With so much time spent inside these days, let's just say we're eating a lot of snacks. But if you're like us, you might also be looking for ways to elevate your snack game, even if your only plans are another Netflix night-in. That's why we've put together these "Quar-Boards"—totally unscientific, extremely subjective suggestions for fun flavor pairings to make the ultimate snack boards with crackers, dried fruit, candies and Saxelby Cheesemongers cheese. We’ve found that building them can actually be pretty soothing. All of our suggested components are easy to find in your local bodega or available for pick-up or delivery in New York City, made accessible while we shelter in place.
Of course, what would a cheese board be without wine pairings, too? We made sure to include some budget-friendly recs for high-quality, low-intervention wines that we're loving right now from Time Out-approved wine shops.
Show us your #QuarBoards by tagging us on Instagram, and we might just share the photos on our page.
The Sour Sweetie
Components: Sour Patch Kids + cashews + Saxelby Cheesemonger’s “Cayuga Blue” blue cheese + Zapp’s Voodoo potato chips
Wine pairing: Valentina Passalacqua’s Sovracchiaro Bianco (2018), available at Wild Wines.
Why it works for us: Though this succulent natural white wine packs plenty of crisp flavor, we think it could use a little kick-in-the-butt from a sour candy. Blue cheese and sour candy just make sense to us. In this case, the “Cayuga Blue” is a goat-milk cheese: we love how flaky the cut is, which makes it pretty easy to scoop up in your hand or balance delicately on a salty cashew or vinegary Zapp’s chip.
The Bacon Bro
Components: Cool Ranch Doritos + dried apricots + gummies in the shape of fried eggs + Saxelby Cheesemonger’s “bacon gouda”
Wine pairing: Dirty and Rowdy "Unfamiliar Red" (2017), available at Henry's Wine & Spirit.
Why it works for us: A protein-packed, post-workout treat.
Components: Clementine sections + dried pineapple + Almond Joy + Saxelby Cheesemonger’s “Bonne Bouche”
Wine pairing: Gulp Hablo’s garnacha red, available at Irving Bottle.
Why it works for us: All the fruity notes from the snacks and red wine combine for a little tropical result that could make you feel like you've transported to a faraway beach where you might turn your cell phone onto “Do Not Disturb” or set up an out-of-office away message. That ain’t happening soon, so this board will have to do.
The Cheer-up Brigade
Components: Pretzels + sour cream and onion chips + pickles + Saxelby Cheesemonger’s “Red Rock” cheddar
Wine pairing: Partida Creus’s Blanco Natural (2018), available at Wild Wines.
Why it works for us: For those moments when you feel low, chips and cheddar are an unbeatable combo and the surefire friends you want on your side to cheer you up. These comforting favorites are best when combined with this pucker-filled tart wine that’s a taste of the real world… saying, “sorry, get over it!”
The Sleeper Hit
Components: Matcha Kit-Kat bars + sliced Granny Smith apples + Saxelby Cheesemonger’s “Moses Sleeper” + Stacy’s pita chips
Wine pairing: Meinklang’s sparkling rosé (2019), available at Stranger Wines.
Why it works for us: The decadent “Moses Sleeper” is widely beloved amongst goopy cheese fanatics like ourselves. For a luxe cheese that tastes like truffles, it needs an It-Girl wine like Meinklang to make your night-in feel like you just got to skip the line at at the club because you know the bouncer. This rosé is said to have strawberry-like notes, which, to us, is a perfect pairing both visually and taste-wise with matcha anything, but specifically, these Japanese candy bars. Cut the richness and keep the monochrome color scheme of your board with the Granny Smith slices.
The Smoke Stack
Components: Dark chocolate + Twizzlers + flatbread crackers + Saxelby Cheesemonger’s “Winnimere” cheese
Wine pairing: Martha Stoumen's "Post Flirtation" wine, available at Irving Bottle.
Why it works for us: This fuller bodied red sipped in tandem with this smoky, woodsy cow’s milk cheese has the sexy redolence of red lipstick and cigarettes. You may not be able to go on first dates at a bar right now, but you can definitely have a Zoom date with this impressive (and seductive) cheese board.
The Birthday Board
Components: Pistachios + Junior Mints + licorice + Saxelby Cheesemonger’s “Reading Raclette”
Wine pairing: Il Farneto’s Rio Rocca Frisant Bianco (2018), available at Stranger Wines.
Why it works: Now that you’re another year older, your flavor profiles should mature to appreciate the funk of licorice. And why pair the licorice with pistachios? Because they’re expensive as hell and you’re worth it. Finish it off with the celebratory raclette and sparkling wine that hails from Italy (chic!).
Components: Jelly Beans + pretzel Goldfish + green grapes + Saxelby Cheesemonger’s fresh mozzarella
Wine pairing: Passalacqua Calcarius Orange Puglia (2018), available at Irving Bottle.
Why it works for us: This Calcarius is one of the best orange wine deals in town, at under $30 for a whole liter. It goes with everything and from our experience, it's super easy to find yourself drinking multiple glasses of this versatile bottle (its flavor profile isn't overpowering and is like a chameleon in pairing with other boards). Keep it simple with chill, easy-going ingredients that don’t compete to be the favorite. Who doesn’t love pretzel Goldfish?
The Blue Velvet
Components: Tostitos “hint of lime” + gummy frogs + handful of blackberries + Saxelby Cheesemonger’s “Lady in Blue”
Wine pairing: Escheverria’s No Es Pituko cab franc (2019), available at Stranger Wines.
Why it works for us: This velvety red wine comes alive with crunchy ingredients like Tostitos’s “hint of lime” and damn near jumps off the plate when paired with gummy frogs. It's perfect for those moments when you can’t believe this is all happening and the world feels as surreal as a David Lynch project.
The Tubby Shark
Components: Dried kiwi + Ritz crackers + Shark gummies + Saxelby Cheesemonger’s “Tubby” cheese
Wine pairing: Enderle and Moll’s Muller-Thurgau white wine (2019), available at Stranger Wines.
Why it works for us: This cheese board swims to the beat of its own drum, just like solitary sharks lurking in the ocean. We paired it with this delectable white by these culty winemakers because it has a logo of a lonerish man in a fedora-like hat. Being alone can be *~*quirky*~*!