If you are like Will and me, you are always trying to find fresh, fun date night ideas. We definitely have or go-to's and since we live so close to the Domain here in ATX, we frequently hop over for dinner and a good stroll. But there are definitely times that we want to have a chill night in but still hang out with one another. That's where the wine and cheeseboard date night comes in. It's the easiest thing ever to put together and we can hunker down in the living room and snack and watch a movie. If the cheeseboard is large enough, it makes a great and easy dinner.
There are tons of different blogs on how to put together a cheeseboard "correctly." I will agree that if you are having a large amount of people over, you want to make sure and have a plethora of cheeses, meats, fruits, etc. When it's just Will and me, I just go for what we love. There is still a bit of a formula to what I like to get, so I'll do a little rundown of the different types of ingredients and what we love.
I like to mix in a soft cheese with some harder cheeses. I'm automatically drawn towards goat cheese for the soft cheese and usually go for one that has herbs in it. For the harder cheeses, we love smoked cheddar (probably my favorite cheese of all time) and some sort of gouda. For this cheeseboard we did some chipotle gouda that was divine.
I like to have 2-3 choices for meats. Since we usually eat a cheeseboard as a dinner, I want to pack in as much protein as possible. For this cheeseboard we chose salami, pancetta, and prosciutto. All of these meats go great with the cheeses we chose and also a lot of the other elements on our board.
I like to have a variety of textures for my crackers to switch it up a bit as I'm eating. For this board we got some really thin, herbed crackers and some toasted baguette for a bit of a thicker, crunchier option. There are literally dozens of options as far as crackers go (seasoned, not seasoned, thick, thin, etc.), so just choose what you like or what you think will pair well with your meats/cheeses.
For our fruits and veggies, I picked things I knew we would love but also ones that would go well with the meats and cheeses we had picked out. Olives are must, and the ones on this board were seasoned. We also added sweet pickles which Will loves and grapes and pears which are two of my favorites. I also found some boozed cherries that Will not only used with the cheeses but also to make a little cocktail!
The last element is the spreads. Spreads are used a lot when people have brie on their board since fruity spreads go great with brie. We just chose a simple fig spread to use with some of the cheeses and to also pair with some of the fruits.
I really just have a couple of tips on picking what wines will pair nicely with your board. Since there are a lot of different elements to the board, you may even have a couple of options to pair with a variety of items as you try different combinations. Here are some very general rules on pairing wines with different flavors:
- Light & Tangy foods: Dry White such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc - pairs well with plain Gouda
- Spicy & Sweet foods: Sweet White such as Riesling or Moscato - pairs well with Brie and fruit
- Earthy & Woody foods: Light Red such as Pinot Noir - pairs well with cured meats and Swiss cheese
- Rich & Savory foods: Rich Red such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot - pairs well with Gorgonzola
- Bold & Fatty foods: Bold Red such as Malbec - pairs well with Smoked Cheddar
I really say have fun with it. It can even be fun to go to the grocery store together and pick everything out. Our HEB has a whole section basically designated to creating a cheeseboard. It has all of the things you need right there and so. many. options. Make a whole date out of choosing the items together, putting the board together and then sitting down to indulge.
Also, if you are looking for a lovely serving board for your cheeseboard, I highly recommend the long maple serving board and the black walnut serving board with a handle from the F&D shop! They are beautiful and hold a lot of goodies!