Build an Ontario holiday charcuterie board
Traditionally, charcuteries consisted of cured meats like salami, sausage and prosciutto as well as pâtés and confits.
Today the term is used more broadly to describe an aesthetic presentation of various ingredients perfect for grazing and sampling. These could include a mix of soft and hard artisanal cheeses, dips, preserves and jellies, breads, seasonal fruits, olives, nuts and even sweet ingredients like chocolates and pastries (“yes” to butter tarts). And of course, deliciously salty and spicy cured cold cuts.
Create the perfect Ontario charcuterie board with these locally-made products and drink pairing suggestions and be the host hero of this season’s get-togethers.
They also make great presents for the foodies on your Christmas gift list. Shop in person or check for online shopping and shipping. Just be sure to order in time for deliveries.
Cheese and cold cuts are two key elements of the perfect charcuterie board.
Made from pure Guernsey milk, the rich and creamy Niagara Gold is a must for your cheese selection.
Location: 4159 Jordan Road, Jordan Station
Drink pairing: The Nuit Blanche from nearby artisanal winery Hidden Bench makes a great partner. For beer lovers, pair with a “gold” lager; Old Flame Brewing Co. in Port Perry has won gold medals more than once for their Red Vienna Lager.
Producers of artisanal, single-sourced cheeses named after local rivers, their Kapuskasing is a creamy cheese lined with vegetable ash in the centre. They also create limited edition, earthy-flavoured beer and wine-infused Opasatika cheeses.
Location: 376 Government Road East, Kapuskasing
Drink pairing: Both kinds of cheese pair well with a smooth red wine like the buttery Marquette from Bonnieheath Estate Lavender & Winery in Norfolk County, or couple the beer-infused Opasatika with a crisp, dry Cold Front or a tart Ta-Beer-Wit from Whiskeyjack Beer Company in Haileybury.
The first farm in Ontario to specialize in a creamy Dutch-style gouda now offers 13 different flavours that range from mild to extra aged.
Location: 611 Boundary Drive, Thunder Bay
Drink pairing: The elegant Field Blenders White wine from Nyarai Cellars is a perfect match for a creamy gouda. Goudas also pair well with porters, such as the multiple award-winning Clifford Porter from Clifford Brewing Company in Hamilton. And because black tea is known to balance the flavour profile of gouda, check out the selection from Monarch Tea Co. in Hamilton or Distinctively Tea in Stratford.
This Eastern Ontario cheese maker specializes in artisanal hard and soft style cow and goat milk cheese, including the aged Celtic Blue, a soft creamy blue cheese.
Drink pairing: Blue cheese and stout are a dynamic duo. Windsor’s Walkerville Brewery picked up a silver medal at the most recent Canadian Brewing Awards for its Imperial Stout. Another odd couple that just seems to work is blue cheese and Icewine. Look to Icewine pioneers Reif Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake for the perfect Riesling Icewine.
East of Ottawa, St-Albert has been mastering high-quality cheddar since the late 19th century. You’ll want this on your cheese tray.
Location: 150 St. Paul Street C, St-Albert
Drink pairing: Cheddar and apple are the perfect flavour pair. Try the refreshing, premium Untamed Cider from Loch Mor Cider Company in Prince Edward County. If you enjoy it, you’re not alone, it won Best Cider of the Year in 2021. Or opt for the aromatic Mousseux de Pomme, an apple sparkling wine from Pelee Island Winery.
Following the traditions of the cheese-producing mountain dairies in the Swiss Alps, Stonetown is a multiple first-place winner at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair for their signature cheeses, including the Grand Trunk Gruyère.
Location: 5021 Perth County Line 8, St. Marys
Drink pairing: If you asked the Swiss, they’d recommend Fendant, an alpine white wine. However, the more recognized German variety of Riesling also makes a lovely flavour marriage. Luckily Ontario’s cool-climate conditions allow for some of the world’s finest Riesling, like Peller Estates’ Andrew Peller Signature Series Riesling. Gruyère and a traditional German style bock also suit each other very well, so try the silver medal-winning Doppelbock from Stonehooker Brewing Company in Mississauga.
