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Wine and Cheese Party

Wine and Cheese Party

 A wine and cheese party is a simple party to put together, and can be associated with a number of holidays or events.  It makes an excellent party for the holidays, a fun get-together, or even an event such as a fund raiser for a charity.  The party has numerous ways to solve having a party in a relatively inexpensive manner.

The main problem is what will you do if children, or those who cannot drink alcohol attend?  Children, people with a drinking problem, those on certain medications, and pregnant attendees need an alternative.  Sparkling juices can solve this problem, or perhaps a non-alcoholic punch.  The alternative should be something that pairs well with cheese.

For alternatives to wine for those requiring it please see Serving Wine for a Holiday Meal.  Serving wine can complete a great meal, but it must be done right.  Pairing the wine with the food, and bringing the wine to the proper temperature can make the meal even better.

Serving Wine at a Proper Temperature

Wine should be served at the proper temperature.  In order to achieve the proper temperature, a wine chiller can be used.  It can then be kept at the proper temperature by placing the open bottle, or carafe if the wine has been transferred, in a proper container to keep the wine from warming too quickly.

Opening Quality Wine

Wine can come in bottles that have corks or bottles that twist open.  Generally, higher quality wine has a cork, albeit this is not always a definitive indicator.  In order to open corked wine a tool is used.  So, if the wine is corked, have an appropriate tool available.  If another bottle needs to be opened, and it is readily available, a guest will take care of the problem as long as there is a proper tool in the area.

For an article on serving wine please see Serving Wine for a Holiday Meal.  Serving wine can complete a great meal, but it must be done right.  Pairing the wine with the food, and bringing the wine to the proper temperature can make the meal even better.

Serving Using Carafes

Carafes can be used to serve wine, although they are not necessary.  Wine can be served from the bottles.  The difference is that the wine is clearly identified in the bottle, so the guests will know exactly what is being served.  This reveals the relative cost of a bottle of wine.  The value of the wine can be obscured by using carafes, and the wine can identified by type with carafe labels.  While many carafes might be used, and identifying labels are made only for other liquor, there are some that can be written upon, hence customized for the wine

Wine Glasses

Wine can be served using glasses designed for the purpose, but in a larger gathering there might be a limited number of glasses available.  It is not a matter of counting the guests, since many guests will try several wines, and wish a clean glass for each.  While plastic is not a perfect solution, it allows for drinking from a different “glass” for each wine, and it reduces the cleaning time and effort needed.  Plastic can be discarded, glasses must be set somewhere, and cleared throughout the party. 

Coasters

Place copious coasters throughout the room.  This will help preserve your furniture.  And, if the coasters have a nice design, they can enhance the party.  Remember, the venue must remain pleasant to the eye, or the party will not be a success.

Steam engine Coaster Set
Steam engine Coaster Set
by blackspanielgallery

Cheese

Cheese comes in many types, so choose an appropriate variety.  Having a variety of types of cheese is important, since not everyone likes the same types of cheese.  But you cannot select the entire spectrum of cheeses available.

Basically, the cheeses selected will fall into the categories of hard and soft.  These are served differently.

Soft Cheese

Soft cheese requires something for cutting the cheese, and preferably a board to be placed upon.  The cheese also requires crackers, preferably party crackers, upon which to be spread for consumption. 

A board and cheese knife are a necessity.  The crackers can be placed on the board, or on separate trays.  If the crackers are also to be used for the hard cheese it might be best to serve them on separate trays.  Also, if there are several kinds of crackers being set out, they probably will not fit on the cheese board.

Hard Cheese

Hard cheese can be served as a block, small slices, or diced into small cubes.  Blocks of cheese require a board and knife.  Small slices of cheese and small cubes of cheese require something to pick them up with.  Fingers will not do.  Picks can serve the purpose. 

Mountain Scene Cutting Board
Mountain Scene Cutting Board
by blackspanielgallery
New Orleans Streetcar Cutting Board
New Orleans Streetcar Cutting Board
by blackspanielgallery

Pastries

Crackers are not the only thing that complement cheese, pastries can also do the job.  Consider small snack-size pastries to add a dimension to the party.

Essentials

Cheese, crackers, and pastries require plates, even if they are small, for the guests to place the food in.  Napkins are also important.  These items can be disposable, and that is the easiest way to go.  You do not want dirty plates scattered about, not do you wish to constantly be removing dirty dishes.  Just have places for the guests to toss the plates, and the party will go much smoother, and the venue will remain nice and clean.

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