Throwing a wine and cheese party is one of the best excuses to get friends together to eat delicious cheese and drink great wine. It’s also a great opportunity to try new wines and find new favorites. However, when it comes to throwing a wine and cheese party, many people don’t know where to start. That’s where we come in. A wine and cheese party is actually really simple to pull together, and we’re going to give you the road map to ensure it’s fool-proof every time.

Our favorite aspect of wine and cheese parties is the chance to taste a number of different cheeses with a number of different wines. When we plan our parties, we like to pair each cheese with a different wine, allowing guests to experience how a certain cheese and a certain wine’s flavors really complement one another. Of course you could just have wine and cheese together and not worry about the pairing (they’ll both still taste great!), but we’re here to take your wine and cheese party up a notch.

When initially planning the party, the first thing we like to determine is how many different cheeses we want to serve. Ideally you want to have a few soft cheeses, a few hard or semi-hard cheeses and then one stinky cheese for the platter. With this in mind, we’ve always found five to be the perfect number of cheeses to serve. We select two soft cheeses, two hard or semi-hard and one stinky, trying to also find a mix of different milks, including goat, cow and sheep.

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In addition to the cheeses on the board, we like to serve fresh grapes, apricots, almonds and even honey. All little tastes that help accentuate the cheese and the wine.

Once our cheeses and accoutrements are laid out on our serving platter, we like to write the wine pairing for each cheese right on the board.

And now for our perfect five cheeses and their wine pairings:

Cheese 1

Soft Goat’s Cheese & Sauvignon Blanc.
The grassy flavors in the Sauvignon Blanc go incredibly well with this cheese. In addition, have your guests spread some cheese on a cracker, and then drizzle it with honey. They’ll be blown away by the flavor combo of that bite with a sip of wine.

Cheese 2

Brie & Gamay
Gamay is a great substitute for folks that like Pinot Noir, and it’s fantastic with a classic brie. We like to encourage our guests to eat this with a dab of strawberry jam. The combination of the jam, creamy brie and berry flavors in the Gamay is simply delicious.

Cheese 3

Morbier & Chardonnay
The saltiness of the morbier goes great with the full-mouthfeel of Chardonnay. A great accoutrement with this cheese and wine are green olives. The saltiness helps cut through the malo in the Chardonnay and pairs really well with the cheese.

Cheese 4

Aged Cheddar & Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is a strong wine that doesn’t go that well with most cheeses, but it does pair very well with a sharp, aged cheddar. The bite of the cheddar stands up to the power of the Cabernet, making it an ideal combination. For this pairing we love also snacking on salty meats like bresaola, prosciutto and salami.

Cheese 5

A Stinky Blue & Port
Blue cheese and port were made for one another. The sweetness of the port and the stank of the blue do things in your mouth you won’t believe. Trust us. Add some fresh figs and you’re all set.

Be sure to check out some great accessories for your wine and cheese party here.