Whether you’re hosting a sophisticated Saturday soiree or a Friday night get-together with friends, there’s one pair everyone wants at the party: wine and cheese. Not only do they get along with everyone, they’re good conversation starters. Low maintenance and simple, they require just a few pieces of cutlery and pretty much serve themselves. But there are some things you can do to help your party guests get to know this special couple better.
Give Them Name Tags
It’s the easiest way for your guests to get acquainted with your fine spread. For wine, a placard with the winery, variety and year will do fine. For cheese, consider using small flag picks, on which you can note the variety, cheese maker and region.
Skip the Supermarket
Cheese and vino are the stars of the show here, so splurge and get the good stuff. Visit a specialty market or local cheese maker or winery. Select familiar varieties that your guests may have heard of. For cheeses, include three to five offerings. Here’s an overview of types:
Creamy (soft, rich, mild), such as Brie, Camembert or chèvre
Semisoft (mellow), such as Colby, Fontina or Havarti
Firm (earthy, sweet, dense), such as Cheddar, Manchego or Swiss
Hard (sharp, salty), such as aged Gouda or Parmigiano-Reggiano
Blue cheese (pungent, intense), such as Gorgonzola, Roquefort or Stilton
Put Some Thought into Pairings.
Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Provide Awesome Accompaniments
Fresh fruits, like raspberries, grapes or sliced pears, and spreads like honey, fig butter or quince paste complement the richness of even the most decadent cheeses. Cured meats, nuts and olives provide a salty bite after an especially mild variety. Slices of crusty baguette or a sleeve of crispy crackers also are good accompaniments for between tastings.
Dress Them Up
Cap wine bottles with fun stoppers or adorn with wine necklaces or charms. Serve cheese on rustic wood cutting boards, slate boards or marble slabs. Or show off your favorite samples by arranging slices on a decorative serving plate. Cheeses look especially beautiful when flanked by the subtle herb design found on the CORELLE® BOUTIQUE™ PRECIOUS COLORS 12.5″ OVAL PLATTER.
DO’S & DON’TS
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