Did you know National Wine & Cheese Day is coming up soon? July 25th is the day. (Nope! We aren’t dreaming this up. LOL! Click to learn more about National Wine & Cheese Day!) However … we do not have to limit our celebrations to just America. Anyone can celebrate this, right?
What a terrific thing to celebrate after the Independence Day festivities and fireworks have faded? Your Wine & Cheese Day celebration can be a low key and totally an adult centered. After spending time with family, this celebration can be a time to reconnect with your circle of friends in the midst of summer vacation season.
Wouldn’t it be nice to reconnect and taste some different wines? Who can’t embrace that idea?
SIMPLE, Elegant & Enjoyable = Our Ideal Wine & Cheese Day Celebration
If you Google “Wine & Cheese Party” there are many other sites that come up. Overwhelming! Oh my goodness!
Yes, I scanned a few of these and they made this seem so complicated. TV personalities posts on this just push their pottery for sale. Food bloggers go way overboard with intricate and way too many “to do’s.” No need to get that excited about this type of party! You can do it well as a midweek event with a good shopping list.
Our Wine & Cheese Day Philosophy –
Certainly, you can study the moisture content and countless other things regarding the cheese and there are an infinitesimal amount of learning points regarding wines. However, when planning a party … let’s keep this simple. Take a few moments to think through what we need and then head to the market.
Suggestion = Grab a piece of paper and jot down your thoughts onto a shopping list as you read this next part.
Wine & Cheese Pairing Basics to Remember
Spicy wine needs spicy cheese. Smoother wine needs smoother cheese.
Light wine needs light cheeses; while bolder wine requires a boulder cheese.
Thinking through which wines & cheeses do you want to share?
Which do you enjoy? Which can you find at your local shop easily? Are your friends typically white or red wine fans? White wines typically go with hot summer days; however, it is up to you!
Suggested Summer Wine Ratio for 8-10 people – 3 White Wines & 2 Red Wines Ratio Typically, a bottle would approximately yield 4 glasses of wine to serve with a meal; however, this is a tasting and smaller pours are best. Each bottle should give each person a couple ounces to sip as they savor the flavor with the foods.
Wines & Cheese Pairing Suggestions –
Chardonnay – Gruyere or Brie
Gewürztraminer – Gorgonzola or Munster
Pinot Grigio – Fontina or Feta
Riesling – Emmentaler or Havarti
Rosé – Provolone, Mozzarella or Colby Jack
Sauvignon Blanc – Goat Cheeses
Cabernet Sauvignon – Extra Sharp Cheddar or Gouda
Pinot Noir – Brie or Gruyere
Syrah – Edam or Smoked Cheeses
Tempranillo – Manchego or Italian Pecorino
Zinfandel – Spicy Cheese (such as Jalapeno or Buffalo)
Foods to Accompany & Satisfy –
Overall appetizer menu plan = a few meats, a few fresh fruits, a few palate cleansers and maybe a sweet for dessert.
The Meat of the Matter –
Deli meats – Perhaps select .5lb of 3 or 4 of different textured meats with differing spice levels. –
Proscuitto or Pancetta are simple textures with a slightly salty taste.
Chorizo, Pepperoni and Salami can be at the other end of the spicy spectrum with a complex texture.
Pick one from each end of this spectrum and one from the middle such as Pastrami or seasoned roast beef. Keep in mind if you have an adventurous group of friends, you can try something fancier like foie gras or pâté.
Tasty Additions to Round Out Your Menu –
Fruits – Grapes & More
Keep in mind with wine, grapes are a “go-to” to add to your theme and color to your table. Red and green grapes are welcome to additions.
Different melons and berries are in season. Select a few of the ripest. Easy prep with a good wash and perhaps a bit of cutting into bite sized pieces.
Crackers & Breads –
A French bread baggette is always welcome at a wine and cheese party! Simply cut it into 6 chunks and put it in a bowel or basket just prior to your party.
Additionally, some wheat crackers or textured crackers would be welcome palate cleansers. Remember that there are folks who can’t eat gluten. You may want to add some gluten free crackers to your table for them.
Both spiced and simply roasted nuts may be terrific to add to your tasting table.
Sauces or Spices –
You can add a small bowl of olive oil and honey to dress the bread or crackers. These can help to cleanse the palate between wine courses.
If you would like to put more thought into your offerings, I would suggest clicking this link to Wine Turtle’s advice. Theirs was definitely one of the more in-depth food knowledge sites I visited.
Chilled Chocolate Truffles or Italian Ice Cups –
At the end of the party, pull some “chilled” chocolate truffles out or Italian Ice cups and share for dessert. With the alcohol and the summer heat, a bit of a cool down may be welcomed by your guests.
Simple Party Planning for Success –
Pick a date & time? July 25th is a Wednesday this year. The middle of the week doesn’t work for you, perhaps the Sunday afternoon before or the Saturday evening after is better.
Guests? For a low key easy going gathering, select 3-4 couples or 6-8 single friends over for heavy hors d’oeuvres or appetizers paired with wine. Perhaps ask each to bring a specific type of wine.
Food Logistics? Dessert sized plates with toothpick forks should be perfect for this feast. You may want to utilize the top of your coffee table and a dining table/counter top both.
Plan groupings of food around your wines as tasting suggestions. You will need plates or cutting boards for your cheeses with knives to slice or spreaders to scoop them.
Glasses? One glass per guest with a couple extra. Of course, you could go all out. This would mean having red glasses for red wines and white glasses for white wines for each guest. However, this is not required. A glass per guest is fine.
Tunes? It is always classy to have some music playing softly for a party, isn’t it? Again, pick what you enjoy!
Don’t forget to Take a Picture & Tag Us!
Oh! Snap a #Wine&CheeseDay picture to post! Tag #CKJYExports too. We would love to join in your fun.
P.S. Added Extra … Just IF you want …
Fun Decor Suggestion!
If you want to go all out with your Wine & Cheese Day party, our favorites at Wine Folly have created a terrific poster. What wonderful talking points for a Wine & Cheese Day party, right? Click here to order from Wine Folly. (We get no compensation for this. Just an awesome idea!)
Other ways to celebrate events with wine?
CKJY Exports loves pairing the Olympics with wine – “How to” Host a Fun Olympics Tasting Party – Wine, Craft Beer or Hard Cider
Born a Southern girl, I was transplanted a few times as a Navy wife! Now, our “retired” USN family, calls CA home. As UNC business school grad, I gained lots of useful insights by finding different opportunities and challenges along our military life’s path. Love of traveling, making friends, experiencing other cultures and sharing the best of all that with everyone are now all part of me.