Winw and cheese reception [Moved to General Topics board]
I'm having people over for a wine and cheese party in a few weeks and, I would really like to have some tips, suggestions or advices !
What to do and NOT to do ?
Do you have a wine or a cheese that you really like ? (a good match)
We will be about 16; how many bottle should I get ? How many cheese ?
Thanks everybody very very much :)
We've moved this post from the Quebec board to the Wine board, however the Original Poster may want to post on the General Topics board as well, to ask any cheese specific questions, including how much to purchase.
If you were gourmands focusing exclusively on wine & cheese, then just keep it very simple...
1) The wine & cheese of course
2) Some tasteless water crackers as option to serve the cheese on
3) Some water glasses to cleanse palate. I like to have one glass of water with a light fruit essence ( I like apple & lemon), and a glass of plain water to rinse with....
Anyway, that's the simple setup... also one glass per attendee for each wine (rather than pouring different wines into the same glass). Lastly, if your attendees aren't real sharp about keepin their glasses in order, then label the glasses 1,2,3.... and have a legend card that lists each matching wine, that way they can scramble their glasses up and still know what wine's in each glass...
As for the wine & cheese matches, here's some great ones:
CHARDONNAY: Chevre, Gruyere (or Comte)
SAUVIGNON BLANC: Chevre, Gruyere, Provolone Val Padana, Tomme Basco
GEWURZTRAMINER: Gruyere, Emmental
CABERNET and/or MERLOT: Aged Cheddar (I've found 4 year to be the best), Chevre, Young-ish Gouda, Parmesan Reggiano, Provolone Val Padana
TEMPRANILLO: Chevre, Gorgonzola, Iberico, Pecorino Stagianato
PINOT NOIR: Very aged Cheddars (8 year is great), Chevre, Epoisses
SYRAH: Appenzeller, Beaufort Savoyard, Chevre, Comte/Gruyere, Aged Goudas, Montasio Mezzano, Parmesan Reggiano, Pecorinos, Roncal
ZINFANDEL: Very aged Cheddar (8 years), Chevre, Parmesan Reggiano, Provolone Val Padana, Roquefort
Some recent links that might give a bit more info, though Chicago Mike did a wonderful job. Seems that he also contributed to most of these:
DO - serve an odd number of cheeses and cheeses with differing shapes to create visual interest.
DO - provide dedicated knives for each cheese and try to not get them crossed.
DO - be sure that the cheeses have been out of refrigerator for one hour before serving so they will show well.
I use bread instead of crackers. I provide nuts in the shell and dried fruit along with honey or other fruit preserves.
Great suggestions Chinon00. I concur with everything!
Try some MANCHEGO cheese - lovely sharp spanish (usually sheep's milk) cheese that sits so well on the back of your tongue... and in this case, I would match regions, spanish cheese with spanish wine!
Figure about 10 bottles of wine? It depends on how far into the night you think this party is going to go...
I hosted a "Wine and Cheese" party where I had each guest bring a bottle of wine and a hunk of their favorite cheese. I provided crackers, breads, olives, nuts, and the like... the best combo of the night??? At least in theory... was... a can of Cheez Whiz and a bottle of Boone's! Hysterical!!!
chicagomike and chinon00 had great suggestions!
keep it simple and pair cheeses with wines of the same region. STAY AWAY from crackers, and opt for some great artisan bread, a french baguette is a simple universal stand in.
READ (or at least skim by next week) Cheese Primer by Steven Jenkins, this book changed my food life.
You might want to do tasting by region, or by cheese origin (ie england, french, italian OR sheep's milk, goat's milk, cow's milk)
if you are going to do several cheeses and wines- I suggest about .5 ounces of cheese each, it is very filling and you'll also be eating bread in between.
I'm a big fan of chutney and nuts to acompany the cheese.
Recently, I had a wonderful Danish Blue with port poached Dan'jou pears- and a light off dry Reisling that cut through the blue cheese- unexpectedly fabulous!!