Monday, December 29, 2014

Port Wine Cheese Ball

Who doesn't love a cheese ball?!  This is a favorite family appetizer in my family, the perfect precursor to a later meal or addition to the hors d'oeuvres table at a cocktail party.  This year, half of our out-of-town guests were arriving late Christmas evening, pushing our Christmas supper to well after the traditional dinner hour.  I had this cheese ball on hand to hold us over until everyone had arrived and all the gifts had been unwrapped.  It's equally wonderful for a game night snack or a gift to surprise neighbors or a favorite teacher!  Change up the cheese, dried fruit, herbs, and nuts to make the flavor your own!

1 cup tawny port
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 2-cup package shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, divided
2 teaspoons tawny port
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Boil 1 cup tawny port in a small saucepan until reduced to 2 tablespoons.

Combine cream cheese, shredded cheese, cherries, 1 tablespoon chives, remaining 2 teaspoons port, and nutmeg in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir port syrup into cheese mixture just to swirl.  Roll into a ball.

Combine pecans and remaining chives and spread on a plate or in a shallow dish.  Roll cheese ball into mixture to coat evenly on all sides.  Wrap in plastic and chill until ready to serve.


  1. I love port wine cheese balls - this sounds delicious! I'd love it if you'd share this at Reviews, Chews & How-Tos tomorrow for our first Awesome Life Friday Link Up

  2. Kate, this sounds SO good. I love cheese balls, and the addition of port sounds like this gives this one an extra kick. Also the nutmeg and chives. YUM. Thanks for sharing.

    Here's hoping you have a Happy 2015. Thank you so much for your family's service to our country. We appreciate your sacrifice so much and ask that the Lord protect and keep and bless you.


    Sheila :-)

  3. Hi Kate,
    What a great Cheese Ball for the party! Thanks so much for starting your 2015 with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
    Happy New Year!
    Miz Helen

  4. I love how versatile this is. I've never made a cheese ball with dried fruit or port...sounds so good! Thank you for sharing.