Thank you Castello Cheese for sponsoring this post. Castello Cheese makes entertaining easy with its range of flavors.
This will be the second Christmas in our cabin, and this year is all about creating holiday traditions. We plan to celebrate the holidays with family and I want to start new traditions that we can look back on each year.
Each year, we have our main Christmas meal with family. My mother cooks a feast, and I offer to bring an appetizer. Because that appetizer is my one contribution to the meal, I’m motivated to make it perfect.
But — realistically — my appetizer also has to be easy and quick to put together. It has to get done between the general craziness of the holidays and wrangling our toddler.
So, this year I’m starting a tradition of making the ideal holiday party appetizer: a cheese board.
Why is this ideal? Not only is it delicious, but it’s easy to put together and looks impressive! The secret is choosing the right cheeses and pairings for them.
Let’s dive into exactly how to create the perfect cheese board for a holiday party or get together.
How to Create The Perfect Holiday Cheese Board
With a few tips and tricks, you can take your cheese board from plain cheese and crackers to show-stopping impressive.
Here’s 3 simple ways to create a party-worthy platter:
1. Choose Your Cheese Wisely
The cheeses that you feature are the most important part of your board. Select a variety, aiming for at least 3 options. This will give guests options to choose from and keep them coming back for more.
For our cheese board, I used our go-tos from Castello Cheese. Castello Cheese has 40+ flavors to choose from and are fun to shop for in the specialty cheese aisle. Especially for someone like me (I’m no cheese connoisseur), their packaging has simple flavor and strength descriptions.
For the closest place to buy Castello Cheese near you, check out their handy store locator here.
Here’s what I went with for my cheese selection. This is a classic combination that you can’t go wrong with:
- Creamy Havarti: A must-have on any cheese board. It’s mild & creamy with a slight tanginess.
- Traditional Danish Blue: I always include a blue cheese option on my boards. It adds depth of flavor. This one is a fine, nutty cheese with hints of marzipan and sourdough (so good!).
- Smoked Gouda: A crowd-pleaser. Incredible flavor from being lightly smoked over hickory wood chips. This is usually the first cheese to disappear!
2. Find 3 – 5 Items to Serve with Your Cheese
Now that you’ve chosen your cheeses, it’s time to find a few items to pair them with on your board. These could be crackers, nuts, fruit, etc (full list of ideas below). It’s best to find at least 3 – 5 items you can add to your board, but the more the better.
For the holidays, I chose to use a ‘red and green’ theme for my board, focusing mostly on pairings that fit this color scheme. This gave my board a few festive pops of color. Choosing a theme will help you narrow down what you want to add.
Here’s a full list of ideas for items on a holiday cheese board:
- Fresh bread
- Spreads (jam, honey)
- Charcuterie meats
- Holiday candy
With a holiday cheese board, you can’t go wrong adding a mix of items like holiday candy or cookies in addition to classic crackers and fruit.
For more cheese board inspiration, check out Castello Cheese on Pinterest.
3. Variety Is Key
If you’re having trouble deciding what to put on your board, remember that variety is key. Include a mix of sweet/savory and crunchy/creamy options. And keep going until your board is full to the brim!
Variety is what makes cheese boards so beautiful and appetizing: there’s options for everyone.
As you design your cheese board, highlight variety by placing different colored or textured items next to each other.
How to Serve Your Holiday Cheese Board
Whenever a cheese board is served, it’s inevitable that it will get paired with wine! There’s no better combination. So to make things easier, here’s a cheat sheet of which wines go with which cheeses.
This is a quick list that will make it easy for you to answer any questions from your wine and cheese tasters.
And if you chose Castello Cheeses like I did, their flavor options make wine pairings straightforward. Even if you don’t have this list on hand, their packaging has flavor notes that can guide you in your pairings.
Wine Pairings for Your Holiday Cheese Board
- Merlot: Sharp Cheddar, Gouda (in general, hard cheeses)
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Swiss, Sharp Cheddar, Asiago (in general, hard cheeses)
- Sauvignon Blanc: Blue, Goat, Feta
- Pinot Grigio: Mild Italian Cheeses (ex: Mozzarella)
- Chardonnay: Mozzarella, Mild Cheddar
- Riesling: Soft cheeses like Brie, Camembert
For more tips on how to serve your cheeses (and look like a cheese connoisseur to your guests!) check out Castello Cheese on Pinterest.
Overall, have fun with your holiday cheese board! You can choose cheeses and items that you love, and get creative with how you serve them. That’s the best part of entertaining with a cheese board: guests will love it no matter what — there’s always something for everyone.
Get started by finding here to buy Castello Cheese near you.