Blue Cheese, Walnut, and Port Wine Pâté is easy and so much better than a typical cheese ball; you’ll have no regrets!
When inspired to create a Holiday Appetizer, this Blue Cheese, Walnut, and Port Wine Pâté was at the top of my list and I love that it’s easy to make too. How did it taste? I had a teenager helping me in the kitchen and even she couldn’t put them down.
I admit I’ve purchased a port wine cheese ball many times over the years. I think they were a cheddar type of cheese and pink in color and I liked them fine until I discovered how much better they can be when made at home. Especially since I can use a cheese I think works much better than cheddar.
The inspiration for this appetizer came from the book ‘Neiman Marcus Taste’ (affiliate link), a gift from my daughter several years ago when she was working at Neiman’s as an assistant manager. It’s a lovely book that I’m glad to have in my collection.
While the original recipe called for a Maytag Blue Cheese, I’m more of a Gorgonzola fan. I call it Blue Cheese Light as I don’t think it’s quite as pungent and since Gorgonzola is technically a blue cheese it works and that’s what I’ve used in this recipe. If you prefer a stronger blue cheese flavor by all means go for something more heavily veined.
The final product is a bit pinkish purple but I’m OK with that. To make it less purple I would have to use a tawny instead of a ruby port and quite frankly I like ruby port better. They’re younger with a fresh fruit aroma and meant to pair with blue cheese.
The tawny ports have been aged longer and develop a nice amber color from that aging but are often also sweeter not to mention more expensive. I really enjoy Graham’s Six Grapes which I used in this appetizer but I’ve also served it for a chocolate wine tasting and it’s been great in both instances…so ruby it is for me!
One step of this recipe that I think critical is a final step that instructs to only mix the port wine into the rest of the ingredients for five seconds. I adhere to that religiously; it leaves some larger chunks of cheese in the mixture without turning the entire mixture purple and I love the taste as well as the pretty mottled look that results.
My only revision? I like a bit of the toasted walnuts to be pressed into the top before serving too; you could say it’s not required but I’ve done it forever so yes, I guess now it is!
This is easy, pretty and delicious and can be made a day or two ahead. Perfect holiday appetizer wouldn’t you say? Check out my holiday appetizer list too for some more ideas. Do you have a favorite appetizer? Would love to know what it is; leave a link if it’s handy and as always…Happy Holidays!
PIN IT! Blue Cheese, Walnut, and Port Wine Pâté
For Baguette Slices: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice a thin baguette into 1/2 inch slices and place them on a cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil and bake just until brown; approximately 5 minutes. Watch closely.
For Baguette Slices:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice a thin baguette into 1/2 inch slices and place them on a cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil and bake just until brown; approximately 5 minutes. Watch closely.