This selection of cheeses has it all: You've got the whole spectrum of textures, milk types, and flavors represented. Blu di Bufala (top left) is a decadent stinky cheese from an ancient recipe. A really top notch, salty hard cheese like Solo di Bruna Parmigiano Reggiano, aged for over 24 months to achieve the perfect nutty, caramelized crunch, is almost better for munching off a cheese plate than it is for grating. Vermont Butter and Cheese Company's Cremont (left), a combination of goat and cow's milk and cream, has a delicate bloomy rind and soft, luscious interior. Miel Asturiana Chestnut Honey is a dark, thick, luxurious accompaniment to any cheese, but don't be surprised to catch your guests enjoying it alone, by the spoonful. Clockwise from top:
Blu di Bufala, _$27.99/lb at Murrayscheese.com_
Solo Di Brunda Parmigiano-Reggiano, _$22.99/lb at Murrayscheese.com_
Miel Asturiana Chestnut Honey, _$22.30 at Tienda.com_
Vermont Butter & Cheese Co. Cremont, _$10.99 each at Murrayscheese.com_. Nicole Franzen

When building a cheese plate, creating a balanced, complementary spread is all about variety. Aim for a range of textures (runny, soft, semi-firm, hard), flavors (mild, stinky, creamy, and salty), milk types (sheep’s milk, cow’s milk, goat milk, or a blend), and colors, and look for condiments that enhance the flavors of the cheese—not overpower them. After spending an afternoon with our friends at Murray’s Cheese tasting cheeses and accompaniments, we’ve curated four unique arrays with entertaining in mind, each plate with at least three cheeses and a unique condiment. Follow our lead, or mix and match to create your own ideal plate.

See Four Decadent Cheese Plates in the gallery »