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This easy winter cheeseboard paired with Beaujolais wine makes holiday entertaining a snap. Plus, to sure to check out the recipe for a five-minute pomegranate chèvre cheeseball.
Want to know the secret to super easy holiday entertaining that looks and tastes fancy and will impress all your guests? Here its is: wine and an epic cheeseboard. This is so simple to put together, but everyone loves it. Best of all, there’s no cooking required! I’ve teamed up with Discover Beaujolais to bring you this easy winter cheeseboard that pairs perfectly with their Moulin-à-Vent red wine.
Beaujolais is a region of France north of Lyon that produces red and white wines as well as rosé. The soil there has pink granite in it with streaks of manganese, which gives the grapes and thus the wine a special flavor. I would love to go see this gorgeous region for myself, but for now, I’ll be imagining it while I snack on this cheeseboard and sip on glass of Moulin-à-Vent red.
Moulin-à-Vent is the ideal wine to accompany this winter cheeseboard because it’s full-bodied, rich, and fruity–a wonderful complement to the savory cheeses and sweet flavors of this spread. All of the Beaujolais wines are affordable and versatile, so they go well with many different kinds of food. Pretty much no matter what you’re serving, there’s a Beaujolais that will pair with it perfectly. (Of course, I recommend that you keep things simple and serve this easy winter cheeseboard!)
Once you’ve procured your Beaujolais wine, it’s time to grab the rest of the elements that will come together to make the perfect cheeseboard. And aside from the pomegranate chèvre cheeseball, which requires about five minutes of mixing and rolling, all you have to do is set things out! For an easy holiday party, I recommend just this cheeseboard, plenty of wine, and a dessert platter–anything else will be overshadowed by guests’ excitement about this spread.
Below are my tips for shopping for and building the perfect cheeseboard, followed by the easy recipe for the pomegranate chèvre cheeseball. (I think this is the closest a cheeseball has ever come to looking like a Christmas ornament!) I hope you give this wine and cheese spread a try at your next gathering, and I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season.
HOW TO SHOP FOR A PERFECT CHEESEBOARD:
- Start by choosing at least three cheeses, aiming for a balance of flavors and textures. I like to offer one soft cheese (usually Brie or similar), one hard cheese (I love manchego or pecorino), and one extra flavorful cheese (like goat or bleu).
- Select one or two wines that go well with the cheeses you’ve chosen. Full-bodied Beaujolais Moulin-a-vent pairs well with a wide variety of foods and is a perfect red wine for winter.
- Pick a few kinds of crackers to complement the cheeses and fit your guests’ preferences. For this gluten-free cheeseboard, I chose oat, lentil, and almond flour crackers.
- Choose a sweet accent, like honey, jam, or chutney, that goes well with at least one of your cheeses and plays off the flavors in the wine.
- Add some nuts, olives, or meat to round things out.
- Use seasonal fruit to add color to the board. I like to choose grapes that match the color and flavor of the wine I’m serving, so here I chose sweet black grapes to go with the dark, rich Beaujolais red wine. Red grapes are perfect with rosé and green grapes go great with white. I also like to add any other colorful fruit that catches my eye at the market.
HOW TO BUILD A PERFECT CHEESEBOARD:
- Start by placing your cheeses, honey or jam, and nuts, olives, or meat on the board with space between them. I like to place honey, jam, nuts, and olives in small jars or bowls. Arrange different types of crackers in groups between the cheeses.
- Fill in gaps with fruit. Break large bunches of grapes into smaller pieces that guests can just grab. Small fruits like clementines or plums can be added whole and stacked to add some height to the board. Larger fruits like blood oranges or pears need to be sliced for easy access.
- Consider tucking some herbs or edible flowers/greenery around the edges or anywhere you need more color. Don’t forget to add knives or spreaders–one for each type of cheese.
- Make your cheeseboard 30-60 minutes before your guests will arrive so the cheeses have time to come to room temperature, which brings out their best flavor.
- Label your cheeses or give guests a “cheeseboard tour”. For smaller groups, I just tell everyone what the different cheeses are. For larger parties, labels are nice so everyone knows what they’re getting without you having to explain it over and over!
- Encourage guests to dig in! A cheeseboard where some cubes of hard cheese are already cut and spreaders are already stuck into softer cheeses is extra inviting.
POMEGRANATE CHÈVRE CHEESEBALLBecky Winkler
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese at cool room temperature*
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon minced dried rosemary or ½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- Pinch of sea salt
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese, cream, honey, rosemary, and salt with a fork until smooth. Using clean hands, form the mixture into a ball.
- Spread the pomegranate arils out on a plate. Gently roll the cheeseball in the pomegranate seeds to coat it on all sides. Add individual arils by hand to fill in any gaps, pressing gently so that they adhere. Serve at room temperature.
Becky Winkler is an enthusiastic eater who shares paleo and gluten-free recipes on her blog, A Calculated Whisk. She enjoys chopping chocolate, salting dessert, searing short ribs, and taking pictures. In her other life, she's a grad student in Boston.