Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Entertaining.. Tips on Creating a Beautiful Cheese Board in the Rough Luxe Style

style me pretty
Who doesn’t love cheese? A cheese board or tray is a no fail  go to when you need a quick appetizer. I think they are particularly beautiful this time of year paired with seasonal fruits.

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If you’ve ever stood in the cheese section in any grocery store,  or better yet in front of the case at a fine cheese store, you’re well aware that creating a  cheese board can be quite an art. There are literally thousands of cheeses to choose from.  I am certainly not a cheese expert.  How do you narrow it down , what cheeses go well together, and what do you accompany them with ?
Your local chain supermarket can create this, right?

 If you want yours to look more inviting try these simple guidelines
table with fruit, cheese and crackers displayed in planters and their bases
image source unknown
Selecting the Cheese
  • Include a variety of textures and flavors. Choose aged, soft, firm, or blue. For a good variety, select one from each group. Serve between three and five cheeses.
  • Aged: Aged Cheddar, Comte, Goat Gouda
    Soft: Constant Bliss, Camembert, Brillat-Savarin
    Firm: Manchego, Mimolette, Parmigiano-Reggiano
    Blue: Gorgonzola Dolce, Valdeón, Stilton
  • You can also try selecting cheeses by the type of milk used (cow, goat, sheep). This will ensure a range of different flavors on the plate.
  • Serve at least one familiar cheese.

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Find a platter or wooden board that is flat and large enough to hold the cheeses without crowding them.
antique bread boards
Label cheeses so your guests know what they are eating
board of chalk
Serve cheeses at room temperature. Allow one to two ounces of cheese per guest and be sure to use a separate knife for each cheese. Eat cheeses from mildest to strongest.

Accompany the Cheese with
  • Fruit ,  nut breads, unflavored crackers, thin slices of French, white or wheat bread  
  • Dried dates, raisins, figs, apricots
  • Fresh seasonal fruits: grapes, pears etc.
  • Nuts: pecans, almonds and hazelnuts
  • Olives, and cured meats
Serve with beautiful knives…
Antique Bread Knives
george briggs
I prefer the real thing over fake, any day, but Pottery Barn nailed it with this set of 4 Antique-Silver Cheese Knives
Add some wonderful wine

Cheeses & Wine Guidelines: There are certain classic pairings that are universal, such as Port with Stilton. After that, you will find varying opinions about which wine(s) go best with different cheeses. 
  • Young milky cheeses (Goat Cheese, Fromage Blanc, Crescenza, Robiola, Fontina): Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir
  • Strong-flavored cheeses (Parmesan, Provolone, Gouda, Pecorino): Chianti and Shiraz
  • Aged mellow cheeses (Dry Jack, Blue Cheese, Feta, Parmesan, Stilton, Camembert): Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel
  • Pungent Cheeses (Jarlsberg, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, Roquefort): Merlot, Late Harvest Riesling and Sauternes
  • Soft-ripened cheeses (Camembert, Creamy Goat Cheese, Brie): Full-bodied Chardonnays
  • Blue cheeses (Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Bleu d' Auvergne, Stilton, Cabrales, Danish Blue, Maytag Blue, Cambozola): Pinot Noir, Burgundy, Port, Sweet Dessert Wines and Sauternes
  • Another option is to choose wine from the same region as the cheese, such as Chianti with Pecorino or Amontillado sherry with Manchego.    
Wine and cheese pairing dinner party with just goat cheese!
…Construct a simple centerpiece of fall foliage and vintage hydrangeas ….
And the party is on!!


  1. Great post and love the displays of cheese...your table-scape looks beautiful!

  2. Cindy-your table is absolutely gorgeous. I love it all- cheeses, vinos, tapas, anti-pasta platters. It's my favorite way to nosh through a sunset on the terrace.
    xx, Heather

  3. What a helpful guide! Thank you for this! I am pinning it to my food board so I can reference it later. In my local organic market, there's an employee who floats between the cheese and wine departments & is always so knowledgable on good accompaniments. I have relied on him a lot! I'll have to take some of these photos from your post in to him to help me create one of these beauties based on your tips! I hope you're enjoying fall.
    Xo, Keri

  4. this post made me hungry Cindy! Thanks for the great tips and ideas!

  5. I love this post. I have a house full of guest this weekend and am getting the boards out now.
    xo, Lissy

  6. Wonderfully delicious looking images Cindy. I'd definitely pop in to sit at that table. You have inspired me to make a visit to our favourite cheese shop in London. La Fromagerie is just cheese heaven!

  7. I'm a huge cheese fan and I thoroughly enjoyed this post! Gorgeous images and suggestions. I agree that the choice of board and pretty knives make all the difference too. Dried apricots, nuts, celery and grapes - oh and of course a good wine too - perfect!

  8. We need to party together. I love all your examples and your advice. I love cheese and could feast on that alone. Your setting is beautiful.

  9. Hey Cindy-Poo, this is a fab post. I love everyone of these images. I also love the presentations. Mostly, I love the cheeses. love you....

  10. I loved your post. What a pleasure for your soul... Where did you get those beautiful knives..?xx 😊


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