Spring and summer weather create the perfect setting for outdoor entertaining.

Pair a delicious charcuterie board with some wine for an easy to prepare menu your guests are sure to enjoy. Your cheese board may serve as a light meal or as the appetizer. Below we are giving you a cheat sheet with tips on what to include, how to assemble, a sample menu, and some of our favorite cheese boards.

 

 

Staples of a charcuterie board include:

• Bread or crackers in a range of textures from crunchy to crisp
• Cured meats (appetizer portion: 2-4 oz/light meal portion: 5-6 oz) – salami, prosciutto, chicken liver mousse, pork rillette, and soppressata are good options
• Cheese – brie, burrata, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, sharp cheddar, goat cheese, and pepper jack are popular choices
• Olives, pickles, artichokes
• Nuts – almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc
• Dried or fresh fruit and vegetables
• Jelly, jam, and/or honey
• Dips/sauces like hummus, olive oil, etc.

Here are a few sample menus for inspiration:

Basic Charcuterie Board
Cheese
Sharp cheddar, brie, goat, asiago, manchego
Meat
Pepperoni, prosciutto, salami
Fruit/Veg
Dates, peaches, dried cherries, fresh grapes, olives, pickles
Bread/Crackers
Rosemary crisps, water crackers, French bread
Nuts
Pistachios, cashews
Spreads/Dip
Fig jam, honey, hummus, olive oil

Greek Inspired Board
Cheese
Feta cheese, buffalo mozzarella
Meat
Salami, prosciutto, soppressata
Fruit/Veg
Marinated artichokes, roasted bell pepper, sweet cherry peppers, sun dried tomatoes, olives, sliced radish, apricots, strawberries
Bread/Crackers
Toasted pita bread, bread sticks
Nuts
Almonds
Spreads/Dip
Hummus drizzled with olive oil, pesto, honey

Low Carb
Cheese
Cheddar cheese, brie
Meat
Smoked salmon, salami, sliced ham, pepperoni
Fruit/Veg
Cucumbers, asparagus, avocados, artichoke hearts, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, hard boiled eggs, pickled cauliflower, spicy picked green beans, Greek olives
Bread/Crackers
Whole grain mustard
Nuts
N/A
Spreads/Dip
Low carb crackers of choice (optional)

Summer Platter
Cheese
Burrata or mozzarella
Meat
Salami, prosciutto
Fruit/Veg
Dates, peaches, dried cherries, fresh grapes, olives, pickles
Bread/Crackers
Olive oil, balsamic vinegar
Nuts
N/A
Spreads/Dip
Crusty French bread

How to assemble:

• Season your board/tray with oil or beeswax. If the serving tray you are using is not food safe, lay down parchment paper
• Place small bowls filled with olive oil, nuts, jams, or honey
• Make sure you remove all packaging such as casing, plastic, or twine prior to serving
• Add sliced meats and cheese
• Arrange fresh and/or dried fruits and vegetables
• Surround the board with bread and crackers
• Make sure to add silverware; cheese knives, and spoons for dips
• Try not to leave any blank spots so your tray looks abundant and appealing
• If there are empty spaces, fill any holes with rosemary sprigs, sage, or other herbs/edible flowers
• A note on freshness: the ingredients of your board will oxidize quickly. If possible, do not slice and assemble more than 1-2 hours before serving
• Leftovers: Save leftovers in the fridge and use the ingredients to make delicious sandwiches.

Pair with wine:

Sparkling wine and Champagne are the best types of wine to pair with charcuterie because they are lower in alcohol and higher in acidity, making them the perfect compliment for the salty nature of charcuterie boards. If you decide to pair a red wine with your charcuterie look for a wine that is lower in tannins and alcohol.

Alternatively, if you have a specific wine in mind, adjust the selection of cheeses you offer. For example, Gouda and Cheddar are a good pair with Cabernet Sauvignon. If the wine you’d like to serve is older, pair with an old/firm cheese.

Additional resources for wine pairing:
The Definitive Guide to Pairing Charcuterie and Wine
Don’t Follow Conventional Wisdom When Pairing Wine with Charcuterie
Wine and Charcuterie Pairing

Need a cheese board? Here are some of our favorites:

 

 

 

 

 

Shop additional cheese trays and serving accessories.

What are some of your favorite ingredients for charcuterie boards? Let us know!