Create delicious Christmas cheese combinations and serve with a varied range of tipples for perfect party nibbles. When buying cheese for a cheeseboard, try to choose cheeses of varying shapes, colours, flavours and strengths.
Christmas cheese combinations
- A strongly flavoured Cheddar; such as mature or farmhouse
- A blue cheese; such as Stilton, Shropshire Blue or Buxton Blue
- A soft cheese; such as Scottish Brie or Somerset Camembert
- A regional variety; such as Lancashire, Wensleydale or Red Leicester
- Consider offering a speciality cheese; such as Reedsdale, Cricketer Ewe’s Milk Cheese, or Capricorn Goat’s Cheese.
- Cheeses such as White Stilton with Apricots or Cornish Yarg will help add flavour as well as enhancing colour.
All cheese should be removed from the refrigerator approximately two hours before serving and keep loosely wrapped, to bring out the true flavour.
As an accompaniment to your Christmas cheese combinations, add a selection of nuts, such as walnuts, as well as olives and dates. Or why not try some more unusual fruits like pomegranate, apricots and cranberries alongside the more traditional figs. A more traditional approach would include grapes, apples, tomatoes, celery, pickled walnuts and pickled gherkins.
Return the cheese board to a clean, cool place immediately after the meal, discarding any soft cheese. Wrap any unused hard cheese, and ideally, replace in the refrigerator. If the remaining cheese is an odd shape, and can’t be re-used on the cheese board, incorporate it into a cheesy recipe.
Tipples to complement Christmas cheese combinations
Most drinks will go well with this basic cheese platter, but you can experiment with various brews to prove that wine and port are not the only drinks capable of complementing cheese!
Mulled wine – with Sage Derby or Blue Stilton combine to make a marvellous, surprising mix. Mulled Wine also goes well with Shropshire Blue as the scent of the cinnamon and spices marry well with the creamy tang of the cheese.
White Port – is a fortified wine with a lot of body, and not a drink automatically associated with cheese. But it does go well with British Brie and is a far better match for this cheese than red wine, which many people think you should have it with.
Medium sherry – a clear party favourite with Grandma, and again not a drink associated with cheese, but it does go well with White Stilton with apricot and Shropshire Blue. For the same reason that port and stilton are regarded as perfect bedfellows, sweet sherry and blue cheese is also a perfect match (it works as well as port) – the saltiness in the cheese and sweetness of the drink work together very well.
Hoegaarden – a spicy, cinnamon flavoured wheat beer with a strong yeasty nose. Most wheat beer will work brilliantly with mature blue Stilton.
English classic ale such as Old Speckled Hen go well with the basic cheese platter. In edition, it complements classic English cheeses blended with fruit such as Wensleydale with Cranberry or White Stilton with apricots.
Vintage Cider – traditionally, West Country Farmhouse Cheddar would be the traditional choice to go with cider, but for a change, try it with chilli and pepper cheese such as Mexicana or other Cheddar and chilli combinations. Jilly was also surprised at the result!
Real Ale: If drinking a serious bitter, such as ESB, try Cheddar with chillies, such as a Mexicana.
For those with a passion for creamy flavours, try Brie with Baileys. Half way through you loose the Brie, then it comes back and has another go. Baileys drinks well with young cheeses, particularly English goats milk cheeses which have a brilliant white finish and a clean flavour for example, St Helens Hard Goat’s Milk Cheese, Village Green, Capricorn and Quickes goat’s milk cheddar.
If you enjoyed Perfect Christmas cheese combinations, you’ll find more seasonal recipe tips on our Food and Drink channel.Last modified: December 21, 2021