Wine and cheese: the perfect pair. Enjoying with friends makes it that much better. If you’ve considered hosting a wine and cheese party but aren’t sure where to start, read on for our simple tips:
1. Make your guest list. Have an idea of how many will be attending before you shop. You’ll want to plan for one ounce of cheese per guest.
2. Do your homework. What types of cheeses tend to pair nicely with dry whites? Is there a go-to variety for enjoying with reds?
3. Pick your pairings. Be sure to include a variety of cheese, from the creamy (such as Brie) to the mild (like goat cheese), and aged (think Gouda) to the pungent (like Gorgonzola).
Keep in mind, harder cheeses pair well with bolder wines. Cream cheeses sing alongside wines of higher acidity. Salty cheeses match best with sweet wines. Here are some of our favorite pairings:
Brie & Chardonnay
Gouda & Merlot
Fresh Goat Cheese & Sauvignon Blanc
Camembert & Prosecco
Cheddar & Cabernet
4. Create your shopping list to include wine, cheese, and other essentials. Here’s an overview of the must-haves, aside from wine and cheese:
Materials to label each cheese and wine variety
Wine glasses for each guest, plus a few extra for mishaps or additional visitors
A cutting board and cheese knives. This is also a great way to serve your guests, straight from the cutting board
Cheese plates (whether to use paper or your finest china is up to you!)
Palate cleansers (water, fresh fruit, dry crackers, nuts, olives)
When the party arrives, be sure to serve both wine and cheese at the proper temperature to enjoy their full flavor.
5. Guide your guests through the experience. You’ve put a lot of thought into this! Inform them as to how you chose your pairings. Let them know it’s best to taste the cheese by itself first, and then alongside the wine, to see how the two complement each other. Get their feedback, and start planning your next soiree!
Are you feeling ready? Go on, get planning! Wine and cheese parties a wonderful way to explore new varieties of both.