Wine… love it. Cheese… love it.
So then why does the idea of the perfect wine and cheese pairing seem so daunting? Well it won’t be after today!
In all honesty, we’ll find just about any reason to host a party and we happen to think that a wine and cheese theme is the perfect event for just about any occasion. Engagement parties, birthday celebrations, bridal showers… the list goes on and on. With our wine & cheese 101, you’ll be on your way to this delicious and sophisticated themed party in no time!
We think the best way to attack this is by choosing your selection of wines first (we’re obviously a bit of winos over here… don’t judge us), and then pairing with the appropriate cheeses.
White wines pair best with soft cheeses and stronger flavors. In fact white wines tend to pair better, more often than reds. So when in doubt, always have a good selection of whites at the ready.
Here’s a suggested breakdown:
- Champagne/Sparkling: Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Colby, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan
- Chardonnay: Brie, Camembert, Goat Cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan, Provolone
- Riesling: Gouda
- Sauvignon Blanc: Asiago, Brie, Cheddar, Feta, Goat Cheese, Gruyere, Parmesan
- Pinot Grigio: Chevre, Burrata, Feta, Humboldt Fog
While reds don’t pair as easily as whites, it’s still a great and often mandatory addition to any wine and cheese party. When choosing your red, go for a light or aged bottle. What makes red more difficult to pair with is its tannins. Tannins will often compete with the delicacy of cheese so a lighter or older wine (where the tannins have had more time to mellow) will be a better match.
When pairing with reds, hard cheeses go best. For bigger reds, choose a stronger flavor cheese.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Camembert, Sharp Cheddar, Blue, Parmesan
- Port: Stilton, Gorgonzola, Blue
- Shiraz: Sharp Cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan
- Pinot Noir: Brie, Camembert, Feta, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Swiss
- Merlot: Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan
Now that you’ve selected your offerings, it’s time to set up. The presentation is also of utmost importance when it comes to a successful wine and cheese party.
When setting up, keep these tips in mind:
- Focus on no more than 5 cheeses. For this, less is more – just make sure they’re GOOD cheeses.
- Be mindful of stinky cheeses. You don’t want the experience to be overwhelming to the point of displeasure for your guests.
- Bring out the best in serveware. This is the time to invest in platters made of wood or slate, assign a cheese knife to each cheese, and hand out real plates.
- Be sure to let your cheeses “thaw” to room temperature for optimum taste. Never serve a cold cheese platter.
- Create cheese stations. Now that you’re a pairing expert, pull together paired wine and cheese stations. This will create a more social environment.
If you’re feeling inspired and itching to throw a wine themed wedding event of your very own, we’ve definitely got you covered. Visit our wedding wine collection now. Also brush up on how-to host a wine tasting for even further wine education!