Nothing goes together quite well like a glass of fine wine and a delectable platter of aged cheese. If executed well, hosting a wine and cheese soiree at home can be made a regular affair. Here are handy tips and tricks to make an evening of wine and cheese an experience worth revisiting.
First things First
Decide on how many guests you want to invite to your party and make a comprehensive list. Don’t swallow more than you can digest – don’t invite numbers that you can’t handle. It is after all a wine and cheese soiree, the group can be close knit and small. Send out e-invites at least two to three weeks prior to the party—it will give your invitees enough time to clear their schedules and moreover, you will also have enough time to prepare for the event.
When decorating for your party, keep it minimalistic and classy as you don’t want to draw focus away from the main highlights of the evening—wine and cheese. A rustic background with rugged accessories would work well, as it would bring a nice vintage feel to the party. The entire setting could be held outdoors—in your backyard or garden. Add coloured paper buntings and a few candles around the place for a sophisticated touch. Decorate your tables with simple table cloths and runners and have place mats and coasters around for guests to place their wine glasses on.
Serving Wine & Cheese
It is essential to stock more than enough glassware for the soiree. Ideally, red and white wines should be poured into different kinds of glasses. Placing wooden cheese boards with knife sets along with silver cutlery and porcelain plates will give your party the much needed sophistication. Set plates and other cutlery along with different kinds of cheese and wine varieties on the table, with labels—the guests should be aware of what they are consuming, so that they start from lighter wines and fresher cheese varieties and make their way towards those that are full on sharpness and depth.
Two of a Kind
Wine and cheese are two of life’s greatest culinary pleasures and finding the perfect match can be a delicious undertaking if done correctly. While pairing a wine variety and a cheese slice,there are a number of considerations to make such as texture, acidity, fat and tannin. If you are not a connoisseur, then play it safe—adhere to tried and tested combinations.
Wine and Cheese Etiquette
• The best wine and cheese parties are those that encourage the guests to interact with each other. Keep the conversation light, yet classy.
• Invite a sommelier (wine connoisseur) to speak about wines and their growth process, as well as recommend favourite pairings.
• Serving palate cleansers in between wines is a must or the taste of the spirit might overwhelm your guests. Also, serving anything beyond plain crackers and bread during a tasting is not a great idea because it is too distracting and may also fill up the guests.
• Food is best served in small and light portions or it might leave your guests overwhelmed.
The Cheese Platter
The word cheese and vice can be used interchangeably because of its unequivocal ability to leave us melted. Here is a sneak-peek into some of the world’s finest cheeses:
Greek salad would be incomplete without the inclusion of Feta. This tangy cheese is often referred as ‘white cheese’ because of its milky white colour and soft texture. Since the brine content in this type of cheese is high, it is best eaten with roasted red peppers, on pizza, pie and with fruits like watermelon.
Often found in pasta, soups and risottos in Italy, this cheese is a hard cheese that has become popular all over the world. Parmesan is made from cow’s milk and has to be processed within 24 hours to ensure high quality.
Brieis known as the queen of cheeses. It was the most expensive tribute paid to French kings several hundred years ago. Brie is a dessert cheese and is best served at room temperature. Smoked salmon and fruits are great accompaniments to Brie.
Crumbly texture and distinct pale yellow shade are qualities exclusive to Cheddar. Hailing from England, Cheddar was said to be invincible and contributed heavily to export income. Cheddar is used widely to season various food items; chips in particular. One of the cheeses that go into the making of the legendary dish Mac n’ Cheese is Cheddar.
The highest cheese grosser, Mozzarella, has to be consumed within hours of processing and making. Unlike other cheeses, Mozzarella can be made at home and can be paired wonderfully with salads, meats, seafood and vegetables. Mozzarella rose to fame when Italian chefs used them in their staple food, pizza.