Cheese as a meal – the “apéro dînatoire”
Ann divides her time between Washington DC and Paris, and one of her favorite ways to spend a convivial evening with friends is the “apéro dînatoire,” which is a casual meal of wine and small bites that can stretch for hours – and there’s no cooking! In this cheese board, Ann has paired nutty Comté – a hard mountain cheese – with three soft cheeses made by Strongman Gourmet Farmer, a local cheesemaker in the Shenandoah valley. There’s a runny, bloomy-rind triple-cream made with goat and cow’s milk; Grayson, a fragrant, semi-soft cheese, and an aged goat crottin. Accompanying the cheese are saucisson sec, and truffled chicken liver mousse; as well as grapes, plums, pears, olives, a bounteous kale salad, and – of course – lots of fresh baguette. A crisp, dry white wine is the perfect pairing – Ann suggests a sauvignon blanc like Sancerre or an Alsace riesling.