By Julie Hartigan of Cooking w/Julie

February 24, 2020

How to make the coziest winter cheeseboard

Cold weather is the perfect excuse to snuggle in for a cozy night with family and friends.  Whether you’re hosting game night, watching a movie, or just relaxing by the fireplace; a Winter Cheeseboard is an easy and delicious option for everyone to snack on.  Here are some of our top tips to put together the most beautiful winter board!

♥ Choose Your Cheeses

Cold weather begs for deeper, richer flavors on your cheeseboard.  It’s still a great idea to include a mix of cheese textures and milk types to give everyone plenty of variety.  But for winter we’re dreaming of cheeses packed with flavor that pair well with red wine, port, whiskeys, or stout beers.  Here are a few of our top picks!

♥ Aged Cheeses – as cheeses mature and age their texture and flavor evolve into a deeper, richer result.  Aged imported Parmesan, Gouda, and even Cheddars often form delicious crunchy crystals.  For winter, instead of your usual fresh chèvre or goat cheese try swapping in an aged variety for a denser texture and mellow edge.

♥ Washed Rind – during the cheese making process, some cheeses are immersed into a salt water brine (or often wine, brandy, or beer) giving them a telltale orange rind and hearty, robust, and sometimes meaty flavor that’s wonderful in winter. Examples include imported Epoisses, Pont l’Eveque, Taleggio, and Raclette. We also love red wine washed goat cheeses in winter to pair with port or other hearty reds.

♥ Flavor Infused – whether it’s whisky, truffles, peppercorns, or port; cheeses that have been infused with bold flavors are perfect for winter boards.  Here we’re featuring an imported Whiskey Cheddar and Truffled Moliterno sheep’s milk cheese to add major flavor to our cheeseboard.

♥ A Deeply Veined Blue – there’s a reason why you associate blue cheese with leather club chairs and sipping port wine or brandy by a fire – they’re practically made for cold weather!  Add a robust blue cheese to your board like imported French St. Agur as we did here; or try imported Gorgonzola, Roquefort, or a Danish blue instead.  Still skeptical about blue cheeses? Learn more about choosing a crowd pleasing, milder blue cheese in our piece “All About Blue”

♥ Add The Extras

Once you’ve chosen your statement cheeses it’s time to have some fun with cozy condiments and extras!  Stick with the flavor-packed winter theme and garnish your board with some of these favorites:

  • Port Cherry or Fig Jam
  • Grainy or Whiskey Infused Mustards
  • Smoked or Spiced Almonds
  • Dense Seeded Crackers or Breads
  • Mixed Marinated Olives
  • Spicy Salami and Peppered Charcuterie

You can also use colorful dried or winter fruits to offer a sweet tart complement to your cheeses.  We love halved clementines, red grapes, pomegranates, dried figs, apricots or cherries, or juicy pear slices.

Finally, fill in any empty spaces and add visual appeal to your board with aromatic bundles of fresh winter herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme or sprigs of winter berries, pinecones, or branches.

Now you’re all ready to snuggle up and enjoy a cozy night in with the Winter Cheeseboard of your dreams!

For more cozy winter vibes be sure to check out our Scandi-inspired post “How to Hygge”

On our winter board (above):
• Aged Gouda 
• Taleggio 
• Gruyere 
• Whiskey Cheddar
• Aged Goat & Red Wine Washed Aged Goat 
• Truffled Moliterno
• St Agur