Thinking about festive ways to celebrate the holidays COVID-style? How about enjoying a charcuterie platter! Katie Davis from Natchez Hills Winery is here to give us the low-down on what makes an Instagram-worthy charcuterie platter and how best to enjoy it...with good drinks and good company, of course!
If you’re celebrating long-distance, send a Charcuterie Kit Gift Batch to each household and enjoy together via Zoom. If you’re planning an intimate socially distanced in-person gathering, serve up individual charcuterie plates for each guest.
Tell us a little bit about your business!
Natchez Hills Winery currently has three locations: our vineyard and tasting room in Hampshire, TN; a tasting room at the Nashville Farmers’ Market; and our newest tasting room at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage! We sell wine by the glass and bottle, and partner with local vendors and farmers to create pairings and charcuterie boards.
Judging by the pics on the Natchez Hills Vineyard Instagram, you know how to make amazing charcuterie platters! What are the essential elements of a good charcuterie platter?
You want a variety of cured meats (of course), soft and hard cheeses, at least one pickled item, nuts, fruit (fresh or dried), jam or honey, and fresh baguettes or crackers.
What types of serving accessories and utensils will I need to really enjoy the experience?
The best part about a charcuterie board is you don’t need to have too many items to make it work for you! At our Nashville location, we currently (due to COVID-19) use disposable “boards” that can also be used as to-go containers, disposable knives and spoons, and small cups for things like the jam and pickles. Our favorite items to use include a large board for serving (use a wooden cutting board, your grandma’s china, a serving tray, or whatever you have on hand), small glass mason jars for jam and honey, and cheese knives for easy slicing and spreading. If we were serving at home, we would add a variety of knife sizes to use for differing cheeses.
Where do you go to find the best local Nashville area ingredients for your charcuterie platters?
My go-to girl for salami and cheese is Kathleen at The Bloomy Rind. She carries the best quality ingredients, sourced from local and regional farmers, and I can’t get enough of her delicious selections! We can walk right outside to the Nashville Farmers’ Market farm shed vendors to get fruit, herbs, honey, jam, nuts, etc. We have such a huge selection at our fingertips! We source our baguettes from Cocorico! Elodie is an amazing friend and baker, so be sure to check her out. As the seasons change, we add in or take away items, but some of our tried-and-true favorite local partners and ingredients include Lee Oakley’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles, The Nashville Jam Co. Jam, and TruBee Honey!
[Want to learn more about the artisans who run small businesses in Nashville and around the U.S.? Check out our Meet the Maker series.]
What beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) go best with charcuterie platters?
I might be a little biased, but my favorite all time pairing would be wine. At Natchez Hills, we have a delicious variety from a dry Sauvignon Blanc to a semi-sweet Ridgetop Red! I love pairing our Riesling with a heat cheddar from Kathleen at The Bloomy Rind, and our Cabernet Sauvignon goes perfectly with a bite of salami and goat cheese! If you prefer a non-alcoholic drink, we serve flavored sparkling water to our guests who still want something fun to sip on.
Where/when is your favorite time to put out a charcuterie platter? Who would you share it with?
My favorite moment to put out the boards is right before the guests arrive. I cover it with deli paper until they’re at the table, and I love the moment when they walk in and we uncover the boards. Their eyes light up, they are drawn to the wine glasses and candles mixed in with the aromas and colors of the boards, and seeing their smiles makes the detail work that much more worth it! When I am not making boards at the tasting room, I usually share my boards at home with my friends and neighbors in the backyard.
[Want more ideas for gifts to share with loved ones across the miles this holiday season? Here are 5 Gifts to Celebrate the Holidays Together from Afar.]
Is there anything else you want to share with us?
A charcuterie board paired with wine is a sign that it’s time to sit down, enjoy the moment, put your phone away, and be present with your friends (and the wine and cheese!). It’s a signal to enjoy the simpler moments and connect with those around you. I am so honored to be partners with Batch and all of our partners I mentioned above and more. At Natchez Hills, music, charcuterie, and wine help us bring it all together to connect those around us and share our love of wine with our city! We would absolutely love to have you come visit us. We currently offer a variety of reservation options if you’d like to reserve a special time to visit. Cheers!