Throwing a wine and cheese party is fun, casual and doesn’t require much space. It’s a great way to get a group of friends together without all the fuss of a classic cocktail party. Here are a few easy tips to get you started:
- When you invite guests ask them each to bring a wine and cheese pairing (see the chart below for pairing suggestions). Ask that they let you know what they’re bringing so several people don’t come with the same thing. It’ll be more fun if you have a variety of cheese and wine with different textures and from different regions.
- Before the party stock up on crackers, baguettes, and fruit like apples, pears, figs, grapes, melon. The fruit will bring out the flavor of the cheese and wine and add an extra element for tasting. You might also consider purchasing a selection of smoked meats like prosciutto, salami, speck and bresola to serve along with the cheese.
- Have wine glasses, cocktail napkins, hors d’oeuvre plates and large platters on hand. When guests arrive, plate their cheese selections along with fruit and meat. Use index cards or place cards to label each cheese and wine pairing.
- If space permits, scatter the platters of cheese and wine pairings around the room. This way guests won’t gather in one spot. It will make mingling and tasting easier and more fun.
- Even though this is a casual shindig don’t forget the ambience. Dim lights, light candles, and make sure you have some soft music in the background to set the scene.
|Blue||Varied||Strong, Red||Hard||Apple, Grape, Pear|
|Brie||France||Champagne, Merlot||Soft||Plum, Apple, Pears|
|Camembert||France||Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir||Soft||Plum, Berries, Apple|
|Cheddar||England||Cabernet Sauvignon, Rioja, Chardonnay||Hard||Melon, Peach, Apple|
|Colby||U.S.||Riesling, Champagne, Cava||Hard||Apple, Peach|
|Edam||Holland||Riesling, Champagne, Pinot Noir||Hard||Apple, Grape, Pear|
|Gouda||Holland||Riesling, Champagne||Semi-Hard||Apple, Grape, Pear|
|Goat Cheese||France / Varied||Sancerre||Soft||Apple, Fig, Pear|
|Feta||Greece||Pinot Grigio, Sancerre, Beaujolais||Soft||Apple, Pear, Peach, Fig|
|Gorgonzola||Italy||Champagne, Cava, Prosecco||Soft||Pear|
|Grana Padano||Italy||Barolo, Barbaresco,||Hard||Apple, Pear, Fig|
|Manchego||Spain||Rioja, Merlot||Hard||Pear, Melon|
|Mozzarella (Fresh)||Italy||Pinot Blanc, Light Reds||Soft||Melon, Peach, Nectarine|
|Parmesan -Reggiano||Italy||Chardonnay||Hard||Fig, Grape, Apple, Honey|
|Pecorino||Italy||Chianti Riserva||Hard||Fig, Grape, Apple, Honey|
|Swiss||U.S.||Riesling, Gewurztraminer||Hard||Apple, Grape, Pear|
|St. Andre||Franch||Fruity Rose||Soft||Apple|
|Port Salut||Denmark / France||Chardonnay||Semi-soft||Melon|
|Roquefort||France||Tawny Port||Semi-hard||Apple, Pear|