This post was sponsored by Wine Enthusiast. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
In honor of wine and cheese week I felt that it was only proper to throw a wine and cheese get together. This is similar to the post of “how to host a wine and cheese party” that I did when I first started out the blog, but it’s scaled back – why? Because you can’t always throw big parties unfortunately. Sometimes you don’t have a lot of space, sometimes you don’t have a lot of money, and sometimes you just pick a date that doesn’t work out for everybody else.
So, what’s my favorite part about party planning? Logistics. You know that whole “engineer by day, hostess by night” thing – yeah, this is where that comes into play. I love logistics. And the most important part of logistics for a wine and cheese party is getting the quantities right because it can be so expensive to throw this type of party, so you want to make sure that you don’t overbuy by accident.
I hosted a get together of 4 people, and managed to keep the whole thing around $80 – and I am absolutely positive that I could have done it cheaper. Not too shabby, huh? Here’s how to do it.
PS. If you’re looking for a way to keep your cost down, scroll to the end of the “how to host a wine and cheese party” post. You can also find an idea for fun party favors there.
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Wine and Cheese Party of 4 under $80
1. Choose 2-3 bottles of wine.
(I admit, we finished all 3 on a Thursday night) Make note of what type of wine these are – either the type (pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, etc) or the qualities of the wine (sweet red, dry white, etc). I chose a fruity spanish red and a semi-sweet white – and ended up with a pinot grigio for backup just in case we needed it.
2. Buy cheese.
Now, you can either a) google which types of wine pair with which cheeses, or b) go to the cheese counter and tell them what kind of wine you’re trying to pair it with. Now, being a little short on time, I decided to go with option b. The guy behind the counter was a good sport when I asked him if I could take a picture of the signs that went with the cheeses that we ended up choosing. I told him that I needed enough cheese to feed 4 people. He cut approximately .3 lb of each type of cheese chosen. As I was walking towards the check out counter I decided that the amount of cheese in my hand looked too small and I ended up going back to buy another .4 lb of cheese. This was a good call. The Berkswell paired with the red wine and the Reading Raclette paired with the white wine.
3. Get some savory items.
I ended up getting a baguette (which we finished most of) and 3 apples (but we only ended up cutting 2). I opted out of getting crackers because I find that when bread is an option most of the crackers don’t go. Although Luann – the girl at work who I go to with all of life’s problems – told me after I got back from my trip that I could have gotten a hummus or olive spread to compliment the cheeses – which I think would have gone well with the crackers. I think this is a wonderful idea, but maybe not for a party of 4 people.
4. Get some sweet items.
I bought 4 sugar cookies – which were super delicious, but pretty expensive – and a Chocolove chocolate bar – the almonds & sea salt in dark chocolate. Four sugar cookies were a good call – while not everybody had theirs I think it was good to have something sweet for everybody to end the meal with. As for the chocolate bar, I think it was a nice touch, but I probably should have bought two. We got down to the last piece and nobody ate it and I couldn’t decide if everybody had had as much as they wanted or if everyone was just trying to be polite, probably the latter.
5. Make it pretty.
The best part about hosting a party for just four people is that everybody has serving plates for that quantity of food. People don’t need large serving platters or lots and lots of wine glasses and you don’t even really need wine tags. In addition, it gave me a chance to use my flattened glass wine bottles as cheese plates, which with a larger party might have looked strange because I only have two of them. Although, having parties like this always makes me wish I had one of those chalk board cheese platters. Maybe one day.
Now, one pretty fun component of this evening was that Wine Enthusiast gave me a new toy to try out called the corkcicle. The purpose of the corkcicle is to keep it in an open bottle of white wine while it is sitting on the counter during a party. This is super useful, because I’m definitely a hostess who constantly gets worried that the white wine isn’t staying cold enough. An ice bucket would work, but a) it might make it too cold and b) I don’t own one – so this is a great solution.
Here are three reasons why this was awesome. (I numbered my list above, so here I should use letters, right? Right.)
a) It keeps wine cool for an hour after opening – and at most parties a bottle doesn’t last that long anyway.
b) It’s super easy – just like a plastic ice cube, just put it in the freezer beforehand and you’re good to go.
c) Honestly, this device provided a lot of entertainment – the more you drink, the more provocative the comments get, and that always makes for a good time. Right? Right.
I hope y’all are enjoying the conversations that I’m having with myself throughout this blog post. In case you’re not, I’m going to switch to pictures now.
So now, as I mentioned before, logistics are my favorite part of a wine and cheese party. So, for your viewing (and pinning) pleasure, please enjoy this table I made with a summary of my experiences to date.
Do you have any tips that always work for you when hosting a wine and cheese party? Or any favorite pairings?