Tag Archives: Wine

How to Throw a Wine and Cheese Party

I talked a little bit about throwing your own wine party in my previous post. But here is a little elaboration on how to have a fancy wine and cheese party! (Riesling is my absolute favorite) Enjoy

Hosting a wine and cheese party is a fun, intimate way to spend an evening with friends. Luckily, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to be a memorable and elegant event. Here are a few tips for throwing a wine and cheese party on a budget.

Plan Ahead
Setting the date in advance will give you time to watch for sales. Skip specialty wine shops and head to organic grocery stores or import shops instead. Look for two-for-one deals or 20-percent-off six bottle sales. You’ll need an assortment of wines for a successful tasting, so stock up on a variety of wines ranging from crisp whites through robust reds. If you live in an area with active wineries or dairies, consider using local vintages or cheeses to cut back on costs.

Send Invitations
A party of six to twelve guests will provide lively conversation while keeping costs in check. Save money and add a personal touch by making your invitations, tasting cards and introduction cards at home. It’s easy to print computer-generated invites on generic card stock, but plain white linen hand-lettered invitations and tasting cards lend a taste of old-world elegance. A package of blank four by six inch cards can serve as invitations. Use the extras as introduction cards for your pairings.

DIY Décor
Luckily, a wine and cheese tasting party is an understated event with no need for elaborate decorations or trimmings. Crisp white tablecloths, sparkling glassware and a few pretty candles in decorative holders set the scene. For a centerpiece, let the season be your guide. Cut a bouquet of flowers from your garden, gather an assortment of autumn leaves and seedpods or use a few sprigs of evergreen and holly berry to form an attractive focal point on your table.

The Pairings
Wine and cheese have the ability to each bring out hidden flavors in the other. You’ll want to plan your pairings accordingly. Acidic whites generally pair better with soft cheeses like Camembert or Brie. Hearty reds stand up to stronger flavors like sharp Cheddar or Parmesan. Consider regional pairings, such as teaming a Riesling with Havarti or Swiss. Sweet dessert wines make music with robust, salty cheeses like Roquefort. Ask at your local wine shop for suggestions. Buy the cheeses the day before the party to ensure they are fresh and plate them separately to prevent flavors blending. Chill the wines, label the pairings and prepare for guests to arrive.

Must Haves
You’ll need a glass for each guest along with a pitcher of water for rinsing and a receptacle for disposing of old wine. A silver or cut glass ice bucket works well. When guests arrive, supply each with a tasting card for noting impressions. Gold or silver scoring pencils are inexpensive and classier than cheap ballpoint pens. Provide plain French bread for cleansing the palate before and after tasting, as well as fresh fruit, crackers, nuts and olives for noshing. Put on some soft music and let the tasting begin.

Live – Laugh – Love – Travel

AJ

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Planning an Unforgettable Wine Getaway

Wines

I’m a big Wino- my parents have a lake house in the Finger Lakes of New York, and I just tend to lean more towards wine, versus beer or liquor. Here’s a fun little piece on conjuring up a wine tour with your friends!

As the leaves turn and blustery winds augur the coming of autumn, it also signifies the approach of another wine season. Whereas summer was a time for outdoor parties, barbeque, and long days, fall is a time for brisk travel and enjoying delicious wine gathered during the peak of the harvest season.

Getting a taste of the world’s most delectable wines does not require a lengthy vacation to the famed wineries of Italy and France. For many Napa Valley, California is just a stone’s throw away, and home to some of the most notable wine regions in the United States. For those who live closer to the eastern shore, there are plenty of distinguished wineries around the New York area. The Finger Lakes in upstate New York and the Long Island coast are host to many acclaimed wine tours and festivals. Determine your drink of choice and choose a vacation schedule that caters to your individual palate and preferences.

One fashionable vacation idea adopted by wine lovers is renting a vacation property for the duration of the harvest season. A prolonged stay allows vacationers to tour the various wineries and festivals in the area at their own pace. For vacationers with less time, it helps to do some research in advance on the nearby wineries and their popularity level. With careful planning you can visit about 3 to 5 wineries per day. Given the culture and vintage, wine tasting may be an ostensibly expensive hobby. However, many wineries are known to offer half a dozen samples for less than $5.

When planning your wine tour, be sure to designate a responsible driver to chauffeur those who choose to drink. If everyone wishes to partake in the celebration, you can take advantage of the number of limo, bus, or taxi services in the area.

Another option for enjoying the harvest season is to hold your own wine tasting party at home. Pick a theme for the party by serving one type of wine or wine from a single winery. Be adventurous in your selection and use the opportunity to let your tongue bathe in a new and flavorful wine. Remember to purchase complementary cheese and chocolates to pair with the drink of your choice. Best of all, sharing a delicious bottle of wine is an excellent way to celebrate the coming of autumn while spending quality time with friends and family.

I love hosting wine parties. It is one of my most favorite things to do in fall, beginning of winter- besides having Sunday Funday for football! Hope you enjoy my writing and my random thoughts!

Live – Laugh- Love – Travel

AJ ❤

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