Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log is a festive holiday appetizer that is sure to please any crowd. Wine-spiked cranberry syrup is spooned over a goat cheese log; quick, easy, and delicious!

We can’t get enough of cheese especially when its served as Three Cheese Baked Mostaccioli, Homemade Cheese Crackers, and Garlic Cheese Bread

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Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log appetizer with bottle of wine

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Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log

Cheese, Cranberries, and Wine! Oh My! 

Was that anyone else’s reaction to this combo, or am I the weird one here? This recipe speaks to all of my favorite things and I am here for it.

A perfectly spreadable cheese log covered in a delectable and subtly sweet cranberry sauce infused with fresh herbs for a sophisticated appetizer that dreams are made of! 

You know you want to be the one showing up to the holiday party with that showstopping recipe everyone is talking about, so look no further because this cranberry cheese log is what you need!

Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log on tray

How To Make A Cranberry Cheese Log 

(Full recipe at the end of the post) 

With all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, sometimes the last thing you need is another complicated recipe to make and bring to yet another party. That’s why I’m all about the easy dishes during the holiday season. 

Let me tell you, this cranberry cheese log is the epitome of a quick and easy dish you can throw together in no time! 

Just add the ingredients for the sauce into small saucepan. Bring to a boil then simmer stirring occasionally. Remove from heat to cool and discard the herbs and spices. Lastly just place the cheese on serving plate and spoon cranberry mixture over cheese.

Don’t forget to add some toasted pecans to give it a little crunch if you want to take this dish to the next level.

Pinot Noir for Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log

Secrets for Making Amazing Cheese Log Topping

Choose the right wine: The type of wine you buy is going to have an impact on the end result of the sauce for the cheese log. Something too sweet will make your topping way too sweet. A wine too dry runs the chance of the sauce coming out too bitter.

In this case, your best bet will be a pinot noir (my favorite is Nobel Pig Wine), a perfect mix of not too sweet and not too dry. 

Use fresh herbs: Fresh herbs can be a little pricey and hard to find sometimes, but in this recipe, they are so worth it. you need the fresh herbs to infuse the flavor into the sauce. Dried herbs just won’t be able to do that.

So, unfortunately, there is no substitute for the fresh herbs in this recipe.

Soften the cheese: If you plan to serve the cheese log immediately after preparing, then be sure to soften your cheese log. It will be much easier to cut into and spread onto crackers if it’s a room temperature. 

The best way I like to soften cheese it to let it naturally come to room temperature by setting it on the counter for several hours. You can also soften in the microwave but I never seem to be as happy with the microwave results than I am with the other method.

Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log spread on crackers

Let’s Eat! – Serving A Cranberry Cheese Log

I love this cranberry cheese log because it’s not only super delicious, but it also makes a beautiful presentation, when served on a nice platter alongside some gourmet crackers, and a glass of wine. 

You could also serve it as pre-made bite-size appetizers by spreading the cheese mixture onto crackers ahead of time. This is great if you want an appetizer people can easily grab and go. 

I’ll let you in on a little secret for what I do if I have extra cranberry topping leftover. I always save it to put on top of ice cream and cake, and anything I can get my hands on later in the week. It’s sooo tasty! Sometimes I even purposely make a double batch to make sure I have leftovers to save. 

Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log on serving trray

More Perfect Party Appetizers

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip With Rosemary This festive cream cheese dip with rosemary is a snap to make and only gets better with age. With a hint of tangy sweetness, both kids and adults will gobble it up.

Cheesy Corn Dip Pure comfort food and ridiculously easy to make! Perfect for get-togethers or holiday parties!

Asparagus and Gruyere Tart Store-bought puff pastry makes this simple, 3 ingredient Tart look sophisticated enough for any dinner or brunch. 

Buffalo Pull-Apart Bread Cheesy bread with that buffalo flavor that makes it perfect for any party!

Cheesy Mashed Potato Stuffed Mushrooms Sautéed mushrooms stuffed with creamy cheesy mashed potatoes for an appetizer both mushroom and loaded baked potato lovers will enjoy!

Bacon Wrapped Crackers A simple idea that can’t be beaten. Any bacon wrapped appetizers will be a hit on game day or holidays, so these are a true winner. These tasty bacon crackers won’t disappoint!

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Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log photo collage

Let’s Get Started!

We all know there’s no time to waste this time of year, so time to get cooking! Grab your tools, your cheese and your wine you’ll be ready to go! Just remember to save some of the wine for the sauce. 😉 I can’t wait ti hear how much you love it!

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Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log on serving trray

Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log

Yield: 12-14 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log is a festive holiday appetizer that is sure to please any crowd. Wine-spiked cranberry syrup is spooned over a goat cheese log; quick, easy, and delicious!


  • 5 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
  • 1/2 cup red wine (I use Pinot Noir)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 1-2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • assorted crackers


  1. Add cranberries, wine, sugar and spices to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until very little liquid remains, about 12-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and cool at least 20 minutes. Discard sage leave, thyme sprigs and cinnamon stick.
  4. Place goat cheese on serving plate. Spoon cranberry mixture over cheese. Serve with crackers.


  • you can substitute goat cheese for cream cheese if you'd prefer
  • double the cranberry sauce and use the extra to serve over ice cream or pound cake.
  • slightly adapted from

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