So you want to host a wine and cheese tasting party? Well, you’ll need two things. Cheese and wine. Okay well, you’ll need a few more things that just that – but those are the most important. There is an art to cheese just like there is an art to wine and when wanting to know more about anything it is best to experience a lot of it and it’s always better with friends! So for your next get together or birthday party why not host a wine and cheese party and maybe discover something new?
The first step in hosting a wine and cheese tasting party is to find really good cheese. I highly suggest you find a local market, deli or cheese shop and ask for their help. I live in Los Angeles and the first place I go to is the Curious Cheese Shop. This cheese shop is among many incredible little boutique shops in The Market at Santa Monica Place. They can give you some helpful pairing suggestions and a quick cheese lesson. Doesn’t hurt to sample a few things while you’re there to get you in the mood either!:)
Don’t forget to send out wine & cheese party Invitations two or three weeks before your party. Paper invitations in the mail always grab my attention and have a nice unexpected touch, but sending an online invite is fine too. I like to use Paperless Post because they have classy invites and a virtual envelope opens up similar to a real paper invitation.
Why not ask your guests to bring a bottle of their favorite wine? Not only does this help with the cost of your party but usually means a nice variety of bottles will show up. You should have a few on hand too, just in case everyone happens to only bring a red varietal. During the summer white wines and rose wines are much lighter and more refreshing.
Head to the grocery store and buy Cracker Barrel Cheese and a nice selection of crackers, meats, fruits, nuts and jams to accompany the cheese. The best part about this kind of party is there is no cooking and very little pre-prep! All you need to do is cut, clean and display all the ingredients nicely on large platters and provide small tasting plates. This is a DIY type of party at it’s best, so honestly have fun with it because anything goes!
Cracker Barrel Cheese Pairing Tips
These savvy tips are from Jeff Mauro, winner of the seventh season of Food Network Star! Jeff is partnering with the award-winning Cracker Barrel cheese to help you create delicious summer recipes and share his simple party planning tips.
1. When constructing a cheese plate, think about variety of color as much as variety of flavor! The color spectrum of CRACKER BARREL sharp yellow cheddar combined with the deep red of dried cranberries, shiny glazed walnuts, golden honey & juicy green grapes will impress your guests! Remember we eat with our eyes first.
3. Nothing too heavy! Cracker Barrel cheese-based appetizers are perfect for whetting your guest’s appetite without overfilling their stomachs.
4. Try to hit several sensations in one bite! Something sweet, something spicy, something cheesy, and something crunchy. This creates a complex & soul-hugging spectrum of flavor in each bites, which makes your guests very happy.
Be sure to place the cheese on platters with cheese knifes for cutting or have some of the cheese already cut into thin squares or cubes. Chalkboard cheese boards are popular so you can write the type of cheese next to each cheese or you can purchase cheese flag printables and attach with a toothpick for labeling each cheese.
Wine & Cheese Pairings
Cheese: Extra Sharp
Dried cranberry, apricot preserves
Cheese: Mediterranean Herb
Wine: Pinot Noir
Herbed flatbread cracker
Red pepper jelly
Wine: Pinot Grigio
Cheese: Cracked Black Pepper
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc/
Cracker Barrel cheese just recently placed best in class because of its rich full flavor with its sharp cheddar at the 2013 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest. Cracker Barrel cheese is available in the dairy section of retailers nationwide.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am currently working with Cracker barrel Cheese as a brand ambassador. All my savvy thoughts and sassy opinions are my own. I share this with you because I truly love to throw parties, entertain and share great tips with you.