Tips and ideas for hosting a fun and delicious Wine and Cheese Party! Keep it simple and tasty with delicious cheeses, silky wines, fresh fruit, nuts, pickles, olives and more.
Throwing (and attending) a wine and cheese party is probably one of my most favourite things to do. There is something SO great about nibbling cheese and sipping wine with friends and family. Seriously I could wine & cheese every weekend! And in the summer, there’s just no better way to spend a warm and sunny evening.
Keep things simple.
Putting together a wine and cheese party doesn’t have to be stressful! In fact, these parties are not complicated if you just stick to the basics! As long as you have great cheese, wine, a few little nibbles and great friends, you are guaranteed a fantastic time! Just remember, the more simple the better.
Choose Great Quality Cheeses
Putting together a cheese plate is simple when you mix and match your favourite cheeses (both soft cheeses and hard cheese). Variety creates a delicious table of colour, texture and taste, and that makes everyone’s taste buds happy! Here are some delicious types of cheese:
- Double Cream Brie
- Goat cheese
- Aged Gouda
- Aged Cheddar
- Smoked Cheddar
- Blue Cheese
Simple Tips for putting your Cheese Plates together:
- AMOUNT: Allow for about 250 g total of cheese per person.
- VARIETY: A great rule of thumb to keep in mind when hosting a wine and cheese party, is to offer at least two cheeses from the three different categories: ranging from mild cheese to medium cheese to strong cheese.
- KEEP CHEESE FRESH: Leave rinds on to keep cheeses from drying out. Aside from waxed rind cheese, all rinds are edible and part of the cheese-savouring experience!
- SPREAD CHEESE OUT: Distance cheeses carefully so they do not touch each other. You do not want to mix flavours.
- DRESS IT UP: Place fresh herbs on the cheese plate…they look nice!
- UTENSILS: Provide a different knife for each cheese.
It’s better to have more than not enough.
I tend to serve a little more cheese than I think we might need, because there’s nothing worse than running out of food! And really, I never mind having extra cheese around my house. I just wrap any leftovers tightly in plastic wrap, refrigerate and save them for later when I can add them to our favourite dishes (like mac + cheese) or bring our leftovers to life!
Once the cheeses are chosen, start looking for wine. Start with light wines like white wines, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling, rose, dessert wine and pinot noir to go with the milder cheeses, then move on to stronger cheeses and more full-bodied varieties like cabernet sauvignon.
Add Bread, Crackers and Nuts
Once the wine and cheeses are selected, put out an assortment of dippers. Keep it simple and serve cheeses with different breads like crusty baguettes or fruit + nut breads, as well as a variety of crackers. Nuts are great too: pistachios, almonds, pecans and walnuts.
Offer fruit, olives, jams and pickles!
Alongside the cheese offer dried fruits like figs, apricot and cranberries. Also set out olives, pickles, chutneys or compotes, jams and a little pot of honey. Unsalted almonds and hazelnuts are also perfect served with cheese. All you have to remember is not to overwhelm the taste of the cheese. You can also set out vegetables (cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers), and fresh fruits like grapes, strawberries, blackberries, apple slices and pear with cheese!
Add some charcuterie.
Make a charcuterie board with a selection of cured meats like salami, prosciutto,
Let your cheeses come to room temperature.
About 45 minutes before you’re ready to set out the cheese plate, take it out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature (except for fresh cheeses like Bocconcini). Any longer and the cheese could wilt or get too runny. Just make sure to cover it with a plastic wrap or a moist tea towel to prevent the cheeses from drying out or absorbing other aromas. And to discourage eager eaters too! 😉
Set it all up in one easy to access spot!
Then choose a central spot in your kitchen, like the dinner table or eating bar, to place the cheese and wine. Put jams and chutneys into bowls, arrange bowls of nuts and olives, fruit and veggies. And make sure to have great wine pairings and plenty of water with lemon slices for sipping! Set out small plates, forks and napkins.
Add some fresh flowers, candles, summery lanterns and decorations and you’re ready to go!
Now all you have to do is relax and visit with your guests!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Chatelaine Tasters & Testers program. I received perks based on this membership. As always, all opinions are my own. I love cheese.