I get genuinely excited when I see a cheese board anywhere, from restaurants to dinner parties and every year my in-laws knock together an amazing one on Christmas. Wherever it is, I always make sure I leave a little room in my tummy for cheese. Always.
So in all of cheesedom, what makes a great cheese board?
Simple …. a good balance of flavours. With so many varieties, tastes and textures to choose from, where do you start? I have five top tips to help you on your way…
Take the cheese out of the fridge at least an hour before you serve it. This allows time for the flavours to release and will also give the cheese a gorgeous softer texture.
Limit your cheese choices to four or five maximum. Always have the three classics; a soft cheese like Brie or Camembert, a firm cheese like Cheddar or Lancashire, and a blue like Roquefort or Stilton. Then add a couple of whatever takes your fancy, I absolutely love Manchego drizzled in honey and Ginger Spice from the Snowdonia Cheese Company (which is seriously, seriously good).
Add accompaniments with your cheese, such as crackers or maybe an artisan bread served with a small dish of room temperature butter. Serve with a chutney and a fruit, perhaps a handful of grapes, figs, sliced apple, sliced pear, baby tomatoes or olives, and some some walnuts would be a great addition too.
Make your cheese board look as pretty as a picture by serving on a beautiful wooden board or on a natural slate plate giving everything on the plate a little space. Arrange the cheeses in a clockwise direction from mildest to strongest.
The main consensus on pairing wine with cheese is: for strong cheeses, go with bolder wines such as a robust Rioja, and milder cheeses go with a lighter wine or even Champagne! Whatever you decide, it’s usually best to match the cheese and wine from the same region/country if you can.