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Is there anything classier than a wine and cheese night? In my world, wine and cheese are each separate food groups, so you know this girl LOVES herself some wine and cheese. But especially in fall, there’s just something about putting out a platter of cheeses and pairing with a few bottles o’ vino that just feels right.
Especially as I’m getting older, I’ve seen my tastes change pretty rapidly; I prefer lower key events with wine glasses and fancy snack platters over raging dubstep with solo cups. It’s probably because I’m a homebody at heart, so if I can stay home with J or my girlfriends with a bottle of wine and something delicious, that’s where I wanna be.
But suddenly, the struggle becomes real:
Wine and cheese nights are as classy as they are fun, so ya gotta do it right, right? Right. This means there’s a certain science that comes with pairing various wines with various cheeses to really accentuate all of the amazing flavors in play and ensure that all is in harmony on your taste buds.
If you’ve got a thing for wine and/or cheese, you know how strong some flavors can be (like, whoa there Bleu Cheese, and Yo yo yo I see you Merlot).
When you’re throwing a wine and cheese party, try these pairings:
|Gouda||Merlot, Pinot Noir|
|Cheddar, Camembert||Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Brie, Mild cheddar||Chardonnay|
|Mozzarella, Gruyere||Sauvignon Blanc|
Order of events:
Because the flavors of your wines and cheese vary so greatly, you’ll wanna take a hot sec to properly prepare the order of events for our guests. Starting off with lighter wines and fresher cheeses (think Chardonnay + soft cheese, like Brie) is usually recommended, and work towards the darker wines and a flavor palette with more sharpness and depth. Think of it as any other dinner party – while it’s way awesome to go with dessert before dinner, typically things work with lighter fare first (ie: apps and snacks…gotta love a good appetizer!), then move towards the main shebang, and then you’ve got the grand finale in dessert. Wine and cheese works the same way! Start light, move towards fuller wines and flavors, and end with a great dessert wine (usually paired well with a blue cheese).
Storage + Presentation:
Consider getting creative with little cheese place cards, or use a slate cheese tray to identify which cheese is which amongst your pairings. The biggest key: store your wine and cheeses properly! White wines are served chilled, reds are served at room temperature, and cheese should be refrigerated up until the 30-60 minute countdown to party begins. If you really wanna get all cute and classy (as you totally should!), these pumpkin namecard holders are oh so cute for fall festivities. Hook your guests up with their own namecards, and go all out with naming all of your wine and cheese pairings to give your guests the full scoop on what they’ll be tasting during the night!
Other Pairing Essentials:
In the end, you’ve gotta have your own grip on what tastes good with what, since you are the fabulous hostess with the mostest in charge. Even if your own personal preferences don’t line up with the “expert” way, you’ll probably seem like you know your schtuff if you offer some sort of educated opinion anyways! I, for one, definitely love lighter cheese with Chardonnay, but I’ve also paired a good cheddar cheese with white wine and it worked out juuuuust fine. You can see taste differentials even on the home frontier of wine and cheese “experts,” since there are different suggestions on just about every website within the first five results on Google. Just go with your gut and your own palette – you know what tastes good. (;
Pair like with like, and all according to texture. A full-bodied red typically belongs with a stronger tasting cheese (all the smelly ones!), while delicate, refreshing white wines pair best with mild cheeses. This also translates to texture – harder cheese are usually better with red wine, soft cheese with white.
Christmas gift for someone or just want to turn things up a notch this year, check out the wine and cheese gift baskets – like this one and this one! – and get to making someone’s life a whole lot more delish.
Have you ever hosted a wine and cheese party?
Let’s be like those gossipy socialite party hostesses and share all of our best secrets in the comments section below.
*Thank you to Hickory Farms for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions and thoughts are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Coming Up Roses!