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Ideas please: wine and cheese party

The setting: wine and cheese party where guests are invited to contribute a bottle and "a cheese;" event to take place outisde on a (hopefully warm!) July evening. My brain is mush. Help me come up with a fun addition to the festivities. Maybe a crisp, unusual white with a snappy little finger food that can be prepared in advance? Thanks in advance!

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  1. Afrikando, Pick up a copy of "The Essential Fingerfood Cookbook." Hundreds of recipes for just such an occasion. As for the wines, I suggest having guests bring wine from the most obscure places known. (I recently had a terrific red wine from Lebanon.)

    1. Since you're asking your guests to bring the wine and cheese, how about some homemade crackers? There are lots of recipes out there, and you can easily provide plenty of variations, with different seeds and spices baked into to multiple batches.

      1. thanks for the suggestions. to clarify, i'm a guest--not the host.

        1. afrikando -- if you live near wallingford or pike place mkt, pick up some great cheese at bella cosa (wallingford) or delaurentis (the market), my two favorite places to buy cheese. Both can also give good wine recommendations. If you don't go obscure, you might try local!

          1 Reply
          1. re: zoogrrrl

            Supplier to Delaurenti, and many others, PFI does a great job. Their retail outlet, Big John's PFI, is a trip-and-a-half, with a fabulous cheese case and bulk delights at bargain prices.

          2. I'm a huge fan of a nice Spanish Albarino on warm summer evenings and they seem to please a wide variety of people. If you're in Seattle is hard to go wrong with a cheese from Beecher's.

            1 Reply
            1. re: alitria

              Second albarino.

              These two obscure Spanish whites (and slightly frizzy) are perfect for a hot summer evening with a salty finger foods:

              - Txakoli

              And Cava producer Avinyo makes a wine from muscat called Avinyó Vi D'Agulla

            2. Vino Verde from Portugal is definitely a 'crisp, unusual white'.

              1 Reply
              1. re: staffstuff

                The great thing about Vino Verdes is that they are often much lower in alcohol. You can find them in the 9 percent range which means you can drink more wine. Too many wines in the 14 percent range these days, imho. I like to drink wine, not just sip!

                http://myspicekitchen.blogspot.com/

              2. Okay Afrikando, you want to be the toast of the party... bring one or more of these:

                Riesling with Emmental. This is beyond easy, inexpensive, and impossible to miss.

                Cabernet or Zinfandel with Parmesan Reggiano.

                Syrah with Pecorino Stagianato or Aged Gouda.

                if nothing else: Sauvignon Blanc and plain Chevre...

                There are alot of other great matches, but these are all very accessible.

                Start with the wine.... get the best bottle(s) of the target varietal you like above, then get the matching cheese(s).

                1. It's a wine and cheese party...is it your preference to bring cheese or fingerfood?

                  1. Do you have a price range in mind for the wine?

                    What sort of finger food?

                    1. Grüner Veltliner (or another crisp-high acid wine) and little fried artichokes (carciofini alla guidia). It will be a very pleasant surprise to anyone who believes the myth that artichokes don't pair with wine.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tmso

                        Well, if they're babies and they're fried, artichokes contain far less of the offending component -- cynarin.