Y’all, it’s National Wine and Cheese Day. This might be one of my new favorite food holidays. What better way to celebrate this day than with… well, wine and cheese? Time to build a cheese board! And the best news is, you don’t have to break the bank to build a gorgeous and delicious cheese board.
I’ve always loved a good cheese board. Cheese boards are super classy, perfect additions to your dinner party spread, and not as intimidating to assemble as they seem. They’re also really fun and easy for at-home dinner dates. You can find so many good cheeses at your local grocery store or market without having to go to a true cheesemonger or fancy cheese shop. Though I do love my local fancy cheese shop—shoutout to you, Bleu Fox!
Let’s build your dream cheese board!
Let’s start with the main attraction here. Most cheese boards have four types of cheese: soft, semi-soft, semi-hard and hard. You don’t have to stick to that exact formula, but at least have a variety of types of cheeses.
Some of my favorite types of cheese are:
- White cheddar
- Goat cheese
- Bleu cheese
For my board, I picked white cheddar, havarti, smoked gouda, gruyere and brie. And I got all of my cheese from Aldi for $2.99 each. Who says you can’t get fancy cheese on a budget?
There’s more to a cheese board than the cheese, of course. I love slicing a baguette into little rounds or picking up some pre-toasted crostini at the store. What’s cheese without some kind of bread? If you can’t find a good baguette or crostini, your favorite crackers will work just as well! I also really love slicing an apple to use as a vehicle for my cheese. Honeycrisp, gala and pink lady apples are ideal for this.
Side note: did y’all know that “brencheese” is officially a word in the Oxford English Dictionary? How do these silly words keep getting added?!
You could finish your cheese board there, but why do that? Let’s add some extra things to fancy it up a bit. Some other fun fixin’s include:
- Olives (not my thing, but you do you)
- Pickles / cornichons
- Jam / marmalade
- Other fruit (fresh or dried)
- Dark chocolate chunks (if you’re feeling really adventurous)
Prosciutto is my favorite of the cured meats, so I like putting a few pieces of that with my cheese. I personally love including fig marmalade on a cheese board; it’s a really nice flavor complement to the stronger, semi-hard or hard cheeses, like manchego. Except this time, my grocery store was out of fig marmalade, so I settled for blackberry preserves. Honey and ricotta is a super underrated combination that would be a nice sweeter component to your board. However you decide to set up and design your cheese board, make sure you have plenty of color and variety.
Now comes the wine. Did y’all think I’d put together a cheese board without wine? It is National WINE and Cheese Day, after all. Plus wine and cheese is the best combo ever.
Your wine choices will depend largely on what cheeses you pick for your board. Whatever you choose, I recommend picking one red and one white that would complement the board well. This post from Wine Folly is a great guide for picking the right wines for your cheese board. And of course Buzzfeed has a nice roundup of wine-and-cheese charts that will help, too.
My top choices of wine for a cheese board would be:
- Pinot grigio
- Cabernet sauvignon
There’s a lot of freedom and flexibility in building your perfect cheese board. As long as you have plenty of variety and color, there’s really no way to go wrong with it.
What do you like to put on your cheese board? Which wine will you be drinking with your cheese board?