How to Follow Wine and Cheese Party Etiquette

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Etiquette may seem outdated, but there are some basic rules that most people still follow. As a guest, it makes sense to learn them to avoid behaving in an offensive or rude manner. As a host, following etiquette rules can ensure the comfort and enjoyment of your guests.

Follow Wine Party Etiquette as a Host

  • Have water available for drinking and for rinsing out wine glasses. Also, provide a bucket or container for rinse water or leftover wine.

  • Serve crackers and bread for palate cleansing.

  • Allow wine to breathe before serving your guests. You may need to decant younger wines, as they haven't had sufficient time to break down and open up.

  • Provide details about the wines you serve. Your guests may want to purchase bottles for their own collections or recommend them to other friends.

  • Give your guests enough time to study and dissect wines. Don't rush them through several different bottles.

  • Make sure your wine glasses are clean and free of unsightly spots.

Follow Wine Party Etiquette as a Guest

Follow Cheese Party Etiquette as a Host

  • Cut the cheeses into small pieces. Allow your guests to taste-test each cheese without taking a large portion.

  • Provide a knife for each cheese you serve. Be sure to place uncut cheese on a suitable surface, like a cutting board or cheese board.

  • Use toothpicks to serve the cheese.

Follow Cheese Party Etiquette as a Guest

  • Refrain from filling your plate with cheeses before you determine whether you like them all. It's poor etiquette to return cheeses you don't like to a platter.

  • Use the provided utensils to choose cheese from platters. It's bad manners to use your fingers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most rules of etiquette are based on common sense and politeness.
  • Wines come in thousands of flavors and you are not guaranteed to enjoy every one of them. Wine tasting is subjective.
  • Toothpicks are inexpensive and you can purchase them in large quantities.

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