United States
  1. Home
  2. KCRW’s Good Food Rioja Feature | NPR

KCRW’s Good Food Rioja Feature | NPR

Pro tips on creating the perfect holiday cheese board Hosted by Evan Kleiman

Host, Good FoodGood Food on the Road

Talks with writer Thalassa Skinner who is the founder of Culture Cheese Magazine and author of the feature Spanish Wine Pairing with Manchengo suggests reviving the art of the cheese board. She’s compiled 25 themes in a new book titled “Cheese Boards to Share: How to Create a Stunning Board for Any Occasion.”

In this interview, Thalassa and Evan chat about Rioja Wine, Cheese and Pears.

Rioja & Allspice Pears
Makes 8 cups (64 FL OZ.)/1.9 L

The Rioja wine gives a dark, intense color to these pears, as well as a robust and pleasing taste. Allspice brings all of the flavors together, making them a spectacular addition to any cheese board.


  • 3 cups/710 ml Rioja
  • 1 cup/200 g brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 8 firm pears, cut into quarters and cored
  • Sterilized glass jars with airtight lids


-Pour the Rioja into a saucepan and add the sugar, allspice, and orange zest. Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the pears to the pan and cook gently for five minutes. Remove the pears with a slotted spoon and pack into glass jars, leaving a ¼-inch/5-mm space at the top.

-Pour the hot Rioja syrup over the fruit and carefully tap the jars on the countertop to get rid of air pockets. Wipe the jars clean and screw on the lids. Seal the jars. The pears will keep for up to one month.

United States