How to Host a Wine and Cheese Party

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Make a wine and cheese party a roaring success. The success of the party will rely on the skills of the host or hostess, so put significant thought into this fun event.

Things You'll Need

  • Budget for supplies
  • Variety of wine and cheese to serve

Plan Your Wine and Cheese Party

  • Pick a day, time and season for your party. Hot summer days are good for crisp, white wines and champagne. Cold winter nights are suited to full-bodied red wines.

  • Choose cheese that complements your wine selection or select cheese varieties first. For example, you might feature several Spanish cheeses and find wines to pair with your selections.

  • Decide whether you'd like to host a full meal and choose foods that suit your wine selection. Find information about matching food with wine at Wine.com (see Resources below).

  • Create invitations for your wine and cheese party and send them out three to four weeks in advance.

Host Your Wine and Cheese Party

  • Cut up assorted cheeses. If you would like to let your guests determine their portion sizes, spread the cheese out on cheese boards and provide knives.

  • Set out your wines at least 20 minutes prior to serving. Pop the corks of a few bottles and let them breathe. You can also purchase decanters for serving wines.

  • Provide enough wine glasses to go around. If you're serving both red and white wines, provide each guest with more than one glass. Separate glasses are also a good idea for serving dessert wines and champagne.

  • Make description cards for each wine or cheese so your guests know what they are drinking and eating. Noting the type of cheese is beneficial for those who have allergies.

  • Provide take-home descriptions or pencils and paper, allowing your guests to keep a record of the wines and cheeses they enjoyed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't be surprised if you rack up a large bill. Purchasing enough cheese and wine for a party can add up. You can cut some of these costs if you shop diligently for various cheeses--but this would take up more time.
  • A light poultry dish might be overpowered by a robust Zinfandel. Likewise, a delicate Sauvignon Blanc will lose its subtle flavor when eaten with a rib-eye steak.

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