It’s no secret in my household that I am a brie fiend. For me, no holiday cheese plate or meal is complete without the additional of this buttery-soft cheese.I’ll find any excuse I can to make a baked brie with some store-bought puff pastry and my favorite holiday treat: Isigny Sainte-Mère French Brie. It’s a Whole Foods Market® exclusive, traditionally crafted by a farmer’s co-op in Normandy, France. The lush grasses of the region make for rich milk that creates a superb flavor and luscious mouth feel.
Build Your Own Brie
There are dozens of ways to “build your own brie” and personalize this creamy cheese for your holiday palette. Some of my favorites:
- Serve simply with a smear of Adriatic fig spread or sour cherry compote. The tart flavor will complement the brie’s richness. *
- Sprinkle on Marcona almonds or candied walnuts for some crunchy contrast. *
- Brie en Croute with Cherries and Pistachios - Serve as a dessert or appetizer with Champagne or a semi-dry Riesling.
- Baked Apple and Brie Canapes - The perfect starter to an autumn or winter meal. Pair with crisp white or sparkling wine.
- Easy Brie Fondue - Perfect for evening gatherings or as a party centerpiece.
- Brie Pimento Cheese - Decadent and fun, this pimiento cheese is a new classic.
* When serving brie, be sure to let it come to room temperature for 30-45 minutes before serving. This will help you and your guests experience the full flavor and rich texture of brie!
Wine & Beer PairingsLooking for the perfect beverage to complement your holiday cheese plate? Check out our Holiday Top Ten Wines for some pairing ideas!
Wondering what goes best with brie? Try wines with more acidity. Brie’s creamy richness stands up well with Beaujolais, Cabernet Franc, Champagne, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Of this year’s Holiday Top Ten Wines, your best option for both maximum flavor and maximum value is HRM Rex-Goliath Pinot Noir. This easy-drinking wine is a crowd pleasing option.
Not into wine? Try your buttery brie with some hearty beers such as American Porter, American Stout, Imperial Stout, ESB (Extra Special/Strong Bitter), Old Ale and Scotch Ale. The Beer Department folks can give you top-notch recommendations.
So, do you love brie as much as I do? What are your favorite ways to enjoy this wholly unique cheese and what will you be serving with it at your holiday table this year?