A great cheese platter is the key to any successful dinner party. Whether you are planning a feast for family or having a wine and cheese night with friends, the spread of cheeses chosen can truly dictate the coming meal.

Before you head to the store, it is smart to think ahead of what exactly you are looking for. Consider how many guests you will be having, the full menu of your dinner and platter aesthetics when brainstorming your options. A trusty fromagier at your local cheese shop can help in deciding between specific cheeses. Keep in mind that as long as cheeses are not pre-sliced, you should be able to ask for a taste of the various cheeses before selecting anything to purchase. Yum!

Photo Courtesy freethehops via Flickr/CC