It’s 6 o’clock on Friday evening and you have guests coming over in 30 minutes. Apps plated, the table is set, flowers look great, but you forgot to chill the Sauvignon Blanc. Fear not. Wet a dish towel and wring it out. Wrap it around the bottle of wine and throw it the freezer for 15-20 minutes. When you take it out, you will have a perfectly chilled bottle of wine for guests to enjoy! It doesn’t get much easier or quicker than that. Happy partying!
Posts Tagged ‘wine’
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|
The craft of pairing wine and food is incredibly complex, but when you get it right, both the food and wine taste so much better. Good sommeliers spend years learning the science and constantly challenge themselves to master the art of wine. But it doesn’t take a seasoned sommelier to create a good wine and food match.
Forget all the crazy rules and must’s. Much of creating a good match is personal taste and preference. The cheat sheet below is just a guideline, giving suggestions of varietals that mesh nicely with staple proteins. The rest is up to you and your guests taste-buds’. Bottom line, trial and error is the best way to find the perfect pair!
Pork & Lighter Meat: Rioja, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Cotes du Rhone, Tempranillo
Full Flavored Meat & Game: Barolo, Barbaresco, Bordeaux, Shiraz
- How to Pair Wine with Food (video) (luxist.com)
- Wine Pairings for St. Patty’s Day (lynfredwinery.blogspot.com)
- Cuvee 2011 Wine Awards and Gala – The “Oscars” of the Ontario Wine Industry (sommelierscribbler.wordpress.com)
No one likes to waste a good bottle of wine. But after a party you often end up with a half bottle or two. Instead of leaving it on your counter with the cork in it, turn it into something wonderful.
Dump the wine into a saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until it has reduced by 3/4. This should cook out most of the alcohol leaving a rich wine flavor. Cool the liquid and pour into an ice-cube tray. Freeze.
Use the cubes to intensify flavor in sauces and soups. Or for a savory treat, reheat in a saucepan, add some sugar and a vanilla bean and serve over vanilla ice cream. The possibilities are endless!