There is nothing I love more for a date night, a girls night, or a dinner party than a beautiful cheeseboard. These boards are simple enough to create, and with these tips + tricks you’ll impress any guest.
I buy my cheeses first – usually 2 to 3 for the board, depending on the party size. Make sure when purchasing cheese to read their descriptions to make sure you not only have a variety, but an idea of what other things will pair well (wine, meats, fruits)
I recommend one soft cheese like a Brie or a Stracchino (these are more mild in flavor and a crowdpleaser), one firm cheese like Parmesan, Havarti, or a sharp cheddar, and one jazzy cheese like goat cheese or blue cheese. With goat cheese, I love to pair this with a yummy jelly or honey on top or on the side. Warm the jelly for extra sass.
Rule of thumb, don’t buy a cheese that’s too expensive or too far out of your comfort zone. You can stay around the $7-$20 range for a great cheese!
I usually grab a log of salami to slice up, along with prosciutto and a something a little spicier like pepperoni. This is when you want to make sure the flavors of cheeses + meats compliment each other, but that doesn’t mean they have to be the same!
For example, prosciutto is both salty + buttery in flavor. This goes well with a saltier cheese like Parmesan, but also goes well with a softer, sweeter cheese like Brie.
For a spicier meat like pepperoni or salami, you’ll want something to balance the heat like a gouda, goat, or asiago.
The options are endless!
After you’ve gathered your cheeses + meats, time for the extras! I like to do a raw fruit, and/or a dried fruit, one to two cracker options, a bread option, a dip, and some nuts.
Again, you’ll want to be mindful of what cheeses you’ll be pairing with this. It’s tough to scoop brie with a thin cracker- they snap! I recommend getting one thinner option for the cheeses you’ll cut with a knife, a thicker bruschetta for the dip/scrape cheese, and a flavored cracker for fun. I love trader joes Cranberry crisps or fig and rosemary crackers.
Some ideas for good dips are hummus, any good jelly, chutney, or good old fashioned olive oil with cracked pepper.
Certain fruits brings out the flavor of certain cheeses. I like more a mild fruit like grapes, blackberries, blueberries, or dried apricots.
Now for the fun part!
If you just want to stick with one wine, you’ll want to grab one that goes with the most of the cheeseboard. If you’re up to it, it’s always nice to have a red and a white option.
For red, a Cabernet or Merlot are easy crowdpleasers and pair well with most cheeses. Another red option would be Pino Noir, but be sure to try it before you serve it as they can be a bit more temperamental.
For whites, I love a crisp, dry Sauvignon Blanc.
Here’s a list of my favorite wines:
Meomi Pino Noir
Biltmore Red Blend
Trader Joes Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
A board of your choosing- I like a medium to large board, or even butcher paper and laying everything out on the the table
A handful of smaller bowls for dips with small spoons
Serving knifes for cheeses
Fun toppings like rosemary, cumquats, dried orange wheels, or olives
Place your cheese down first, adjacent to each other with equal space between them all.
If you want to get really fancy, lay some large hydrangea leaves down first, then put your cheeses + things on top. This adds such an earthy, elegant look to your board.
I put dips down next since bowls take up a lot of real estate on your board. Sometimes, I will leave the bowl(s) to the side of the board if I don’t have enough room.
Next, I’ll lay the meats around the board. For some I’ll fold and fan them around the cheeses, for other (like prosciutto) i will roll up and put in their own stack.
Crackers are next. I will fan each them around the cheeses or meat.
Sprinkle your fruits last, then place your extra items like Rosemary in a few spots.