Please call if you have any questions or would like advice. We're here to help.

How to create the perfect cheese board

As we look ahead to a summer of garden lunches and long, lazy afternoons that blur into evening, our minds turn towards simple suppers and no-fuss lunches with impact. And there are few meals that combine low-effort with show-stopping potential quite as well as the humble cheeseboard. With minimal preparation (and a well-timed delivery from Barbury Hill), your lunch or dinner party can go from pretty ‘grate’ to ‘brie-lliant’ in no time. Barbury Hill features all the elements you need to create the perfect cheeseboard, from cheese to charcuterie, chutney to wine, so we’ve taken a look at how to bring these together for your next party.

The Cheese

Of course, how many cheeses and which you serve is a personal choice, depending on your tastes and appetite but we’d suggest that three to five avoids overwhelming your guests. This also allows you to feature one or two of the three key types - hard, soft and blue.

    Deluxe Cheddar by Black Cow

     

    Hard: We’d recommend a Deluxe Cheddar from Black Cow. From the West Dorset farm that also produces Black Cow Vodka, this crumbly, intense cheddar is part of their cycle of sustainability, where both the curds and whey are used to avoid unnecessary waste.

     

    Baron Bigod by Fen Farm available on Barbury Hill

    Soft: A standout star on any cheeseboard is likely to be the award-winning Baron Bigod. Featured in a number of Barbury Hill collections and sold individually, Baron Bigod is a rich, creamy cheese with a smooth, velvety texture. Made from the milk of Montbeliarde cows, this Brie-de-Mieux style cheese is the only one of its kind in the UK.

     

     

    Bath Blue by Bath Soft Cheese Co. available on Barbury Hill

     

    Blue: Awarded Supreme Champion at the World Cheese Awards in 2014, the Bath Blue is made from the milk of organic cows and aged for 8-10 weeks to give it a classic blue-veined, creamy taste.

       

       

      Feeling hungry?

      For a hint of decadence, the Truffle Baron Bigod adds an indulgent blend of mascarpone and summer truffle cream to the earthy flavours of the Baron Bigod. And we can’t resist the nutty notes of the Wyfe of Bath with its cheering orange rind.

      While there’s no hard and fast rule on how to serve your cheese, try to remember to take them out of the fridge 1-2 hours before serving. This gives them time to relax and release the flavours and allows the soft cheese to take on the ooziness that will have you coming back for more.

       

      Wine Pairing

      While many would pour a full-bodied red to accompany cheese, the tannins in the wine can affect the flavour. Our friends at Woodchester Valley Vineyard are big fans of the Baron Bigod and pair this with their Reserve Cuvée 2017, a sparkling blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

       

      Reserve Cuvée 2017 by Woodchester Valley available on Barbury Hill
      The smoky, berry notes complement the earthiness of the cheese, while the citrus of the Chardonnay combines beautifully with the hint of mushroom. The acidity of the wine cuts through the creaminess creating a perfect balance. 

       

       

       

      On the Side

      Should you serve crackers? Bread? Grapes? Chutneys? Charcuterie? All that depends on how much of a meal you’re planning. If served as a pudding for those without a sweet tooth, you might want to serve a simple selection of crackers and chutneys.

       

      Cheese Chutney Trio by Preservation Society available on Barbury Hill

       

      The Preservation Society’s Apple & Ale Chutney stands up well to a strong cheddar like the Black Cow, while their Cranberry & Cabernet Relish has a zesty tang that complements a soft cheese like the Baron Bigod or a Bath Soft.

       

       

      But if serving as a supper or as part of a larger lunch, then the world is your oyster. Try a trio of The Preservation Society’s chutneys and relishes and a bowl of crusty bread or crackers. A smorgasbord of cured meats, smoked fish, pâté and even oysters will take your meal from simple to celebratory in an instant.

       Smoked fish by Pinney's of Orford available on Barbury Hill

       

      The Foodie’s Alternative to Flowers

      We can’t think of many occasions that aren’t substantially improved by a well-crafted cheeseboard. A simple supper, a savoury pudding, a long lunch with wine. And we’ve found a Barbury Hill selection of cheese is always well-received as a gift when visiting friends and family or as an alternative to flowers as a gift for the host. And if you can’t visit in person, Barbury Hill food and drink gifts and hampers can be delivered to any door across the UK.

      So let us know, which cheese disappears first on your cheeseboard?

       

       

      Rebecca Lancaster, Barbury Hill Copywriter

      by Rebecca Lancaster, Copywriter

      Rebecca, a talented writer, is a friend of Barbury Hill’s. When she’s not eating the best of British food and drink, she is writing about it. And when she’s not writing about it, she’s thinking about it.

      Leave a comment

      Please note, comments must be approved before they are published