Cheeses For Your Charcuterie Board

A charcuterie board does not stand on cured meats alone. Cheese adds substance and heft to meat like nothing else. We’ve profiled some of the best cheeses to bring out the full flavor of charcuterie meats and pâté.

This luxurious cheese contains more than 75% butterfat in its dry matter, which is, roughly 40% fat overall. It has a soft velvety texture, tangy edible rind, and rich buttery flavor. It’s best paired with wheat beers, crusty breads, fruit chutney, and sweet salami like soppressata or saucisson sec. #014057

Manchego is a sheep’s milk hard cheese that comes from the La Mancha region of Spain. The rind is inedible with a distinctive, traditional herringbone basket weave pattern. Serve Manchego with sweet, thinly sliced cured ham such as jamón serrano, jamón ibérico, or prosciutto. Pair it with malty beers like nut-brown ales, stouts, and porters. Manchego cheeses go well with fine reds, but a young Manchego is an equally great match with a crisp and grassy white wine such as Verdejo. #014039

Known as the cheese of kings and popes, Roquefort is a sheep’s milk blue cheese from the south of France. It is aged for five months and has a white crumbly texture with distinctive veins of green mold. The salty richness and creamy tangy flavor of Roquefort makes it a natural pair for sweet, dry and light rosé wines. Roquefort is delicious with sweet flavors; pair it with honey, sweet capicola, apples, or pears. #013109

Fontina is a classic Italian cheese. It is traditionally made from unpasteurized milk of the Valdaostan Red Spotted cows that spend their days grazing on the plains of Aosta Valley in the Alps. This cheese has been made in this region since the 12th century. Fontina is a pale cream color and dotted with holes. With a fat content of 45%, the cheese is very rich and creamy which gets nuttier with aging. This versatile cheese can be used to make fondues, and similar Italian dishes. Pair it with Barolo or Barbaresco wines. #010128

This is the only British cheese to have a Certification Trademark and an EU Protected Name. Stilton is made from pasteurized cow’s milk and has delicate blue veins that radiate from the center. It has a buttery texture with a clean, mineral tang. It is often eaten with pears and country pâté and paired with porter or stout beer, sweet sherry, Madeira, or fruit wines. #019135

Named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands, this Dutch cheese is made from cow’s milk though some artisan varieties use sheep’s or goat’s milk. The taste varies greatly based on age. Young Gouda, aged four to ten weeks, has a smooth soft texture and mild nutty flavor. Aged 16 weeks to eight months, matured Gouda has a fruity tang and sweet finish. The term “Old Cheese” is used to describe Gouda aged 12 months or more. Cheese aged this long has a firm, hard texture and rich, almost butterscotch flavor. Beer is the ideal accompaniment for young Gouda and light red or fruity white wines with a more mature cheese. White Burgundy or Chardonnay has butterscotch and caramel tones that match those in the aged Gouda. Any style of Gouda will pair nicely with speck, a smoked, cured ham. #023326

Goat cheeses have a unique, tart, earthy flavor and do well alongside smoky, spicy, or gamey meats such as wild boar, venison, or duck. Pair goat cheese with roasted peppers, spicy chutney, or sweet jam. #023327

Named after the Gruyère valley of Switzerland, it is a creamy, unpasteurized, semi-soft cheese with a slightly grainy, firm texture. Gruyère has a fruity flavor with an earthy and nutty finish. Pair with a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc and serve it alongside berry jams and spicy cured meat like lomo embuchado. #014227

Wensleydale, from England, has a supple, crumbly, moist texture. The flavor is mild and slightly sweet with hints of honey. Sometimes Wensleydale is blended with fruits like cranberries, apricots, and pineapples. This cheese pairs well with fruity white wine such as Pinot Grigio. The all spice in winter salamis complements the sweet flavor of the cheese. #029887

Morbier, from France, has an ivory color and a soft, elastic texture. Its flavor is rich and creamy with a slightly bitter aftertaste. The black layer of tasteless ash that runs horizontally down the middle makes for easy identification. This layer was traditionally used to separate the morning milk from the evening milk. Now the cheese is made from a single milking with the traditional ash line replaced by vegetable dye. Its tangy flavor goes well with fruit, smoked meats, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, or a Belgian beer. #016745

Cheddar is a staple of most charcuterie boards and easily recognized by most customers. Pair Cheddar with items assertive enough to stand up to its sharp flavor such as toasted nuts, olives, tart apples and pears, and dry cured meats like salami. #012063