To assist budget-conscious consumers get the most bang for their buck this holiday season, ALDI has teamed up with Leslee Miller, "a dually certified Sommelier through the International Sommelier Guild and the Court of Master Sommelier," to provide tips and picks for creating enticing and memorable cheese platters and along with the wines to pair them with.
The consumer-aimed partnership proclaims "creating a beautiful cheese board can be simple and spectacular." ALDI and Leslee Miller aim to accomplish task this by having customers follow "tried-and-true tips for selecting and styling the components of your holiday cheese platter."
First, they say, choose a few types of cheeses that vary in texture and taste. Simple enough.
Secondly, choose at least one cheese that will be familiar with guests, such as cheddar. Check.
Third, limit the number of cheeses to 3-5, so that guests can comforatably taste each one. Easy peasy.
Fourth and lastly, serve your cheese with accompaniments, such as crackers, nuts, jams, jellies, pickled vegetables, bread, fruit, and of course, wine. Yum!
The selection process culminates into what they call, "Flights and Bites." While recommending types of cheeses and approximate quantitites, the partnership also includes a list of wines suitable for pairing with the various cheeses, and it promises to make the pairings both enjoyable and affordable.
The recommendations are very specific and appear easy to navigate. For instance, one pairing set advises to pair a Zum Riesling with a Specially Selected HandRolled Goat Cheese Log.
"Notes of peach, honey and blueberries from the goat cheese intertwine beautifully with the succulent tones of the Zum Riesling," as quoted from the guide. In another, San Zenone Toscana Rosso is paired with Specially Selected Manchego, as the "Ripe black cherry and pepper spice from this complexly flavored wine combine with delicious manchego for bursting cherry and salty butterscotch tones."
The guide also has tips for selecting and tasting wine as well, which seem useful enough.
Seems like a good idea, as anyone who has stared at a wall of cheeses from around the world at the local grocery store knows how daunting it can be to make a decision. Throw some money-saving incentive in there and you have a formula for a social-gathering success story. And even if there isn't an ALDI near you, the pairing advice and insights that are provided by this partnership are worth their weight in smoked gouda.
For more information on Leslee Miller, an influential and respected person within the resturant and wine communities, check out her website: Amusée