How to make the perfect cheese board

Last Updated August 2020

What if we told you that you were 20 minutes away from a gorgeous holiday spread that’s only looks like it took all day? We’ll show you how.

And you can easily make this from home: We got everything you see on this plate at Trader Joe’s for less than $50

Strategize your supplies

Choose 4-5 types of cheeses from soft to hard, dates or raisins, pre-sliced salami or prosciutto, whole fruit like apples or grapes, olives, 2-3 types of crackers, nuts, and an herb like rosemary.

Cheese rules

The best cheese plates have a good variety of texture – some creamy, some hard or grainy, some soft. Crowd pleasers that look great on a board are St. Andre, a fruity Stilton, grainy aged cheddar, aged gouda, havarti, and a soft chèvre or brie.

Cheese plate in 1-2-3

Place your cheeses first, then place a ceramic container or two. Make a salami river, place whole fruits, then fill in the holes with crackers, dried fruit and nuts. Last, garnish with rosemary!

Salami that wows

Cured meat looks prettier in a rosette-inspired row. Fold pieces of meat into fourths and place on their sides, switching directions for each piece. Anchor the ends with containers, cheese or fruit!

Abundance is key

The biggest trick to making an impressive cheese board is simply having a lot of stuff. More is more  here – keep your piles hearty and your containers full and don’t worry about perfection.

Wine for everyone

Grab a heavier red like Zinfandel or Cab, a lighter red like Pinot Noir, a crisp acidic white like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, and heavier white like Semillon or Chardonnay to cover your bases.

Want to totally take the guesswork out of wine? Wine Access’s “Taste of California” set is perfectly varied for a party (and is a steal at $100 for 6 bottles.)