A great wine and cheese board is a wonder to behold. Just imagine – the salty tang of an aged parmesan alongside the buttery goodness of a fresh burrata. The velvety legs of an old vine zinfandel and a crisp, clear sip of a sauvignon blanc. A taste of sweet and spicy salami in one bite and a paper-thin slice of a salty prosciutto the next. Truth be told, is there any other combination of taste and texture that's as pleasing and powerful as a winning wine and cheese board?
In Wisconsin, we make wine and cheese boards with one of the Great Wonders of the World – Wisconsin Cheese. Lots of folks are amazed to learn that Wisconsin cheesemakers have won more awards for cheese than any other state or country in the world. Of course, we've always known our cheeses are Hall-of-Fame material. That's just what happens when a whole state is focused on doing one thing better than anybody else – making the tastiest, highest-quality cheese in the universe.
Take a look through our website to meet some of the Wisconsin wonders of the cheese world. You'll find lots of great ideas for your next wine and cheese board or fruit and cheese platter. Search our recipes for all kinds of ways to create marvelous cheesy dishes. Or scroll down for tips on building the best wine and cheese board.
Here are a few tips for creating a wine and cheese board that will wow your guests.
A great wine and cheese board will include cheeses that offer a variety of tastes and textures. Choosing 4 to 6 types of cheeses will offer your guests a nice variety and ensure that everyone gets a bite of something they like.
Some of the best cheeses for a cheese board include:
In addition to cheese, you can include cured meats, fruit, nuts, mustards, jams and spreads, dips, vegetables, and bread and crackers to provide a complete wine and cheese board.
If you're offering a selection of wines, it's nice to include a bigger, bolder variety like a cabernet or zinfandel that will pair well with your big-flavored cheeses. Blue cheeses like a sweeter wine, while the bubbles in a sparkling variety are a nice balance to the saltiness of certain hard cheeses. If you're serving just one wine with your cheese board, riesling is probably the best choice as it can pair well with a wide variety of cheeses.
A wine and cheese board is a spread of cheeses and several wines that pair well with them. A wine and cheese board may also include charcuterie (cured meats) as well as nuts and olives, jams and spreads, fresh and dried fruits, crackers and breads, and roasted and pickled vegetables.
When choosing cheese for a wine and cheese board, it's best to offer a variety of cheeses. You may include hard cheeses like parmesan and aged gouda, firm cheeses like cheddar and colby, semi-soft cheeses like havarti and cheddar jack cheese, and soft cheeses like feta and burrata.
When choosing wine for a wine and cheese board, you want to make sure you have varieties that match the intensity of the cheese. A big-flavored cheese like aged gouda needs a bold wine like a cabernet sauvignon, while a lighter Swiss cheese like gruyère will pair nicely with a sauvignon blanc or pinot noir.
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When you're pairing wine and cheese, every glass of cabernet or cava secretly hopes to get matched up with a cheese from Wisconsin. Wine is no dummy - it knows that great cheese brings out a wine's best qualities, and it knows Wisconsin has the best cheese on earth.
See, Wisconsin cheesemakers have been obsessively making the world's finest cheese for 180 years, and they've got 5,552 cheesemaking awards to prove it. Of course, it helps that they're from a state where pretty much everybody dreams in cheese, and where 90% of the milk from our famed dairy farms winds up in Wisconsin Cheese.
So, next time you're creating a wine and cheese board, give the wine – and your guests – the thrill of seeing Wisconsin Cheese on the table. We promise it'll bring out the best qualities of everyone in the room.
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.