I am so glad you have stopped by to check out my port wine cheese ball recipe! Everyone needs an excellent cheese ball appetizer in their repertoire, right? An easy, cheesy mixture gets blended with a port wine reduction for a retro classic you really can’t beat!
Wine and Cheese: A Match Made in Heaven
Not only is wine a lovely pairing with cheese, but cheese and wine go well as ingredients in dishes. Case in point: cheese fondue! That bit of acidity from wine cuts through the fattiness of the cheese and allows you to Eat Mor Cheez!
Another winner in my book? That retro-classic appetizer and cocktail party staple, the port wine cheese ball. Delicious semi-soft-to-semi-hard cheese blended with cream cheese and a bit of half and half is the basic recipe for any sort of cheese ball.
What Makes This Cheese Ball the Best?
The truly magical ingredient here is the port wine. And not just a splash of port straight from the bottle either.
Reducing the port by a factor of 8 yields a thick, intense and sweet syrup bursting with the pure essence of port without the excess liquid that could potentially cause the cheese ball to weep.
I can report that, once you make this port wine cheese ball recipe, it will stay in perfect shape for at least a week, even when rolled in nuts. Right before serving, all you need to do is give it a quick roll in finely chopped herbs of your choice for a bit of color, and you’re ready to go!
What Is a Port Wine Cheese Ball?
Honestly, it is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a cheese spread that gets mixed with a good amount of port and then it’s shaped into a ball or log, or sometimes just packed into crocks.
What makes mine a bit different is that, rather than adding straight port or a gelatin port mixture (I saw that sort of recipe on the Internet. I found it upsetting), I add an intense port reduction. Reducing the port on the stove renders it both almost non-alcoholic and super flavorful even when adding just a little bit to the cheese.
The whole point of port wine cheese is that it is hard to stop eating, so you will definitely want to make some!
More Creative Wine-Cheese Recipes from Around the Internet
While making an elaborate cheese board and serving it with wine pairings is always a treat, here are some more recipes that combine wine and cheese together with excellent results:
- Cheese Fondue Pasta Ragout (Gluten-Free) from The Heritage Cook
- Apricot Riesling Mustard from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen (serve as a topping for cream cheese!)
- Chicken with Mushrooms in White Wine Sauce from Never Enough Thyme
- Pears Poached in Wine with Lemon Mascarpone from SpiceRoots
More Retro-Recipes To Try
I don’t know about you, but I consider port wine cheese almost as retro as it gets. I mean that in a very good way. If you’re a fan of retro recipes, too, here are some on my site and elsewhere that scream the 1970s, loud and proud!
- Coronation Chicken Salad
- Poppy Seed Party Ham Biscuits
- Cream Cheese and Red Sauce Appetizer (literally my favorite)
- Waldorf Salad
- Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts (Rumaki)
Port Wine Cheese Ball Recipe
Feel free to make the port reduction up to several days in advance. You can also make and assemble the cheese ball a few days ahead of when you need it. All you’ll need to do before serving is roll it in some chopped herbs (optional, but lovely as a garnish) and then let it sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes for the best texture. Enjoy!
If you are a fan of port wine cheese balls like me, and you think this recipe sounds Excellent, please consider rating and/or commenting. I love hearing from readers! And if you make one, and I hope you do, share a photo of with me on Instagram by tagging @onlinepastrychef and using hashtag #pcorecipe or in the Pastry Chef Online Facebook Group. Can’t wait to see your version!
**You will not need all the port reduction for this recipe, but if you try to reduce a smaller amount of port, you'll end up burning it. Add a touch of water to the remaining reduction so it's still syrupy but not so thick. Then you can brush it on berries for a berry pie or just toss berries in it as a topping for yogurt or something. Enjoy! Nutrition Information is based on 16 servings of about 1 oz each. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
For the Port Reduction
For the Port Wine Cheese Ball
For the Nuts
For the Port Wine Reduction
For the Port Wine Cheese Ball
For the Pecans
To Assemble the Port Wine Cheese Ball
Amount Per ServingCalories 210 Saturated Fat 6g Cholesterol 27mg Sodium 149mg Carbohydrates 6g Sugar 2g Protein 4g
**You will not need all the port reduction for this recipe, but if you try to reduce a smaller amount of port, you'll end up burning it. Add a touch of water to the remaining reduction so it's still syrupy but not so thick. Then you can brush it on berries for a berry pie or just toss berries in it as a topping for yogurt or something. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information is based on 16 servings of about 1 oz each.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
So good, right? If you only have one port wine cheese ball recipe in your repertoire, please make it this one.
Most of the other “copycat” recipes I’ve seen online either direct you to blend straight port in with all the cheese, which I think lends a harsh edge from the alcohol, or they make a sort of “port Jell-o” made with port and gelatin and then layer that in with the cheese spread.
I’m sorry, but: yikes! I humbly submit this third alternative as being The Best. Do give it a try and see what you think!
Are you a port wine cheese ball recipe fan? Let me know what your favorite retro appetizer is–I’d love to travel down memory lane with you!