Artisanal cheese maker Gunn’s Hill is located in Oxford County, a picturesque rural region with a rich dairy history. Dark Side of the Moo is a mild, creamy Swiss soaked in Dark Side Chocolate Stout from Upper Thames Brewery.
Location: 445172 Gunn’s Hill Road, Woodstock
Drink pairing: Swiss and white wine are a winning combo. Pearl Morissette’s 2018 Dix-Neuvième is a beautifully structured Niagara Chardonnay, and the award-winning Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs from Leaning Post in Stoney Creek also make great companions to Swiss cheese.
Waltzing Matilda is a flavourful water buffalo camembert from one of Ontario’s favourite artisanal cheese makers. Monforte also supplies summer sausage and pepperettes from local Mennonite farmer David Martin.
Location: 49 Griffith Road, Stratford
Drink pairing: Pinot Noir pairs well with both camembert and cured meats. Adamo Winery recently brought home a silver National Wine Award for its 2018 Pinot Noir.
In addition to a revolving selection of handmade cow, goat and buffalo cheeses that reflect the flavour of Prince Edward County, Fifth Town also provides a curated selection of locally preserved meats and condiments, perfect for your charcuterie presentation.
Location: 4309 County Road 8, Picton
Drink pairing: A lovely Sauvignon Blanc, like the Hungry Point from Rosehall Run in Prince Edward County, complements most chèvre and buffalo mozzarellas. Another great mate to fresh goat cheese is green tea. Enjoy the soft, sweet and aromatic blend of green tea and wild rice produced by Indigenous-owned Tea Horse in Thunder Bay.
Perth Cheese Shop prides itself on ethical and local charcuterie board ingredients, including a selection of cured sausage and salami and jams, chutneys and mustards.
Location: 64 Gore Street East #2, Perth
Drink pairing: Staying super local, sample six packs from Perth Brewery.
In addition to small-batch, artisanal sheep cheese, this farm produces the perfect lamb pepperettes and salami for your charcuterie board.
Drink pairing: A light-bodied red is always a safe bet to serve with cured meats. Try recent gold winner Closson Chase Vineyards’ Grande Cuvée Pinot Noir.
Add fresh Muskoka Smoked trout pâté or Nordic-style cold-smoked, sliced rainbow trout or salmon gravlax from this multi-generational family fish farm to your Canadian charcuterie board.
Drink pairing: Smoked fish balances nicely with a light, dry mead, such as Ontario Honey Creations’ dry mead made from their traditional Polish family recipe.
Pick up a fresh baguette or ciabatta from your local bakery and dress with mustards, jams, jellies, chutneys, preserves and more.
Over 30 years of passion and experience have gone into the production of unique and flavourful artisanal mustards and spreads, like the Canadian Maple, Hot Whiskey or British Beer mustards. Consider the gift pack for the foodie on your list.
Location: 311 St. Lawrence Street, Merrickville
What began as a farmers’ market gig has grown to one of Muskoka’s most recognizable lines of gourmet jams, jellies, syrups and vinaigrettes.
From dairy farming to homemade baked goods and preserves, there’s a lot going on at this family-run farm. Add some pickled peppers or cranberry chutney to your grazing station.
You’re entitled to treat your sweet tooth during the holiday season, so add some dessert items to your festive spread.
Mouth-watering, hand-crafted artisanal chocolate and gourmet confections from Manitoulin Island include creamy buttermilk and Canadian Maple dark chocolates.
Location: 31 Water Street, Gore Bay
Drink pairing: Manitoulin Maple Apple Ice Cider from Boreal Berry Farm and Winery, North America’s only certified organic haskap orchard, just outside Sudbury (from whom you can also get in-season fresh and frozen boreal and arctic region berries).
Choose from an assortment of award-winning, hand-crafted chocolate, including a small batch holiday selection.
Location: 476 Ottawa Street, Almonte
Drink pairing: Award-winning chocolate deserves award-winning sparkling wine. Megalomaniac Winery has snagged gold Ontario Wine Awards for their Sparkling (Riesling) Personality and Bubblehead Sparkling Rosé.
