There's soft, unctuous cheese that'll run down your chin if you're not careful. There's aged, sharp cheese with little crystalline jewels secreted inside; there's blue, veiny wedges that look like the stuff of cheap horror films and powdery, spreadable, white cheese that leaves your palate clean as snow. From the earthy and nutty to the down right stinky - when my German father peeled away the thin foil around a block of Limburger he cleared the room, every time - cheese comes in so much variety it's impossible to count. That's why, when it comes to the cheese platter, more is better I say. I like something soft, and something hard, something strong and something mild. A little goat version, a little cow version and lots of accoutrements; things like nuts, jam, fresh fruit, olives, pickles, dried fruit.
And if you are drinking wine, something versatile is necessary, because of all that difference on the plate.
An easy-pairing red, I'd say, would be a Beaujolais, or a Valpolicella. Sometimes I like a fuller white, like this Calamus Cosmic white (which was in the latest Vintages release and probably won't be on the shelves for much longer, so go now to your closest LCBO, NOW!).
I love anything that Calamus Estate makes - anything. This is a blend of a lot of Riesling (for acidity, lightness and a green apple flavour), a bit of Chardonnay (for some texture, citrus and a bit of weight), and a bit of Gewurztraminer (for some floral notes, riper fruit flavours, more weight and a tinge of pleasing sweet on the tongue). A good deal of an Ontario white at $13.95.
Interested in cheese? Check out Vanessa's Blog at Savvy Company. She's got the real word on cheese.