this dessert cheese board is filled with after-dinner cheeses, fresh berries & fall fruits, & includes the perfect wine pairings! the best snacks & appetizers to serve for the ultimate girls night or dinner party this fall.
this post is sponsored by Layer Cake Wines. all thoughts & opinions are my own. thank you, as always, for visiting plays well with butter & supporting the brands that support this site! ?
oooooh, do i have an idea for us today…
how about we invite over a few of our best girlfriends &…
- make a seriously quick & easy dessert cheese board loaded with the best after-dinner cheeses & fruits fall has to offer…
- drink some really, really good wine, that just so happens to pair perfectly with the dessert cheese board (don’t you love when that happens?!)…
- set it all up outside, to enjoy the perfectly cool & crisp fall weather…
- eat cheese. drink wine. laugh ‘til we cry. repeat.
best. girls. night. ever.
fall is my favorite season by far, especially when it comes to entertaining.
the busyness of summer begins to fade away, & it gets so much easier to invite a few friends over for a casual night of laughs & good eats.
the cool weather literally feels like a breath of fresh air, especially here in minnesota, where we’re finally getting a break from the heavy, muggy weather that we have in july & august. come september, there’s nothing i want more than to trade my summer tanks for a cozy sweatshirt, or my crisp & cool rose spritzes for a glass of nice, bold red wine.
while we’re on the topic: “entertaining” is a really scary concept for a lot of people, which is totally unnecessary, but i also totally get it. the real housewives pretty much make it seem like in order to be a good hostess you need be able to rent out a gorgeous space & hire an event staff.
to me, though, the core of “entertaining” is really all about gathering.
it’s about taking the time to hang out with the people who could care less if you vacuumed this week or if your sink is overflowing with dishes that could use some attention. it can be as easy as shooting a mid-day text to your best friend that says, “i’m making tacos tonight…wanna come over?”
so, i have a suggestion: let’s take some of the pressure off of getting together with our girlfriends & our loved ones this fall, & keep things a little bit simpler.
& this dessert cheese board? she’s about as chill as it gets.
how to make a dessert cheese board:
i’ve said it before & i know i’ll say it again, but i love making cheese boards because they are always a hit, they are so easy to make, & they are completely versatile.
dessert cheese boards are no exception! you can easily make a dessert cheese board into whatever you want it to be, with a few simple rules of thumb:
- choose dessert-friendly cheeses: think about cheeses that naturally pair with sweeter flavors. my go-to is always goat cheese, but creamy & mild cheeses (like ricotta! or brie!) are great, as are sharper hard cheeses (like cheddar, or parm!).
- choose your sweets carefully: yes, you can totally go overboard here with brownies, or cookies, or cupcakes, or whatever sweets you love, but i definitely suggest keeping things a little simpler. the sweetness of fruits like berries, figs, & apples naturally complement cheeses without completely overpowering them. if you want to add in a few sweeter bites, then a little dark chocolate or some candied nuts will go a long way!
- pair them with some really, really good wine…
pairing cheese with wine on a dessert cheese board:
let’s talk wine for a second.
don’t you hate how…
- it’s really, really hard to find wine that is widely available, affordable, & delicious
- pairing wines with cheese can be totally intimidating.
the worst, right?
well, my amazing friends at Layer Cake Wines are helping us out on both fronts.
when it comes to quality, Layer Cake’s wines cannot be beat. their wine team actually travels across the world to select the best grapes available, & use them to create wines that not only represent the grapes beautifully, but also represent the region’s culture & its people. Layer Cake’s wines are rich, full-bodied, complex, & always delicious.
(side note, can you tell how obsessed i am with them?!)
