Wine and cheese parties are perfect when you want to have a low-key get together with friends and family. You don’t have to cook, cleanup is easy, and everyone can snack on delicious wine and cheese. Here are our five tips on how you can host a perfect wine and cheese party:
1.) Pick 3 – 5 different types of cheese to serve.
There are hundreds of different types of cheeses made all over the world. Don’t let your party get out of hand; pick just 3 – 5 to sample. Mix different firmness levels (some cheeses are soft and spreadable, some are hard and need to be shaved) with different milk bases (cow, lamb, goat) to achieve a varied selection of cheeses. A sample menu from LGCM would include these cheeses:
- A blue cheese – we have several verities available, and you should definitely have something a little funky on your plate.
- Carr Valley Marisa Cheese – a fresh sheep milk cheese with complex flavors from one of Wisconsin’s top producers.
- Fromager d’Affinois – a double-cream soft cheese made in France from cow’s milk.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano – a hard cheese to provide some crunch in your lineup.
- Wisconsin cheese curds – they’re not the fanciest, but they’re delicious and provide great flavor contrast for your party!
2.) Have a variety of different wines available for pairing with your cheeses.
Sparkling wine will pair with anything, so we always recommend having sparkling wine for your party. Beyond that, we recommend having a lighter red wine like a Pinot Noir and a medium body white wine like an unoaked Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc. These choices are versatile and will let your guests discover what wines they like with the different cheeses. You can also ask your guests to bring a favorite bottle so everyone will have something to drink that they enjoy!
3.) Have a variety of items to accompany your cheese and wine.
No cheese plate is complete without some accompaniments. Suggestions to serve with the cheese and wine include:
- Bread or crackers – baguettes or crackers are a great choice to go with your cheese plate. We like having both for variety.
- Cured meats – some sliced prosciutto or similar meats will provide salty, refreshing flavor between bites of cheese.
- Fruit – fresh grapes are excellent with cheese, as are apple slices.
- Jams – a little bit of jam spread on a baguette with some cheese can be a heavenly bite.
- Nuts – nuts are a wonderful food to enjoy with cheese, so pick your favorite nut and include it on your cheese plate!
- Olives – olives are also an excellent accompaniment to cheese. Try a blend of olives to appeal to everyone at your party.
4.) Follow these serving tips for a flawless party.
- Bring the cheese up to room temperature before serving for maximum flavor. Room temperature won’t hurt the cheese, so take the cheese out of your refrigerator 1-2 hours before the party begins.
- Spread everything out on parchment paper. You can write what’s what on the parchment paper and this trick makes cleanup a snap!
- Have separate knives for each cheese so that you don’t get flavors mixed up.
- Make sure you have water (and water glasses) to go along with the wine and cheese.
5.) Have fun!
Once your party starts, enjoy trying all the different cheeses and wines with your guests. There are no right or wrong pairings, so try every possible permutation of wine and cheese to find your favorite. Once you find something you like, enjoy!
There are our five tips on how to host a wine and cheese party. Stop by Lake Geneva Country Meats to see what cheeses we have available for your next party. We have an ever-rotating selection of cheeses from local producers as well as favorites from around the world. Plus, we have a fully stocked wine selection for your pairing pleasure.
Do you have more suggestions on how to host a great wine and cheese party? We’d love to hear your tips and learn about your favorite cheeses. Share your experiences with us in the comments below. Thanks for reading!