Visit one of SOMA’s locations in Toronto’s King West or Distillery District neighbourhoods for bean-to-bar chocolates, cookies and truffles.
Drink pairing: Artisanal chocolate and a sparkling rosé is a palate-pleasing combination. St. Catharines’ Henry Of Pelham’s Cuvée Catharine Rosé Brut fits the bill.
A Northumberland County gem, Centre & Main whips up innovative, artisanal chocolate inspired by pride of place—and wins plenty of awards for it!
Location: 50 Centre Street, Warkworth
Drink pairing: Chocolate that celebrates local pride demands a wine that does the same. Hinterland Wine Company produces premium sparkling wine in Prince Edward County.
The delicious and innovative artisan chocolate treats at Raven Rising are the creations of small business owner Chef Tammy Maki, a certified Red Seal Journeyman Pastry Chef and Baker. The recipient of Canada Post 2022 Tales of Triumph Contest Award, Chef Tammy uses natural ingredients from Indigenous people and businesses in Canada and the world.
Location: 66 Cedar Street, Sudbury
Drink pairing: Innovative chocolate, meet innovative java. Ottawa-based Birch Bark Coffee Co. produces delicious, organic, fair-trade coffee that goes a long way towards giving back.
Guests have raved for years about the butter tarts from the on-site bakery at this chic Niagara region winery.
Location: 1776 Fourth Avenue, St. Catharines
Drink pairing: Considering 13th Street won the prestigious title of best winery in Ontario at the National Wine Awards of Canada, don’t hesitate to pair your tarts with any one of their hand-crafted wines.
Handcrafted bursts of sweet or savoury, Doo Doo’s award-winning butter tarts are renowned for their flakey crusts and creamy fillings.
Location: 187 County Road 28, Bailieboro
Drink pairing: Muskoka Roastery Coffee Co.’s handcrafted, 100% certified sustainably sourced coffee, including small batch limited edition samplers such as the Butter Tart Brew.
You’ll need a made-in-Ontario board to complete your ideal Ontario charcuterie spread.
At Ottercreek Woodworks in Oxford County, you can actually make your own live edge serving board from locally harvested lumber, plus you’ll get a crash course in the materials to use in making it.
If you don’t have the time to make your own, pick up locally-made charcuterie, cheese and grazing boards from Canadian Cheese Boards in Barrie, iBranched Out in Parry Sound, Live Edged Woodcraft in Georgina or Hamilton’s Rustic Designs by Rick.
Finally, you should sample a few charcuterie boards and paired drinks to truly perfect your own. Plan an evening out to a restaurant, winery, brewery or cidery that serves charcuteries.
For research purposes, note the charcuterie pairings at Oxley Estate Winery, Adamo Winery, Saulter Street Brewery or Elora Brewing Co. Or create your own beer and cheese bundle at Wellington Brewery in Guelph or Spirit Tree Estate Cidery in Caledon.
Choose from one of three Olive Board Charcuterie & Wine Bar locations. The Block Co. in Burlington specializes in charcuterie and grazing platters. You’ll also find amazing charcuterie options at Prohibition House and The Albian Rooms in Ottawa or at Melrose on Adelaide in Toronto.
Note: Wherever your taste buds lead you, you’ll want to first confirm delivery details with each business before ordering as options may change. You’ll need to show proof of age of majority at the time of delivery of all alcohol orders. Please drink responsibly.
Looking for more great ideas for the food and drink connoisseurs on your gift list? Check out the cool seasonal beverages, branded merch and other swag from Ontario’s craft breweries, cideries and distilleries.
Connect with more amazing food and beverage growers, makers and producers across Ontario including:
- Dairy Farmers of Ontario
- Beef Farmers of Ontario
- Ontario Pork Producers
- Chicken Farmers of Ontario
- Turkey Farmers of Ontario
- Organic Council of Ontario
- Ontario Federation of Agriculture
- Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Wine Country Ontario
- Ontario Craft Brewers
- Ontario Craft Cider Association
Bon appétit and happy holidays!
Last updated: September 12, 2023