The weekend is almost here! Time to celebrate with those precious few days off. What will you do? Sleep, read, relax… How about throw a wine and cheese party!? A simple way to gather with friends and enjoy the decadent pairings of wine and cheese. And with these easy steps throwing a fabulous soiree will be effortless.
Step 1: Invite Your Guests
Six to 10 people is the ideal group for a tasting party: big enough to spark interesting conversation, but still small enough for everyone to sit around the table.
Step 2: Go Shopping
Buy three or four different wines and cheeses. You’ll need 12 to 20 ounces of each cheese and two or three bottles of each wine. Buy cheeses no more than a day in advance so they’ll be fresh and flavorful.
Chill sparkling wines overnight. Chill white wines two to three hours before the party (too cold kills the flavor), red wines about 30 minutes prior. Take cheese out of fridge one hour before the party.
Step 3: Arrange the Pairings
On a side table or counter, pair cheeses and wines in order from mildest to strongest. Group similar cheeses on one plate (soft cheeses, goat cheeses, etc.). “Don’t crowd all the cheese together,” warns Marguerite Thomas, a writer and editor for winereview online.com, “or the flavors will get murky.”
On folded index cards, list each cheese and its accompanying wine. On the dining table, put out palate cleansers (crackers, bread, water) for guests to nibble on or drink between selections, and notepaper and pens so guests can jot down their thoughts and impressions.
Sparkling wines go with mild, buttery triple-cream cheeses (St. Andre, Explorateur).
Simple, young wines (sauvignon blanc, Sancerre) go with soft, young cheeses (goat cheese).
Chardonnays and full cabernets go well with semisoft cheeses (Brie, Camembert).
Medium-bodied reds (pinot noir, Côtes du Rhone) go with hard, stronger-flavored cheeses (Parmesan, Gruyère, aged cheddar).
Sweet/dessert wines go with pungent blue cheeses. It may sound odd, but try it!
Tags: cheese, how to, pairings, party ideas, wine