Looking for an easy idea for entertaining your friends this summer? Invite them over for a casual wine and cheese party! Wine and cheese are age-old companions, but with so many exciting new cheeses in the markets these days, the flavor combos are fresh and fun.
Basic guidelines: In general, light white wines will pair best with light, fresh cheeses like goat cheese and fresh mozzarella. Heavier red wines go well with aged cheeses like Pecorino and Parmesan. And sweeter white wines taste great with blue cheeses like Roquefort and Gorgonzola. Beyond that, it’s up to the individual palate to discern a dream pairing. There are no right or wrong flavor combinations, so enjoy the wine-cheese combos that taste best to you.
Invite friends to share: One way to make the party easy on you is to invite guests to bring a bottle of wine and a cheese to share. That way, all you have to do is set out glassware, plates, cheese knives and napkins. Arrange the cheeses and wines on a large table and invite guests to sample away!
Go-withs: What to serve with your wine and cheese? Fresh fruit makes a great accompaniment (and it looks pretty too!). Arrange bunches of fresh seedless grapes, halved figs and sliced apples and pears on a platter. Nuts are another great option, especially Marcona almonds from Spain. And of course, you’ll want to include a nice selection of crispy crackers and baguette slices.
Which wines to serve: Any selection of reds and whites (or even pinks) is great. A good foursome to start with would include Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.