pour.

For only $25 you can enjoy five highly acclaimed wines and two exclusive premieres to compliment your dinner. All wines are selected by The Capital Grilles’s Master Sommelier George Miliotes.

I had the chance to attend last years event and have to say Mr. Miliotes does an amazing job at picking the wines.


The wines available for the 2014 Generous Pour event are:

Carmel Road “Liberated,” Monterey, 2012 Riesling

Atalon, Napa Valley, 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Byron, Santa Barbara, 2012 Chardonnay

La Crema, Willamette Valley, 2012 Pinot Noir

Freemark Abbey, Napa Valley, 2011 Merlot

Arrowood “Catchwire,” Sonoma, 2011 Bordeaux Blend

Kendall-Jackson “Winemaker Selection,” Sonoma, 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon



Hedges Family Estates Wine Dinner at Tannin Wine Bar

Hedges Family Estates Wine Dinner at Tannin Wine Bar


Hedges Family Estates Winery recently hosted a dinner at Tannin Wine Bar and Kitchen. The pairings of the amazing wines and dishes created by chef Brian made for a memorable evening and I will be enjoying both again soon.

Tannin is located in the Crossroads Art District and boast an eclectic wine list. Whether you are a wine novice or expert, Tannin offers wines by the taste, glass or bottle, to satisfy everyone’s palate. Their knowledgeable staff can assist you in selecting the perfect wine to pair with your meal.

Tannin serves both lunch and dinner and the menu boasts a seasonal, contemporary American menu that includes a unique selection of small bites, gourmet sandwiches and eclectic entrees.With the diverse menu offerings, Tannin is the perfect place to go if you are in the mood to share a selection of small plates and a bottle of wine with friends, want a romantic dinner for two or just need a great place for lunch.


Hedges Family Estate, owned by Tom and Ann-Marie Hedges located on Red Mountain, is the largest family-owned winery in Washington State. Tom was born in Richland, Washington, while Anne-Marie was born in Champagne, France. Both of their upbringings have influenced what Hedges Family Estate is today. Read more about the family and winery here.

The dinner featured their signature Red Mountain as well as blends from their Columbia Valley Line.

I have recapped the menu below. Warning it will leave you wanting good wine and good food and Tannin Wine Bar and Kitchen where you can enjoy Hedges Family Estates wine and great food will curb that craving!

Warm Brioche with Cherry and Brie with Independent Producers Chardonnay Dionysus Vineyard, Columbia Valley

Parmesan Encrusted Trout, Frisée Salad, Warm Bacon Vinaigrette with CMS Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley

Black Pepper Seared Beef Carpaccio, Local Micro Greens, Truffle Aioli with Independent Producers “The Bourgeoisie” Merlot Sagemoor Farm, ColumbiaValley

Herb Roasted Squab, Buttered Basmati Rice, Red Beets, Orange Reduction Hedges Family Estate “CMS” Columbia Valley

Slow Braised Spring Lamb, Wild Mushroom and Baby Vegetable Ragout Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain

Chocolate Covered Blackberries

All of the wines and food were phenomenal. I wish to thank Tannin and Hedges for inviting me to this event. I already knew Tannin is a great place to go to and I am now thrilled to have found some new great wines! Hedges Wines are available throughout the metro.  Visit the Hedges Family Estates website for additional information on wine including tasting notes and ordering online and more.

Address Info:
Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen
1526 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO