How to create a spread to impress your guests this festive season!

For years, the cheeseboard has been the undisputed centrepiece of the festive table but striking the right balance between trusty traditional versus new innovative flavours is an age-old quandary that needs resolving once and for all.

Cheese experts at the Wensleydale Creamery have crafted a guide to delivering a show-stopping festive cheeseboard set to impress and satisfy even the most discerning of guests – from the perfect number of cheeses, and the right flavour combination, to the best accompaniments to pair, along with top tips for serving.

Our Cheese Shop Manager, Andrew Elphick believes a minimum of five different cheese varieties with a range of flavours, textures and colours is the ideal combination to ensure your spread delivers on both flavours and aesthetics. For perfecting your cheeseboard, we recommend:

  • A traditional & iconic British ‘crumbly’ variety – such as fan favourite Yorkshire Wensleydale – to bring a unique creamy and crumbly texture to your cheeseboard
  • Blue cheese is key for Christmas – Wensleydale Blue with a delicate, mellow, yet full flavour with a creamy texture has broad appeal for newcomers to blue cheese and connoisseurs alike!
  • A festive blend or innovative flavour to excite, such as the Limited Edition Yorkshire Wensleydale with Orange & Champagne, for those who want to experiment with flavours. The combination of creamy, crumbly Yorkshire Wensleydale with candied orange zest and champagne makes for a delicious twist on a classic celebratory Bucks Fizz and is bound to go down a treat!
  • A sweet, fruity number – the all-year round favourite of Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cranberries adds a burst of colour, and is a fail-safe favourite with all generations
  • A cheese with heritage, to tell a story such as the handcrafted & naturally aged Kit Calvert Old-style Wensleydale is bound to impress. This cheese celebrates the father of Wensleydale cheese ‘Kit Calvert’, who helped to save the Wensleydale Creamery from closure in 1935. The cheese recipe emulates that of a farmhouse cheese from the turn of the century, to create a natural rind and buttery, creamy texture.
  • A classic cheddar with a point of difference – Yorkshire Cheddar is strong and powerful, aged around 15 months for exceptional, complex flavours – this cheese is rich, robust and rugged, sure to satisfy your guests tastebuds.
  • A Naturally Smoked Cheese adds further dimension to a cheeseboard with a wonderful golden coloured rind & aroma and true smoked flavour.

Whether you serve your cheeseboard humble or grandiose, here are some top serving tips for the perfect Christmas cheeseboard, guaranteed to hit the spot:

  1. Storage

Always store your cheese wrapped, and in an airtight container in the fridge, away from other strong-smelling foods. This will ensure that your cheese keeps its true flavour and prevent it from drying out.

  1. Room Temperature

We recommended to remove your cheese from the fridge an hour before serving, so that you can enjoy the full flavour and texture of the cheese. The aroma and complex flavours of the cheese really begin to appear when it is served at room temperature.

  1. Perfect Portions

For the classic wedge, use approximately 80g of cheese per person for your cheeseboard. Think about a selection of cheese varieties that will give you a contrast of flavours, textures, and colours.

  1. Garnish Galore

While the cheese is the real star of the show, the power of accompaniments can’t be overlooked. A good biscuit, cracker, oatcake or fresh crusty bread complements the flavours and textures and provides an easy way to serve too. Similarly, chutneys, balsamic or pickled onions, nuts, charcuterie, fruit confits and dried fruits make for a tasty pairing – and don’t forget trying a slice of Yorkshire Wensleydale on top of rich, moist fruit cake!

A classic oatcake pairs well with cheese such as Wensleydale Blue, Kit Calvert, and Yorkshire Cheddar, whereas a crisp sea salt cracker or flatbread can add further dimension to Yorkshire Wensleydale or Smoked Cheese.  For a treat, try a sweet biscuit with Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cranberries – it’s almost dessert!

A naturally sweet Rosebud Preserves Yorkshire Wensleydale Chutney made from apple, sultanas and traditional spices, pairs well with Yorkshire Wensleydale, whereas a richer, full-bodied chutney such as a Red Onion Chutney with Port is superb with Wensleydale Blue or Kit Calvert Old-style Wensleydale cheese.

The brand-new Rosebud Preserves Sticky Fruit Chutney, is rich, dark and sticky with plump dried fruits, maple syrup and warming spices, made specially to pair with Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cranberries Cheese.

Our luxury hampers are a must-have to source the ultimate cheese board and accompaniments, ensuring you have everything you need to take your cheeseboard to the next level. We also have deli boxes and freshly cut cheese boxes, to ensure every gathering is catered to this festive season!

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