Tips for putting together the perfect cheeseboard

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A bountiful cheeseboard can be put together in minutes, and is a wonderful no-cook meal, after dinner delight, or bring one along to a party and you're sure to be the most popular guest at the table. If you're finding choosing cheeses overwhelming, or simply fancy some tips to up your cheeseboard game, do read on!

Perfection is subjective

It’s worth stating from the off that there is no one perfect way to create your perfect cheeseboard. What’s perfect for you may be the next person’s worst nightmare, but with a bit of luck we can certainly help you get a balance of cheese that will appeal to those who are served it. Perhaps, if something you serve up divides opinion it makes it all the more interesting!

Rules are meant to be broken

We’re about to give you some tips on selection and pairing but in the same breath we’re here to remind you that there is no wrong way to eat cheese. Try the cheeses in any order with whatever drinks or accompaniments you like. Cut it how you like. If the rind is edible, give it a go, why not? We are very much in favour of having fun with it and not getting caught up with rules or restrictive ideas of what you should or shouldn’t enjoy.

Classic combo

Like most guides on creating a cheeseboard, it’s worth mentioning that a typical starting point is to choose a hard cheese, a soft cheese and a blue cheese. It’s hard to argue with this combination. It gives variation of texture, flavour and style. Another good general guide is to restrict yourself to three-five decent chunks of cheese. This helps to avoid the problem of having too many small pieces which aren’t enough for everyone to try a little of each, and lots of smaller pieces tend not to look so good or keep so well.

Raise a glass

The fresh acidity of drier white wines will act almost like a fruity pickle alongside your cheese, balancing out the rich milk proteins. Likewise, lighter reds will provide a juicy contrast without overpowering the flavour of the cheese. Hoppy beers and cheese are a wonderful match – particularly with Appleby’s Cheshire and Pitchfork Cheddar.
Unoaked chardonnay or a sauvignon blanc
Light, fruity red wine like pinot noir
Hoppy beer
Fresh apple juice
Good quality cordials

Bit on the side

Cheese as delicious as the cheese we sell can be enjoyed alone, and any accompaniment will add even more layers of flavour, so have fun here and experiment with what you have on hand. If you are a maximalist at heart, this is your place to shine. At our cheese tastings, we always have the staples of wonderful sourdough from our shop, salted butter, plenty of chutneys, and then each cheesemonger uses the inexhaustible resource that is Spa Terminus market itself to add in anything in season that would complement the flavours of the cheeseboard. We’ve included a list below in case you are in need of some inspiration.
Good sourdough bread
A few different textures of oatcakes or crackers
A fruity chutney
A slice of quince or damson paste
Plenty of excellent quality salted butter
Pickled onions and/or cornichons, maybe some kimchi or a picalilli
Thin slices of charcuterie
Crisp, juicy apples, slices of ripe pear, grapes cut into small clusters
A jar of honey
Dried fruits, such as dates, apricots, figs
Some crisps or toasted nuts for crunch
Vegetable crudité