How to Host a Wine and Cheese Pairing Party
Hosting at home has never been more popular. Yet, many hosts shy away from hosting a wine and cheese pairing because they lack the knowledge to make it feel like an actual cheese pairing. The specialized knowledge of both wines and cheese takes years to amass to truly do it well, but that shouldn’t stop you! We’ve got the advice you need to host an epic wine and cheese pairing that will be sure to impress even your most well-versed cheese and wine-loving guests. Read on to learn what it takes to become the expert host of your very own wine and cheese soiree.
Choosing Your Wines
It is important to pick wines that complement, but don’t overpower, the flavors in your cheeses. Generally speaking, white wines pair better with soft cheeses while red wines are best with hard cheeses. But this isn’t the only factor at play—the sweetness of your wines should also be taken into account. For example, if you are serving a sweeter white wine, like a Riesling or Gewurztraminer, then you may want to opt for creamy cheeses like Brie or Camembert. On the other hand, if you are serving dry whites such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, then sharper cheeses such as Gruyere or Cheddar would work better. Similarly, sweet reds such as Pinot Noir pair well with robust flavored blues while full-bodied Cabernets work best with hard aged cheeses like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano.
Selecting Your Cheeses
Now that you’ve chosen your wines, it’s time to select your cheeses! When hosting a wine and cheese party it is always good practice to serve three different varieties of cheese – one soft, one semi-soft/semi-hard, and one hard cheese. This ensures that everyone has something they can enjoy and allows for more variety in terms of flavor profiles. As a general rule of thumb when selecting your cheeses, aim for bold flavors as they tend to stand out when paired with wines.
Nobody wants a boring cheese board! Whether it’s plated on individual plates or arranged on a charcuterie board, presentation matters! Consider adding some greenery (think herbs like rosemary) as garnish for extra color and flavor profile contrast against the board’s natural wood tones; this will help set off the colors in your selection of breads and crackers as well as bring out any exotic flavors in the fruits that may accompany them. Placing small bowls around containing nuts & dried fruits will add interest too, and anything else fun – the one pictured is one we did in an apartment in Paris, so we used cheeses, wine and flowers from the neighbourhood market, and some fun Eiffel Towers for some theme decoration.
With these tips in mind, you can now throw an amazing wine & cheese party that will leave all your friends impressed! Remember to choose complementary wines & bold flavored cheeses when creating your menu; present them beautifully on either individual plates or on a charcuterie board; add some green garnish along with nuts & dried fruits; provide plenty of breads & crackers; lastly – enjoy yourself while sipping those fine wines!