Thanksgiving Recipes, Cheeses & Wine Pairings

Whether you’re hosting two or 20 this Thanksgiving — which lands on Monday, October 10th in 2011 — gourmet Canadian cheeses make perfect appetizers and fine meal ingredients. These modern and traditional dinner party menu ideas let you celebrate the history of Thanksgiving with turkey and harvest vegetables, while savouring locally produced delights such as Canadian Brie and other fine cheeses. Go Canadian with spirits, too — for best results, serve fruity, fresh whites and reds, beer or sherry.

Fall Cheese Tray

A cheese tray should include a variety of soft and hard cheeses in mild, medium and strong flavour intensities.  (To ensure optimal flavour, take cheeses out of the fridge about an hour and half before serving, to bring them to room temperature.) Try these tasty choices on your Thanksgiving cheese platter.

Soft Cheeses

Canadian Brie and Camembert are both excellent soft cheese choices when preparing a cheese tray. While Brie is slightly softer and has a stronger, nuttier taste than Camembert, both cheeses have a delicate mushroom and butter taste with a smooth and creamy texture. Your guests will love Comox Brie and Cendré des Prés Camembert.

Wine Pairings Brie pairs best with dry wines; try a dry white like Chablis or the dry Rosé de Provence. A light red, like Beaujolais, will also work. Camembert, meanwhile, pairs best with a light red, like Beaujolais or Bordeaux, or a full-bodied white, like oaked Chardonnay or Gewürztraminer.

Semi-Soft Cheeses

Adding Canadian Tomme to your platter is an excellent way to introduce beginners to a cheese with more character than Mozzarella or Havarti. Possessing a fruity flavour, Comtomme has a woodsy aroma and is manufactured by artisanal cheesemakers in Quebec. Another excellent choice is the artisan cheese, Mont-St-Benoit, which tastes like hazelnut and butter.

Wine Pairing Opt for a light red, such as Bourgogne or Bordeaux, or a full-bodied white, such as Chardonnay.

Firm Cheeses

Firm cheese is the classic “sandwich” cheese, a category that includes one of the most popular varieties, Canadian cheddar. (People adore this classic, cheddar-based Party Cheese Ball recipe and Gouda, Cheddar & Swiss fondue recipe, for instance.) For a new taste, try adding Fou du Roy and Bothwell Black Truffle Cheddar to your cheese plate.

Wine Pairing Serve full-bodied wines such as a Chianti or a Burgundy.

Thanksgiving Dinner Party Recipes

Add tasty and nutritious Canadian cheese to your Thanksgiving table with these easy takes on traditional main-course dishes, make-ahead sides and easy desserts:

Review our Wine & Cheese Guide for even more tips and recipes. Plus, discover new, gourmet Canadian cheeses to delight your palate.

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