How to throw a wine and cheese party

By Nicola Burrows

Looking to pull together a sophisticated and savvy bash for you and a few friends? Throw a wine and cheese party they will never forget. This delectable duo is perfect when paired together for an early or late night get together.  Here are a few tips on planning the perfect wine and cheese party.

How to Plan

Because wine and cheese can get expensive, it’s best to keep your guest list to a minimum. Once you have your head count, write down a few of the wines you’d like to have available. Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Bordeaux and Sparkling Wine are deemed to be among the top choices so start pairing each of them with the comparative cheese. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Sparkling wines go well with mild cheeses.
  • Acidic wines like a Pinot Grigio go best with soft cheeses as they help cut the fat and expose the flavours of the cheese.
  • Full bodied reds and chardonnays taste best with rich cheeses. Think brie or camembert.
  • Red wines are suited with strong flavoured cheeses like four-year aged cheddars or parmesan.

Cocktail Appetizers

To complement your wine and cheese pairings it’s important to serve a few other appetizers guests can nibble on. You can also create a spread of bread and olive oil or smoked meats. Keep all appetizers to cocktail size and keep your plates full of tasty snacks.

Wine Tasting Tips

Be sure to have guests taste whites before reds; the full bodied tannins of the reds will confuse taste buds to the sweetness of the whites. You may also want to have some recyclable dixie cups on hand to serve and sip from. Whenever guests swap to a new wine, make sure they use a fresh glass to avoid mixing the wines and tastes.

Building Your Cheese Plate

To create the perfect plate of cheese, start with several trays or dishes. Place the soft cheeses on one plate and harder ones on another. Be sure to have one knife available for each cheese, as using a knife for multiple brands will result in flavour mixing. Also, in front of each cheese, place a small handmade label describing the cheese and what wine complements what cheese. This will help educate guests on the perfect wine cheese pairings.