I have mentioned before in another article, that one of my favorite dinners is what I refer to as The Romantic Dinner. It consists of wine, cheese, fruit and/or vegetable, and bread. As my husband loves a hearty salami, I have expanded the dinner to include a meat and/or shrimp.

Part of the joy of cooking and preparing meals to me is the versatility of serving if you can think outside the box. For instance I love the combination of a sweet maple honey ham with steamed broccoli as a side dish. However, I'm just as happy to turn that combination into an a hot appetizer by cubing the ham, breaking up the broccoli, putting one piece of each on a toothpick and dipping it into a maple honey glaze.

So it is with the romantic dinner. It's easily turned into appetizer trays of cubed cheeses, meats, and pieces of fruits and vegetables, with small slices of hearty french or Italian breads. Served with glasses of your favorite wines.

I did some research on wine and food pairings, and the consensus is that a light wine goes best with a light cheese, a more robust wine goes with sharper, harder cheeses.

I prefer opposite flavors and temperatures as pairs. For example a hot soup with a cool crisp salad. Or a mild wine with a sharp cheese. To me this creates more excitement in your taste buds, as long as you don't completely overpower one of the flavors.

I don't believe there is a right or wrong opinion on this. I think whatever your personal preferences are is what matters. Keep in mind though if you are having company for the holidays you want to offer a variety so that people can choose their own favorite flavor pairings, and be able to try new combinations.