How to Build the Perfect Wine and Cheese Board

I partnered up with Poplar to make a delicious grazing board infused with CBD and paired with a full bodied wine for National Wine and Cheese Day. [P.S.: Our board is vegan, so yes! It's still possible to enjoy a tasty cheese board aka grazing board when vegan.]

I often describe myself as a "Cannabis Sommelier", because I talk about the flavors, smells and lineage of Marijuana strains the way most people talk about wine. Wine usually plays into sweet, acidic, fruity, nutty notes so a grazing board is the perfect way to find the perfect flavor to accompany your wine [and your weed].

For this board, I built it using the amazing Potli Infused Olive Oil, Potli Infused Raw Honey, Potli Infused Chili Oil and Lily CBD Oil. This board is vegan and vegetarian using a combination of farm fresh veggies, dairy free cheeses, handmade crackers and veggie meat.

As some of you know, one of my favorite events has paired wine with cannabis Varietals by area/region, then flavor and scent, so working on this project was right up my alley.

Grazing boards are a great way to use up the odds and ends you might have floating around your pantry or in your fridge. If you only have a handful of cherry tomatoes left from your garden it looks a lot nicer on a cheese board than sitting on top of a salad looking sparse.

For this board I use vegan cheeses, a combination of store-bought crackers and handmade crackers and some great fruits and vegetables that I got in my farm delivery. [Shopping local as often as you can is a great way to help your community, plus it's pretty simple!]

A good cheese board or grazing board utilizes lots of different flavors, textures and acids.

4 Tips for Pairing Your Cheeses:

1. Use different types/textures of cheese [or cheeze] - So something soft and gooey, as well something smooth and creamy and hard and sharp. Putting different textures on your plate is important to the visual appeal of the plate.

2. Mix Up Your Flavors - This is as important if not more so than the texture of your cheese. Mixing up flavors is important so that the person enjoying has a robust experience.

3. Use contrasting and complementing grazing options - i.e.: our Potli Chili Oil, a yummy jam, crystalized honey, and even different fruits and nuts.

4. Always have options that pair together - When making your board it is important to have cheeses that pair with another specific item on the plate. That way you know everything has something that is can pair well with, even though it's fun to pair different options.

For the Poplar Cheese Board I paired a herbed, whipped, vegan ricotta with the Potli chili oil. A fresh made hummus topped with the Potli olive oils great with crackers or fresh cut cucumbers. Apricots filled with coconut cream and a drizzle of Potli CBD infused honey added some sweetness to the rich and savory nuts and cheeses.

And if you're wondering what I'm drizzling on to the tomato and basil cashew cheese topped with baby heirloom tomatoes and farm fresh pesto? That's the Lily CBD drops!
All of these delicious products are available through Poplar.

To learn more about Livvie Smalls and her works, check her website and Instagram.