& when it comes to pairing their wines with cheese like a boss? well, we’re taking all the uncertainty out of the process for you.
here are a few of the wine pairings i’m obsessed with for an easy dessert cheese board:
pairing cheese with Layer Cake Shiraz:
Layer Cake’s 2015 Shiraz is a total beauty. it’s made with grapes from one of the best shiraz growing regions in the world, and has gorgeous notes of cocoa, berries, & warm spice.
doesn’t that sound like a cheese and wine pairing dream?
this shiraz is a perfect pair for gouda, especially smoked gouda, which i love pairing with sweeter fruits.
when you’re building your dessert cheese board, go for your favorite fall fruits – for me, it’s grapes, pears, sweeter apples (like a honeycrisp!). you can also toss in your favorite dried fruits, like dried cherries. i had some dried apricots in my pantry & they also paired beautifully.
pairing cheese with Layer Cake Malbec:
Layer Cake’s 2016 Malbec is one of the most delicious wines i’ve tried recently. it’s full-bodied & majorly fruity, without being sweet at all. a total crowd-pleaser, perfect for girls night.
i love pairing this malbec with a nicely aged manchego, which is a sheep’s milk cheese from spain. if you like a good aged cheddar, manchego will definitely be your jam.
when you’re building your dessert cheese board, think berries & chocolate. i love how juicy blackberries play off of the notes of blackberry in the malbec, but i really loved raspberries & fresh figs with this wine too. toss in some dark chocolate, & if you want a crunchy element, you can’t beat spicy candied pecans. so, so good.
pairing cheese with Layer Cake Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon:
i saved my fave for last. Layer Cake’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon is such a treat. it has the kind of depth & complexity you want out of a good cab, but Layer Cake took it up a couple of notches with a 3-month age in charred oak bourbon barrels. it’s rich & perfectly jammy.
i found the richness of this cab to be the perfect pair for a nice, tangy goat cheese, which i sprinkled with a little bit of brown sugar(!!!!) to pull out some of the caramelly notes in the wine.
of course, brown sugar dusted goat cheese is my new favorite thing. you could even go all out & swirl a little salted caramel into the goat cheese – hello heavenly!!!
& when you’re building your dessert cheese board, go for berries again. strawberries & raspberries are traditionally the perfect pair for goat cheese, but when you sprinkle on the brown sugar, blackberries are excellent too. i also found the cutest mini dark chocolate biscotti that paired with the cab & the goat cheese amazingly!
the only downside to making a killer dessert cheese board? It’s all your friends are going to want you to make from now on. don’t worry…i have a feeling that’s an okay problem to have. ?
if you love this dessert cheese board, here are a few other easy snacks & appetizers you’ll love too!
- the ultimate burrata cheese board
- whipped raspberry goat cheese spread
- 3-ingredient prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe
- roasted butternut squash hummus
- all pwwb apps & snacks
thank you so much for reading & supporting plays well with butter & the companies i partner with to keep bringing you great original content. i only feature brands & products i truly love & use on the reg in my own home. all opinions are always my own! ???Print
This dessert cheese board is filled with after-dinner cheeses, fresh berries & fall fruits, & includes the perfect wine pairings! The best snacks & appetizers to serve for the ultimate girls night or dinner party this fall.
Shiraz dessert dessert cheese board wine pairing:
- Layer Cake 2015 Shiraz
- smoked gouda
- fall fruit of choice (e.g. pears, grapes, sweet apples)
- dried fruits of choice (e.g. apricots, dried cherries)
- crackers of choice
Malbec dessert dessert cheese board wine pairing:
- Layer Cake 2016 Malbec
- aged manchego cheese (aged cheddar is fab too!)
- berries of choice (especially blackberries!)
- candied nuts
- dark chocolate
Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon cheese board wine pairings:
- Layer Cake 2016 Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon
- goat cheese (sprinkled with brown sugar, please!)
- berries of choice (raspberries are a major yes!)
- mini dark chocolate chunk biscotti
Grab your favorite cheese board, large dish, or platter. I like to start with the cheeses. Place them around the board, slicing them or breaking them apart as desired. Fill in the spaces with berries, dried fruits, nuts, crackers, &/or chocolates as desired. I find it’s easiest to start with the largest components, then fill in the extra spaces throughout the board with the smaller components. Have fun with it!
Serve alongside your Layer Cake wine(s) of choice. Enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
- This is really just a wireframe. A dessert cheese board will have any number of these components, but feel free to have fun with it & add in your ultimate cheese board faves!!