A Wonderful Wine and Cheese Party Featuring Wente Vineyards Wines can be very casual or as formal as you’d like it to be. The whole family can enjoy a great cheese and crackers spread. I mean, what kid (regardless of how old) doesn’t love cheese! The cheese spread can be simply the appetizer course at a bigger gathering, or it can be the focus of a lovely hors d’oeuvre party.
This post is sponsored by Wente Vineyards but the content and opinions expressed are my own.
Take a moment and watch our video, a tribute to A Wonderful Wine and Cheese Party Featuring Wente Vineyards Wines. I promise, it’ll make you smile!
Wine & cheese party
Think of the wine & cheese party as a little calm before the joy of the season. And, keep in mind that hosts should be able to enjoy the festivities too! Don’t work too hard!
Most all of the wine and cheese party can be simply purchased and set out before the party. You don’t need to make much of any of this from scratch. Save your energy for making the bigger things this Thanksgiving or Christmas, like the turkey or the pumpkin pie.
Food really is a celebration of life and family. So, try not to stress too much. Have fun! And happy holidays!
Make sure to have your favorites on hand. I’m a big believer in the idea that whatever your favorite wine is, that’s the best one to pair with various good eats.
Having Wente wines on hand makes it easy to have great wines to pair with your favorite cheeses.
I’m a white wine girl. So, we picked up some Morning Fog Chardonnay for our festivities. Did you know that Wine Enthusiast gave 2014 Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay a score of 90 Points? Take a look at their site here for more on their accolades.
I recommend having both reds and whites on hand at your party, so that all of your guests can be happy. Be sure to stock up on lots of Wente wines.
Some of Wente Vineyards’ wines:
- Morning Fog Chardonnay
- Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sandstone Merlot
- Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc
- Riva Ranch Pinot Noir
- Riva Ranch Chardonnay
- Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon
Use big trays and cutting boards for your presentation. They look fun and festive. You can cluster similar types of items together, like all the crackers all on one tray, or you can mix different things on one board, crackers next to cheeses and fruits.
Remember, fun is the main thing you’re going for here, so keep in mind that you want people to mingle and chat. Spreading the food out throughout the room will help people move around. If the food is simply in one place, people tend to park next to it.
Serving bowls and plates don’t have to match. Make sure to have spoons, forks, or tongs in each dish to make it possible to serve. Keep small plates and napkins next to each food area for people can take their nibbles on the go if they want to.
For a small gathering, you’ll only need a couple of cheeses. Try buying a variety of different ones, from soft Brie to harder cheddar or Parmesan. I like to serve cheeses that people normally wouldn’t buy just to grate on dinner. For this spread, we had lovely smoked Gouda, a steakhouse onion cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Don’t be afraid to try new cheeses. Have an adventurous one, like that steakhouse onion cheddar, which turned out to be our favorite of the party. It was like onion dip in a cheese! And, for less adventurous eaters, have a more mild, familiar one, like Brie or Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Let your cheeses come to room temperature. They have more flavor this way.
Breads & crackers
Different shapes, textures, and flavors are what’s called for in breads and crackers.
I always have a nice plain bread or cracker, like a sliced baguette or water crackers. Something that simply allows the flavors of the cheeses to shine. But, you also want some that are a little more adventurous. I have some rosemary bread crackers on this spread, as well as some seed and nut crisps. Being able to balance and layer the flavors, starting with the base, is really a big part of the fun.
Fruits and veggies
Lots of colors and textures, and be sure to go with what’s fresh and seasonal.
For veggies, try to pick up carrots, green beans, baby zucchini, asparagus, snap peas, or broccoli florets.
For the fruits, apples, pears, blackberries, grapes, and strawberries are all delicious. They don’t all have to be fresh ones either; I love adding dried blueberries, apricots, and dates to cheese plates. Be sure to look around what’s already in your kitchen as well. I had some leftover cranberries that I used for this cheese plate; they were really pretty and added a nice tartness.
Pickled veggies, such as olives, pickled jalapenos, pickled carrots, or pickles are great for these kinds of spreads as well. There are some really fun stuffed pickles out there – blue cheese, garlic, or horseradish inside. My grocery store has an olive bar right inside, your might as well. Look around and see what’s available. Besides adding a nice briny salty flavor to your spread, pickles veggies are so pretty.
Spreads and sauces
Don’t forget about the spreads. Jams make awesome pairings. Sweet fruit jams are great to balance salty or strong flavored crackers or cheeses. There are some jams that are less sweet, think bacon jam or fig jam. I’ve served garlic rosemary jam before, as well as pinot noir jam. Take a look around your store for ideas. One or two different jams should be all you need.
Hummus, ranch, artichoke dip, Greek yogurt dips, artisanal mustards, or tapenades. Spreads make it so you can stick things on your crackers and they won’t fall off. They also make for great flavor layering.
Nuts & other proteins
I love a variety of nuts, toasted pecans, almonds, or cashews on my cheese plates. My Wine and Cheese party is vegetarian, and I don’t think anyone has ever missed having meat. But, if you want to serve meats, salami, prosciutto, and sliced deli meats make great additions to wine and cheese parties.
A Wonderful Wine and Cheese Party Featuring Wente Vineyards Wines: Good food and good friends or family make for the most important points in our lives. Remember to slow down a bit and enjoy those good things in life. Take time to relax with your loved ones. And remember, the holidays, regardless of what holiday you celebrate, are a time to forgive and just be together with those that are important.
Oh, and don’t forget, to purchase Wente Vineyards wine online to have on hand as a gift throughout the holiday season. Learn more about Wente Vineyards’ rich history and recent accolades at their website.