Nothing goes together quite like a robust glass of wine and a deliciously aged slice of cheese. Show your love for this fabulous pairing by hosting a party with your favorite wine- and fromage- obsessed friends. A wine and cheese pairing party is a great way to learn more about wine and cheese and try new varieties of both!
TIPS FOR HOSTING A FUN PAIRING PARTY
The best wine and cheese parties are those that encourage the guests to interact by bringing their favorite wines and cheeses for the rest of the guests to sample. If your budget allows, invite a sommelier to speak about the wines and their growth process, as well as recommend favorite pairings. If you can’t swing that, do a bit of research on your own and surprise and impress your friends with your knowledge of the grapes and cheese.
How to prep
Decide how many guests you want to invite and prepare invitations. Allow yourself at least two to three weeks for paper invitations (which also gives guests time to RSVP) and at least a week for evites. Once invitations have been received and guests have RSVP’d, shop for your stemware and cheese plates. What you’ll need for a party of 12 guests:
- At least 20 wine glasses (to allow for any extra guests who come, any breaks and anyone who’d prefer a different glass for white and red)
- Wooden cheese boards with knife sets (not absolutely necessary)
- Cheese and wine tasting labels
Although this party is primarily focused on wine and cheese, it’s important to also pick up palate cleansers, like fresh fruit, vegetables and water, so that guests can truly enjoy the differences in each sip and bite. Here’s a sample shopping menu that’s full of great variety and bargain cheese and wine as well:
- Bunches of fresh strawberries, grapes, blueberries, melons and apples
- An array of fresh vegetables, like broccoli heads, celery sticks, carrots and cauliflower
- A few meats, like prosciutto or spicy salami
- Blue or Gorgonzola cheeses
- Semifirm cheeses, such as cheddar, fontina or Saint-Nectaire
- A super-aged cheese, like Parmesan or Gouda
- A very pungent (“stinky” cheese like Langres or Livarot
- A mild and soft cheese, like Brie, goat cheese and Camembert
- A variety of dry and fruity reds, like merlot, pinot noir, zinfandel and rose
- A variety of dry and sweet whites, like pinot grigio, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc
- One or two bottles of sparkling wines, like Champagne or Prosecco
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