The Secret Ingredient

Inspiration for Everyday Cooking

Wine & Cheese Pairing Party

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Wine Not...
Wine and cheese are not only two of my favorite things…but they pair together beautifully and make for a really fun, themed party.  I recently did just that—a small group of friends, few types of cheese, and a large selection of wines.  After some research I decided we’d taste and rate three varietals of wine which I’d pair with various kinds of cheese.  I’m quite certain this was the un-fussiest,  incorrect tasting ever, but we had a lot of fun and all found some new wines and cheese to enjoy.

Typically when you taste wines, you go from whites to reds, light to full-bodied.  I decided to do a ‘blind tasting’ where I covered each bottle with a simple brown bag so we wouldn’t be influenced by labels or familiar vineyards.  We started with three different Chardonnays, which I paired with Cambozola (a blend of Camembert and Gorgonzola–I purchased all my cheeses at Trader Joe’s).   We split our votes evenly among the wines (my favorite was the not-so-oakey Bearboat Chard 2010), but everyone was in agreement about the cheese (insanely good).
Cheese
Next we moved onto Pinot Noirs, which were paired with two types of cheese:  fresh mozzarella, and another blended cheese, which was part sharp cheddar and part Gruyere.  The Pinots had a clear winner (The Pinot Project), and again, the cheese was a big hit.

Lastly we tasted Cabernet Sauvignon (all selections from our Wall Street Journal Wine Discovery Club), which was paired with Goat Gouda, but also went very well with the blended cheddar from our Pinot tasting.   Honestly, by that point in the night, I’m not sure we were still bothering to cast our votes, but everything tasted pretty darned good to me!

This is an easy party to plan and host—just have everyone bring a bottle of wine, choose your cheeses (I went online to look up which types went best with the wines we decided to taste…here is one website I used), and have lots of glasses at the ready (I rented them locally at Abbey Rentals–it’s inexpensive and you return them dirty in the crates—no washing!).  Easy, fun, and educational to boot!

One of my new year’s resolutions was to entertain more…so why waste time?  I’m already planning my next party!

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