The Meze platter should offer a variety of foods, textures, colors, and flavors for people to nibble on as they enjoy wine or ouzo and the company of friends. As a general rule, ouzo and tsipouro go best with seafood meze platters, while wines are a better match for cured meats and cheeses. Vegetables meze items, such as baked giant beans, eggplants preserved in olive oil, roasted red Florina peppers in brine, olives, capers, and the range of Greek spreads, from roasted eggplant to taramosalata (fish roe puree) and tzatziki (yogurt-garlic-cucumber), can pair up on either platter or can stand separately on their own.
Three ideas for meze platters:
For red wines:
Greek yellow cheeses, such as aged kasseri, kasseri, graviera, kefalograviera, kefalotyri, smoked cheeses, herb-infused cheeses.
Mild white cheeses such as manouri.
Any of the cured meats at the Hellenic Gourmet shop, including Lefkada salami, singlino Manis, and dried sausages.
Roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted eggplant spreads, all go well on this platter.
Kalamata olive puree, preferably on bread or crackers
For white wines:
Avgotaraho (botargo), trimmed and cut into thin slices
Salmon and other fish pates, with a little bread or crackers or Greek rusks or bread sticks
Stuffed grape leaves (dolmades)
Green olive puree and green olives
Roasted red pepper-cheese spreads
Tzatziki (especially with robust Retsina)
Feta, flavored feta, soft goat’s cheeses such as geremetsi and erifi. Any soft, sharp cheese. (Feta may be seasoned with a little olive oil, red pepper flakes or herbs.)
For ouzo and tsipouro:
Avgotaraho (botargo), trimmed and sliced
Any of the delicious fish pates at Hellenic Gourmet
Any variety of olives
Any variety of brined peppers, including roasted red Florina peppers and pickled green peperoncini
Kalamata and green olive pates
Roasted red pepper and cheese pates
To prepare the meze platters, simply choose 4-7 different items per platter and place decoratively on large platters, so that there is a variety of color, texture, and food item. You may serve bread, bread sticks or rusks with the meze platter. Greek extra virgin olive oil in a bowl with herbs and sea salt, served with good bread, is also a great meze.