Nuts and spices go really well with a cheeseboard – particularly the Christmas cheeseboard. At Christmas a wide selection of nuts, dried fruit and lots of spices are available. And with the smell of cinnamon, orange and cloves in the kitchen, your home will certainly feel Christmassy.
The Christmas cheeseboard should be a bit grand. We treat ourselves and our loved ones to a cheeseboard which stands out for its generosity on the Christmas dinner table as an intermediate dish between the main course and dessert. This Christmas cheeseboard has accompaniments and spices galore which complement the individual cheeses, but don't be afraid to serve the accompaniments with other cheese types.
Creamy Havarti with apricot and chilli chutney
In my view, Castello Creamy Havarti is a wonderful cheese. It is full of character, and its great taste means that you can create some exciting accompaniments without having to worry that the cheese's flavour will be subsumed. Add a little red chili in this apricot chutney and it adds a nice and surprising kick.
Double Cream Brie with Christmas jam
A Castello Double Cream Brie can be many things. A young Double Cream Brie may feel a little firm, and will not have a strong and dominant taste - A perfect white mould cheese which appeals to many people. The older it gets, the more intense the flavour. It will also become slightly softer the longer it ripens. I love combining white mould cheese with jams. This jam has a more Christmassy character thanks to the cinnamon, star anise and port.
Creamy Blue with pain d’épices
Pain d’épices might be mistaken for a cake if you just look at the list of ingredients, but it is actually a spicy bread from Alsace. In France they serve it with a fat duck liver. For this pairing we are topping the bread with Creamy Blue, which compared to other blue cheeses is a mild blue mould that goes really well with honey and spices.
Creamy Havarti with pickled nuts
Castello Creamy Havarti is a delicious and versatile cheese. It is an excellent choice for an appetizer, simply broken out into smaller pieces, but it’s also ideal on the Christmas cheese board with some crunchy pickled nuts.
What to drink with a cheeseboard?
Many people may think that a cheeseboard requires a red wine. Ideally a strong and full-bodied variety. However, many red wines can be too dominant in relation to the cheeses. They could work fine if you choose to supplement your cheeseboard with a few pâtés and perhaps some sliced meats. If, on the other hand, you regard the cheeseboard as a dessert or, at least, something which is served between the main dish and dessert, I would pursue a different direction. Especially now at Christmas.
I would choose sweet wines to serve with the soft cheeses. Consider, for example, a Sauternes for your blue mould. And a Riesling with the firm cheeses. Otherwise, a port wine is always a safe choice.
I think it's fantastic serving slightly different wines with cheeses. In fact, a good walnut schnapps is also a perfect complement to cheese.