Celebrating the Harvest: A Wine and Cheese Party
Wine enthusiasts rejoice! The annual wine harvest is upon us. The onset of August signifies the prime time for the picking of the ripest grapes. These grapes have reached their full potential for wine making, and wineries all over the world begin collecting this year’s harvest to create the most delectable wines. While you may not be able to take part in the making of wine, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to celebrate. Why not use this month as an excuse to throw a classy get-together with your friends? Here are a few idea for throwing a wine harvest-appropriate cheese and wine party.
Encourage your guests to dress to impress. Whether you want to make it a little black dress party or a cocktail theme, choose a theme that will make the event seem like more than just a casual get together. Little black dresses and shirt and ties would give everyone a great excuse to get all dolled up. Thinking of throwing the party outside? No problem. Consider throwing a ‘derby’ style party. Sundresses, big hats, cotton pants and loafers will keep everyone feeling classy and comfortable in the summer heat.
The obvious answer to what to serve at your sophisticated party is cheese. But what kind of cheese is best for pairing with wine? Consider breaking down the different types of cheeses and offering a wide array of cheeses to taste. Variations of soft and hard cheeses are available.
Semi-Soft Cheese: Swiss, colby and harvarti are all great semi-soft cheeses that won’t be too out of the ordinary for even the pickiest of guests.
Soft Cheese: Brie, goat cheese, Limburger and Gorgonzola are perfect for spreading on crackers or bread.
Semi-Hard Cheese: Cheddar, Gouda and provolone have more of a solid texture and can be enjoyed on their own.
Hard Cheese: Asiago, Parmiagiano and Gruyere are some of the favorite flavored hard cheeses that you can share with your friends.
Also make sure you have complimenting food for the cheeses. Crackers, hard breads, olives and chocolate are great foods that can be enjoyed alongside your cheeses.
You obviously want to have great wine at the party. Start by supplying a few staple wines that are your favorite and pair well with each of the cheeses you provided.
Soft: Sauvignon Blanc, gewurztraminer and other dryer white wines pair great with these spreadable cheeses.
Semi-Hard: Chianti, cabernet and even chardonnay are great dry wines that compliment these semi-hard cheeses.
Hard: Cabernet, pinot noir and Chenin Blanc are full bodied wines that are perfect at complimenting the rich flavors of hard cheeses.
Consider asking your guests to bring their favorite wine to share with the group. You may find you like a different wine than what is suggested; that’s okay. Everyone has different palates, and the delicate flavors of one might speak to them more than others. Sharing different wines and cheeses make the refreshments also the conversation starter of the party.
Whether your party is incredibly formal or relaxed, a wine and cheese affair is sure to be a hit. And who knows, maybe you can create an annual event in honor of the wine harvest!