Heinen’s upcoming “Bubbles & Cheese” sparkling wine, Champagne and cheese tasting event inspired this week’s 4PM Panic post because there are times when a cheese platter is the simplest solution for dinner. One of my husband’s favorite meals is when I build some sort of cheese board with cheeses, meats, fruits, crackers, crusty breads and olives.  My whole family has grown up loving this type of communal meal.  It’s an easy way to put something on the table that everyone enjoys.  I feel like I can easily check off all the nutrition boxes so long as I build it with plenty of fruit and vegetable choices. The best part of this meal is that there is no recipe.  Simply put out all your favorites and, voila, dinner is served. You can even add pretzels and Nutella dip for dessert (for the kids of course…wink) to stay with the theme. For this presentation I’ve added a vegetable pâté and a few winter greens.


With the holidays quickly approaching I thought this would be the perfect topic for a 4PM Panic post because it’s also a simple way to prepare for a party. I don’t know about you but I panic just a bit when I have company. I always feel compelled to serve something that will make my guests feel exactly how much I appreciate their company. So, to look festive and impressive without slaving in the kitchen all day, this is one of my favorite holiday plans.


If you would like to learn more about how to choose an elegant selection of cheese and garnishes for your platter, head over to Heinen’s “Bubbles & Cheese” event from 6 to 8 p.m. this Friday, December 11th. They will feature an assortment of cheeses paired with Champagnes and sparkling wines from around the world that are perfect for your holiday parties.  Here’s a sneak peek at the five cheeses they’ll be featuring which include Point Reyes Toma and Petitie Breakfast Brie from California, Campo De Montalban and Fol EPI Swiss from France and Casitica Di Bufala from Italy.


And putting together your cheese board is easier than you think. Choose your favorite fruits. Olives pair well with cheese. Choose meats like prosciutto and salami or, for a lighter fare, try sliced grilled chicken or even poached or smoked salmon. Nuts, honey, crackers and crusty breads will finish your presentation. You don’t need a fancy board. Use a cutting board or a ceramic platter. Wooden charger plates work well for smaller spreads and honey is one of my favorite parings with cheese, especially brie.


When it comes to choosing the perfect wines for pairing, Heinen’s associates are always ready with answers and helpful tips. Ask for Sue in the cheese department.  She will help you find the perfect cheese for any dish.  Heinen’s Wine Specialist, Mark Breen is one of the knowledgeable associates who will be happy to tell you all about different wine regions, flavors and parings. “From Thanksgiving to Christmas, every weekend is a holiday,” Mark says.  “People are getting together with friends and family and sparkling wines and Champagnes go with everything.”


If you can make it to Heinen’s “Bubbles & Cheese” event on Friday, you’ll be treated to tastes of Champagnes and sparkling wines in a variety of price ranges at five stations featuring selections from France, Italy, Spain, California plus and “Around the World” Wrap-up.

Whether you’re planning your next party or your family’s next meal, Heinen’s offers solutions that will please every palate.


By the way, have you heard about Heinen’s Tasteful Rewards™ program?  Sign up for free to receive exclusive weekly specials via email and earn Heinen’s rewards.  As a Tasteful Rewards™ membership benefit, Heinen’s will donate up to 1% of your qualified purchases made between September and April to a local school of your choice through their Teaming Up for Education Program. CLICK HERE to sign up for Heinen’s Tasteful Rewards™ today.

Photographer Sally Roeckell specializes in contemporary lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on food photography.  She regularly shops at Heinen’s for the family dishes she features via Table and Dish on Instagram and on her website at  TableAndDish.com.

Heinen’s Grocery is located at 500 N. Hough Street, between E. Main Street and Route 14 (next to Meatheads) in Barrington, Illinois. They’re open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit Heinens.com.

Heinen's Grocery Store in Barrington, Illinois

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