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Elevate Your Outdoor Picnics: How to Build the Perfect Cheese Board for Al Fresco Adventures

by Diana Petriella | Published 07.25.2023

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Baldacci Elizabeth Pinot Noir being enjoyed during an outdoor picnic

When it comes to outdoor picnics, few culinary delights match the easy elegance and versatility of a well-crafted cheese board.

As you embark on your al fresco adventures, we invite you to explore the art of assembling the perfect cheese board, specially curated to withstand the elements and elevate your picnic experience to new heights. Join us on a journey of flavors and textures, as we guide you through the key elements of curating a cheese board that is both delicious and outdoor-friendly.

  1. Selecting the Cheese

The foundation of any exceptional cheese board lies in the quality of the cheese itself. Aim for a diverse assortment, encompassing various textures, flavors, and intensities. For outdoor picnics, opt for hard cheeses that are less prone to melting, such as aged Cheddar, Gouda, or Pecorino. These cheeses will retain their shape and flavor, even in warmer temperatures. We’re aprtial to cheeses from local producers, such as Cypress Grove’s Midnight Moon and Central Coast Creamery’s Holey Cow.

  1. Pack with Portability in Mind

To ensure that your cheese board is picnic-ready, pack the cheeses and accompaniments in separate containers. This not only prevents any potential messes during transportation but also allows you to set up your board effortlessly once you arrive at your picnic spot. We’ll often keep the cheeses in their original packaging while transporting them, and provide a cheese knife when serving. If you plan to pre-cut the cheeses, we recommend reusable containers or reusable food storage bags as the most sustainable option.

  1. Opt for Sturdy Accompaniments

Choose accompaniments that are sturdy and won’t easily spoil. Fresh fruits like grapes, apple slices, or dried apricots work well, as they are both flavorful and resilient. Nuts, such as almonds or pistachios, add a delightful crunch and are less susceptible to crumbling.

  1. Portable Spreads and Sauces

To avoid spills, use portable and tightly sealed containers for spreads and sauces. Small jars of fig preserves, honey, or mustard ensure a mess-free cheese board. We love using small mason jars to transport sauces and spreads; they avoid spills and perfectly match the picnic vibe.

  1. Keep It Cool

If you’re heading to a warm picnic spot, pack a small ice pack or keep your cheese board in a cooler to maintain freshness. Opt for a shady spot to set up your picnic, ensuring your cheese board remains delectable throughout the outdoor feast.

  1. Visual Appeal

A rustic wooden cutting board is the perfect serving vessel for cheese and accompaniments. It’s sturdy enough that you can cut directly on the board, plus you won’t risk breakage. We recommend against glass or any material that is heavy or breakable.

Once you’re ready to assemble your board, alternate between cheese, charcuterie, fruit, and nuts to create a colorful display. You can even add sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme for a touch of natural beauty. Feel free to get as creative as you’d like!

Cheers to unforgettable moments in the outdoors!

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Author

Diana Petriella

Diana Petriella is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and is currently pursuing her Level 4 Diploma through the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. She is passionate about wine education and making wine approachable for all knowledge levels.

Diana Petriella is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and is currently pursuing her Level 4 Diploma through the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. She is passionate about wine education and making wine approachable for all knowledge levels.