A wine and cheese party gives you an opportunity to enjoy and use your home bar and wine cellar. It's fun and elegant way to entertain your friends and colleagues. A typical wine and cheese party is held in the evening, serving a variety of wines and cheeses that go together. For this you may need to consult a sommelier for the perfect wine and cheese pairing.
The Party Host's To-Do List
Pre-planning: a month before the party
A wine and cheese party is fairly easy to organise if you have the proper guidance and information. Take note of these basic things you need to accomplish before the event:
- Pick the date and season. Choose red wines during winter. Their full-bodied taste is perfect for the cold weather. Summer is great for crisp white wines and refreshing champagne. However, you can serve both on whichever day you choose for your party.
- Choose the venue. If you're planning an intimate party, you can celebrate at home. For a more formal gathering, a hotel or restaurant function room is a good option.
- Decide on the guest list. Keep your guest list small since wine and cheese are quite pricey. Eight is the perfect number.
- Order and send your invitations. It's easy to send your invites once you've got the major details of your party finalised. You can be creative and make your own wine and cheese party invitation or select one from a card store.
- Plan your budget. It's very important to plan out your budget ahead of time; otherwise the cost may exceed your expectations. Create a checklist with the cost of all the supplies, venue and all other entertainment that you will provide during the party.
Planning the details: 3 weeks before the party
This is the right time for you to plan the details of your party:
- Food: A wine and cheese party menu will consist mostly of wine and cheese. But you can also serve crackers and bread/baguettes that go well with the cheese and wine you're going to serve. You also have the option to serve a full meal if you like.
- Decorations: Your decor will revolve around your table setting. You can place cheese and wine on separate tables that are dressed in elegant linen. You can also display your wine and cheese accessories such as cheese knives, wine glasses and cutlery.
- Cheese and wine: These are the stars of the show. Ideas for what to serve can range from regional selections or pairing at least five kinds of wine and cheese.
- Favours: Don't forget to give your guests an elegant thank you gift as a token of the event that they'll remember for a long time. How about wine-cork candles? This would be a perfect favour for a wine and cheese party. Some other favour ideas include personalised wine glasses, wine charms and mini cheese graters. Any of our classy wine stoppers would also make a wonderful party favour.
Wine and Cheese Party Etiquette
A wine and cheese party is a rather formal event, so it's very important to follow the social etiquette for such an occasion. Here are a few more things you should keep in mind for the party:
- Do I have to be an expert on wine and cheese to have a wine and cheese party? It helps if you already know even just a little bit about wine and cheese. However, if you don't, take this as a good opportunity to learn about them. You can also ask for some help from a restaurant's sommelier.
- What kind of glasses do I need for the wine? It's a good idea to provide different wine glasses for the party. For red wines you need a 'big bell' glass, which lets red wine breathe in the glass and allows guests to savour its aroma. With white wines you need a smaller glass that keeps the wine cold. Meanwhile, champagne is served in flute glasses, which are designed to keep in the bubbles.
- Can I make this party a potluck event? Yes, you can. Assign your guests a region and ask them to bring a wine or cheese from that region. During the party, ask them to provide any fun or educational details about the wine and cheese that they brought from their assigned region. This will be interesting and entertaining for everyone at the party.
- What equipment/appliances do I need for this kind of party? Aside from wine glasses and cheese knives, keep a bucket of ice available for the party cooler to keep cold wines in. Don't forget a cutting board to cut the cheese. It's also helpful to have a mobile wine trolley.
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