The most decadent comforting cheese boards happen in winter, and are made even better if they include this Maple Sriracha Candied Bacon! Learn how to perfectly pair your favorite French fromage with the perfect wines & accouterment!
Joyeuses fêtes, mes amies!
You’re getting cheese and wine for Christmas! How do you like that?!
I just hope your stocking is big enough for some ice packs and a corkscrew.
This page includes step by step instructions, as well as tips and notes. If you’d like to skip all that, feel free to scroll down to the full, printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
I am a lifetime learner. Honestly, if I could, I’d still be in college just for the hell of it…I try to learn something new every single day.
That desire for education extends right on to the wines I drink. When I first discovered my love for vino, my true love was Moscato & Riesling – the sweeter, the better.
I clearly had no idea what I was doing. Sweet wines are so easy to drink and, in turn, the hangovers are the absolute worst. As time went on and I tried more varietals, I started to appreciate a wider selection.
Let’s be real here: at 33, hangovers are so no fun. Sipping a glass or two of a dry red is much more preferable to me than downing a whole bottle of a red blend while playing Circle of Death at a Christmas party.
(I don’t recommend that.)
Last week, after some extensive research (I’m a big food nerd,) I put together this cheese board to pair with a few bottles of delicious French wine.
My best friend stopped by and we – for lack of a better word – tore. it. up. We had all kinds of little extras on the board, but we attempted to keep them in their little quadrants.
Normally, this is the kind of thing I would just make a big batch of mulled wine for, but the occasion called for “the fance.”
As one of the largest wine producers in the world, the folks of France know their wine, and they sure as hell know how to pair it with their amazing soft cheeses. Ile de France, the most popular cheese brand in the United States, introduced their Brie in 1936 and it’s been a smash hit ever since.
We paired the Brie with a white: Pouilly-Fuissé from Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. I’m normally a baked brie kind of gal, but a slice of this on a water cracker with some pear jam and an apple slice or fresh cranberry was perfection. The wine itself was so easy on the palate and lovely to drink on its own.
We matched up the goat cheese with the famous George Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages. Snacking on pistachios and olives with a cracker smeared with goat cheese, honey, and mustard was just right.
We also had a red and white Bordeaux from Légende to enjoy. The prestigious Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) family has owned vineyards in Bordeaux for generations, so it’s safe to say they also know how to produce a pleasant glass of wine.
The Saint André Triple Cream cheese was the first brand I’d ever tried. I can only describe it as heavenly. So creamy and indulgent, it reminded both of us of very soft butter. It was incredible spread on butter crackers, topped with chocolate and fresh raspberries. The Légende Blanc was our ideal wine to sip with it.
Now, you all know how I feel about blue cheese. It’s not my thing, and it never will be, but my bestie was a huge fan of the Saint Agur from Ile de France.
I did give it a try – I nibbled it on a slice of toasted baguette with onion jam and this amazing Maple Sriracha Candied Bacon that I had to make twice.
Not because I ate it all, but because I burned the first batch. Candied bacon is a tricky beast. When it’s not burned, though…heaven! Sweet and sticky and slightly spicy, and simply delicious with blue cheese. Paired with a Légende Rouge, every blue cheese lover will fall even deeper.
I still don’t like blue cheese, though.
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING A CHEESE BOARD:
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Maple Sriracha Candied Bacon
- 8 slices bacon
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
French Cheese Board
- 1 wheel Brie cheese
- 1 wedge Blue cheese
- 1 wheel Triple Cream cheese
- 1 log Goat cheese
- Assorted crackers
- Toasted baguette slices
- Apple slices
- Fresh raspberries
- Fresh grapes
- Pear jam
- Onion jam
- Stone ground mustard
- Green olives
- Chocolate chunks
- Roasted almonds
- Fresh rosemary
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set a cooling rack on the baking sheet, then lay the raw bacon slices on it, making sure they don’t touch.
- In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup and sriracha. Using a pastry brush, coat each slice of bacon with the mixture.
- Place the bacon in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with remaining sauce mixture, then return to oven and bake for 10-15 more minutes to your desired doneness.
- Arrange the cheeses on the board, then fill in the empty space with the jams, fruits, nuts, and crackers.