Valentine’s Day is almost here. It’s time to start planning that romantic date night with your special someone. If you’re anything like us, your love language is cheese, as opposed to words of affirmation or any of that other non-dairy nonsense.
Few things tug the heartstrings like a romantic candle-lit room, a love-themed cheese-filled meal, and a bottle of something bubbly. So in the spirit of love and great cheese, we’ve compiled our top three cheese board recipes that are simply perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner (or really any special occasion).
Valentine’s Day the Wisconsin Cheese Way
If there’s any day worth going all-out for, it’s Valentine’s day. And while your night should be hot - that doesn’t mean you need to spend all evening in the kitchen. Our romantic Valentine’s day dinner menu has around an hour of prep time for three incredible cheese-inspired dishes.
Valentine’s Day Cheese Board
Meet the visual centerpiece of your dinner, the Valentine’s Day Cheese board. Nothing says romance like two of our favorite culinary treasures—cheese and chocolate.
A feast for your eyes and stomach, this decadent cheese board tastes even better than it looks. Bonus, it takes just minutes to put together.
Without further ado, let’s get to know the four cheeses featured in our Valentine’s Day Cheese Board:
Carr Valley Caso Bolo Mellage: the heart knows what it wants, and some cheeses are just so incredible and unique that words don’t do justice. Carr Valley’s Caso Bolo Mellage is one of those cheeses. Made with a special blend of goat, cow, and sheep’s milk, Caso Bolo Mellage is the only cheese of its kind made in Wisconsin. For tasting notes, you can expect a complex but mild flavor with a nutty finish.
Edelweiss Grazier Aged (Raw Milk) Gouda: could gouda be your true soulmate? Edelweiss Creamery took one of our favorite Wisconsin cheeses and added a layer of maturity and depth that takes this gouda to the next level in our heart. Rich, buttery, and slightly sweet this aged gouda is a must-have on any cheese board, especially if it’s a romantic one.
Door Artisan BelAdagio: if you find parmesan cheese to be just a little too dense and intense for a date night, this offering from Door Artisan Cheese Company is for you. Beladagio is slightly softer and more mellow compared to most aged parmesans and strikes a great balance of flavor and texture.
Saxon Big Ed's Gouda™ with Birdy’s Red Wine Cold Pack Cheese Spread: you know how that saying goes, two is better than one. That’s right, two cheeses in one delightfully spreadable package. The geniuses over at Saxon Creamery took one of their young gouda varieties and blended it with Birdy’s Red Wine Cold Pack Cheese to create a subtly sweet treat of a cheese spread. Even the cheeses are falling in love.
Valentine’s Day Cheese Board Accompaniments
Like a date without flowers, no cheese board would be complete without carefully selected accompaniments. Our Valentine’s Day cheese board features an assortment of chocolate-covered snacks along with traditional cheese board classics like crackers and fruit. Feel free to add your own romantic flair to your Valentine’s Day cheese board by changing up the accompaniments to set the mood.
• Dark chocolate sea salt caramels
• Chocolate-covered coffee beans
• Thinly sliced Finocchio (fennel) salami
• Pomegranate seeds
• Chocolate toffee pieces
• Candied pecans
• Chocolate-covered strawberries
• Assorted crackers
Get the full cheese board ingredient list, complete with plating guide, here.
Cacio e Pepe
Valentine’s Day in Italy sounds wonderful, and really expensive. Eat your romantic trip instead with this pasta dish. Cacio e Pepe is Italian for “cheese and pepper” and when cheese is in the name, you know it’s going to be good. This simple and easy pasta dish packs an incredible amount of flavor from only a handful of ingredients making it the ideal entrée for stealing glances across a candle-lit table.
What’s the secret to making the best Cacio e Pepe? Love. Just kidding, it’s all in the cheese. When you can count the ingredients on one hand, quality matters. That’s why we’ve picked America’s most decorated parmesan cheese to star in this pasta dish.
Sartori SarVecchio® Parmesan: we could list all the awards this cheese has won but that would become its own blog. Suffice it to say, Sartori Company makes the some of the best parmesan in America. This extraordinary cheese is aged for 20 months to get its crumbly texture and salty, yet sweet, flavor profile.
Sartori Rosemary & Olive Oil Asiago: you might be wondering why we’re using both parmesan and asiago in our Cacio e Pepe. Although many people see these two cheeses as interchangeable, they’re actually quite different. Asiago has a nuttier taste compared to parmesan and tends to have a creamier texture. Combined, they create a food symphony of love to form perhaps the best pan sauce ever.
Cooking Tip: Don’t toss the precious pasta water: Save ¾ of a cup while draining the spaghetti to help emulsify the cheese and butter into a creamy sauce. It’s basically liquid gold.
Get the full Cacio e Pepe ingredient list and cooking instructions here.
Mini Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cheesecakes
These decadent and bite-size cheesecakes tick all the boxes for a romantic dessert fit to end any date night.
The secret to what makes these cheesecakes so perfect? Our recipe uses mascarpone and cream cheese.
We love both cheeses on their own, but together you get the richness of the mascarpone and the fluffiness of the cream cheese in one beautifully balanced dessert.
Crystal Farms Original Cream Cheese: cream cheese is the foundation of any cheesecake and when it comes to handling responsibility like that, you need the best. Crystal Farms Original Cream Cheese hits the ideal ratio of creamy to fluffy for the perfect cheesecake.
Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Mascarpone: while some cheesecake enthusiasts might be scared off by mascarpone’s richness, we’d challenge them to try Crave Brother’s mascarpone first. Luxurious and velvety without being overbearing on the palette, this mascarpone adds another layer of unforgettable sweetness to our cheesecake.
Get the full cheesecake ingredient list and instructions here.
Valentine’s Day Sparkling Wine
No celebration has truly started until you pop open a bottle of sparkling wine.
With so many choices, picking a sparkling wine to pair with your cheese-laden dishes can be tough.
That’s why we’re going to keep things simple and recommend pairing your dinner with a cava.
Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine that has more in common with Champagne than prosecco. So, what makes this sparkling wine different than its relatives? Cava tends to be lower in acidity and a bit fruitier than its French counterpart. Lower acidity means that it gets along better with a variety of food, particularly cheese.
We’d recommend sticking to a Brut Nature classification of cava. Brut Nature is the most commonly made type of cava and indicates that no sugar was added during the fermentation process, resulting in a slightly drier sparkling wine.
If you haven’t already, head over to our comprehensive guide on pairing cheese with sparkling wine to learn everything it takes to become a pairing pro.
Looking for more date night recipes? Choose from our selection of over 50 hand-selected date night recipes featuring Wisconsin Cheese. Share your cheese-filled Valentine’s Day dinner with us on Instagram or Facebook and become part of the largest cheese community in the world.