By Jerome Dalton
One of the clear trends on the Brisbane food scene of late has been the rise of wine bars like Gerards Bar on James St. There’s nothing better than making an unplanned stop for wine and charcuterie any night of the week to catch up with friends – it’s low preparation, low cost and very casual.
The good news is, today’s wine bar trend can easily be replicated at home with such little effort you’ll wonder why you don’t entertain this way more often.
So where to start? Beverages are always a good place to begin and some of my favorite styles for this type of eating would be Manzanilla sherry, a good lambrusco or prosecco and dry German Riesling. Beer is always a crowd pleaser on a summer’s day and German style wheat beer is perfect. Buy from one of the many excellent local craft beer brewers.
Next grab a large wooden serving board, ideally vintage, and load it with charcuterie meats, like Jamon iberico, bresaola and salumi, and top it off with a generous slice of duck liver pate.
Pickled vegetables are the perfect partner for rich salty meats and a must for any charcuterie board. Sure you can grab great pickled veg at any good deli but it’s so easy to make at home. Currently in season and ideal for pickling are golden beets or target beets, small whole heirloom tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots and Asian greens. Click here for a link to my website for a simple pickling recipe.
To finish simply add bread, olives and cheese. I like an aged cheddar, sheep’s blue and triple cream brie on my charcuterie boards, but it’s personal taste. When shopping for aged cheeses watch out for the tell tale ammonia smell of aged cheese past their best. Breads like a well made baguette or sourdough are always a welcome addition and will be the perfect finishing touch to your at-home, wine bar style of entertaining.
Where to Shop
Meats and cheese: Pennisi, 17 Balaclava St, Woolloongabba
Beverages: Craft Wine Store, 196 Musgrave Rd, Red Hill
Boards: Big Vintage, 7 Commerce St, Salisbury (Wed-Sat)
Breads: Uncle Bob’s Bakery, 185 Belmont Rd, Belmont (try the 24 hour baguette)