Ah, the cheese plate. Our favorite crowd-pleaser. But, mastering the art of the cheese plate is a skill. When selecting cheese plate ingredients, look for variety in texture, flavor, and color. Most cheeses come in four basic categories: aged, soft, firm, or blue. Choose one from each group as a starting point. But what about the accompaniments? Try honey, a fig compote, dates, peppered salami or salty nuts along with artisan bread and crackers. Crack open a bottle of wine and nosh the afternoon or evening away.