How To: Host a Wine & Cheese Party

May 8, 2014
Veronica Brandy

how to host a wine and cheese partyThere’s nothing better than a good pairing. Just like good old friends, wine and cheese is a pair that just goes together. Simple and classy with minimal setup or cleanup, a wine & cheese party is the perfect weeknight get-together. Catch up with some friends, grab the serving trays, a few bottles of wine and tasty cheeses and you’re set for a fabulous soiree.

The ideal wine and cheese pairings

The idea of hosting a wine and cheese party can feel a bit refined and upscale, which is probably why it intimidates a lot of people (me included at first!), especially when it comes to wine and cheese pairings. But a few rules of thumb make it easy for any beginner to master the process and offer flavorful combinations. In his Wine + Cheese Pairing Swatchbook, cheese expert Max McCalman gives three key advices that sound like the perfect way to ease into a tasting party done right:

  • Balance sweet and salty: The saltier the cheese, the fruitier or sweeter the wine should be. Think blue cheese and Sauternes.
  • The stronger-flavored wines pair better with stronger-flavored cheeses. The same goes for lighter cheeses that usually associate better with lighter wines. A cheese or wine shouldn’t overpower its team mate.
  • Firm or aged cheeses like Comte or Gouda are usually better pairings for wines than the younger, softer cheeses, which freshness can sometimes counterpoint the tannic accents and aromas.

If you feel more adventurous, here are additional wine and cheese pairings that won’t disappoint no matter the occasion:

  • Cheddar and Port
  • Gouda and Merlot
  • Goat cheese and Sauvignon blanc
  • Brie and Chardonnay
  • Parmesan and Chianti
  • Gruyere and Sauvignon blanc
  • Camembert and sparkling rosé

Stylish Items for hosting a wine & cheese party

wine and cheese party accessories

From sleek decanters to beautiful coasters and stemless glasses, we’ve made it easy for you to select the best products for hosting a stylish, but friendly party.

1. Formaticum Cheese Storage Products – $9.21 Amazon || 2. Wine Carafe with Oak Stopper, by Sagaform – $31.15 Amazon || 3. Bottle Stoppers With Fleur De Lis Accent – $20.99 Amazon || 4. Organic Acacia Tray Set, by Mountain Wood – $44.95 Amazon || 5. Set of 4 Cheese Knives, by Prodyne – $10.30 Amazon || 6. Antique Silver Cheese Tray – $89.00 Pottery Barn || 7. Electric Wine Opener with Wine Chiller, by Oster – $25.03 Amazon || 8. Spiral Stemless Wine Glasses, set of 4 – $31.99 Amazon || 9. True Fabrications Coasters – $13.75 Amazon || 10. Wine Party 12-Piece Wine Glasses, by Libbey – $25.89 Amazon

Recipe ideas

While a wine and cheese party is primary about tasting and educate our palates, nothing prevents you to offer more elaborated cheese-based recipes like these appetizers, perfect to warm up the atmosphere:

Wine-and-cheese-partiesWine-and-Cheese-Pairing-PartyWine-&-Cheese-party-feature the-Perfect-Wine-&-Cheese-Party

1. & 2. Goat Cheese Amuse Bouches || 3. Cheese and Dried Fruit Skewers || 4. Warm Goat Cheese Toasts

To accent the fabulous wine and cheese pairings you offer to your guests, offer a set sides like marinated olives, dried fruits (apricots, raisins, figs), different kind of breads (country, baguette, rye) and crackers.

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