Anatomy of a cheese board

Winter Grazing Platter

Cold Weather Grazing Platter

In summer, slaving away in the kitchen for a full meal seems unbearable and you might find yourself standing in front of the fridge picking from a bag of grapes while you struggle to decide what to eat. In recent years, people have defaulted to the grazing board (or the charcuterie board if you want to be fancy) as an easy way to fill up and use up food in the fridge without the effort. Cold cuts, cheeses and fruit slices are great in the summer, but what about when it's cold out? 

Of course, "cold out" in Queensland is quite different from a European, snowy winter. If you can still enjoy your favourite configuration of cheeses, meats and snacks in the colder months, go for it! There's nothing quite like what you know. But if you feel the chill coming in and you still don't know what to have for an early dinner or late afternoon snack, read on! 

With a cold weather grazing platter, you have two options: warming food or warm food. 

Warming food means lightly pivoting your usual favs to include some other platter additions which warm you up from the inside. This includes spicier or more peppery meat cuts like salami, kabana or pepper crusted meats. It also means including pepper crackers and sliced peppers like jalapeno or chilli to pair with slices of seasonal fruit and soft cheese. Including any ingredients with capsaicin will effectively warm your body from the inside — keep in mind there are levels of heat, so you can make it as mild or hot as you can handle. For the sweeter side, dark chocolate and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and star anise can increase feelings of warmth. Other snacks like bread and peanuts also help to keep your body warm — trust us, there's science and everything. Pair this delicious platter with a warming drink like coffee, hot chocolate, warm cider or, if you're packing it in for the day, red wine, port or ginger beer. 

Warm food is a bit different, and more suited for when you have time for cooking but want to enjoy an array of different foods and flavours, or you're serving a variety of people with different tastes. Warm foods which can be served platter-style include chicken wings (especially spicy ones), baked potatoes or a warm salad (with seasonal vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli or kale), personal cob loafs, mini sausage rolls and other baked goods, or mini meatballs. For this, you will probably need a larger serving surface and some containers to keep food seperate, but they're all delicious, nice and warm and filling. 

You can also combine the two and have warm, capsaicin packed charcuterie board to keep you super toasty and satisfied. If you're looking for some ideas, we suggest a recipe cleverly concocted and shared by our friends at Woombye Cheese Company, Balsamic Grapes.


  • 500g of seasonal grapes, the red ones are sweeter and the white ones are sightly more tart so choose which flavour profile you like. The recipe uses red grapes.
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup of high quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup of roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup of roughly chopped fresh sage 
  •  Salt and pepper
  • 200g of Woombye Cheese Company triple cream brie


1. Preheat your oven to 220°C. Place the grapes on a baking tray or oven safe cast iron skillet. Drizzle with oil and about 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and sprinkle on salt and pepper. 

2. Bake for 15 minutes, then add the sage and parsley and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Every 5 to 10 minutes, shake the pan gently to move the grapes around and avoid burning or sticking. 

3. If you would prefer slightly crunchy grapes, removes after about 10 minutes, when they're roasted but not broken down. If you want grapes that are soft and almost spreadable, leave for 15 to 20 minutes without burning. Drizzle with the remaining balsamic as soon as you remove them from the oven and toss.

4. Serve warm with Woombye's brie or camembert, a sharp cheddar or pecorino, baked mini potatoes, pepper crackers, slices of salami, pancetta and/or proscuitto, barbecue marinated chicken pieces, fresh green jalapeno slices, honey roasted peanuts and dark rye bread, with extra slices of figs and pears, dark chocolate squares and a small serving of fresh pomegranate seeds. Or whatever else you like. Enjoy!