A wine and cheese party is a terrific opportunity to gather a group of friends to celebrate some of the most important, but simplest pleasures in life – good food and wine, and great company! Wine and cheese parties are generally considered to be more formal affairs than other get-togethers, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t relax and have a good time! In fact, some of the most memorable and meaningful connections you can make with another person happen over simple foods and a good glass of Tiziano wine.
Plan Your Event By Considering Three Basic Stages –
When planning your perfect wine and cheese party you’ll want to concentrate on three distinct stages – menu planning, food and wine presentation, and party time activities. Menu planning can be accomplished by understanding the appropriate pairings of cheese and wine. To keep it simple, cheeses can be divided into four distinct groups:
- Bloomy and soft, like Brie or Tallegio. These are best served with sparkling wines, Pinot Grigio or Prosecco. Keep these wines cold (serve at 45 degrees Fahrenheit) and they will offer a fantastic counterpoint to several varieties of soft cheese.
- Hard Cheeses, like pecorino Romano, cheddar, or Gouda. These are often paired with a variety of wines, from Sauvignon Blanc, to darker reds and Merlots. Heavier wines tend to better manage the powerful flavors of hard cheese.
- Blue Cheeses, like Gorgonzola or Stilton. These are frequently paired with Rieslings or Port wines. These often salty and pungent cheeses are best partnered with a wine that has a full body. Serve the wine at 60 degrees for best results.
- Fresh Cheeses, like Feta, Mozzarella, or Goat cheese. These are typically not aged, and are easily spreadable. Sauvignon Blanc or any other white wine pairs masterfully with fresh cheeses. Prosecco can also partner with any of the cheeses listed above, as well as Burrata and Ricotta.
A few key things to remember:
- Keep your white wines chilled and serve at approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Reds should be opened prior to serving and are best poured at 65 degrees.
- Cheese should never be presented right out of the refrigerator – 30 minutes to an hour is a reasonable amount of time to allow your cheese selections to come to the proper temperature.
Food and Wine Presentation – Keep it Classy and Simple
Cheese and wine parties impart a sense of formality, but feel free to inject your personality into your party presentation as much as you want! Keep table toppers simple and elegant, invest in quality cheese dishes and cutting boards, and gather a few simple, but high quality serving utensils.
This is the time to get out the “good china” and polish the silver. While you’re not throwing this party to display your most expensive wares to your closest friends, using your nicest dishware and utensils will enhance the overall feel of your gathering.
Make sure that wine glasses are polished and crystal clear, and your cheese and wine table is laid out to permit a natural flow to the evening. Red wines respond well to wide mouthed glasses that allow plenty of air to enter, while whites demand smaller diameter glasses to keep temperatures low. Champagne or Prosecco is always best served in a dedicated flute.
Party Time Activities – Cheese and Wine Pairings
This is a wine and cheese party – so much of the activities should revolve around sampling a variety of cheeses that have been paired with a complementary wine selection. It is important to learn to “speak wine” prior to the party. You’ll want to have an understanding of basic terminology and talking points, which you can accomplish by visiting the Tiziano wine terms page.
Start with lighter cheeses and champagne. Then, move on to heavier hard cheeses and blues. Slowly introduce reds and heavier wines that add a comfortable counterpoint to saltier or more pungent cheese selections. This menu can culminate with fresh cheeses, perhaps spread on crackers and topped with fresh herbs. Champagne or Sauvignon Blanc is a fantastic wine selection to wrap up the cheese and wine sampling, as is a Prosecco or Pinot Grigio. An award winning Prosecco is available through Tiziano wines.
Wine and cheese parties should be small enough to allow for intimate communication, yet large enough to define a party – not simply a casual meeting of friends. A group of eight to ten is a perfect size for most wine and cheese parties, so use this as a guide as you purchase your supplies. Wine and cheese are two of life’s simplest, oldest, and greatest pleasures, so take pleasure in sharing your passion for cheese and wine with your friends and loved ones.
For more information on how to pair your Tiziano wines with a variety of foods please visit our how to pair wines page.