Wine and Cheese Party

Why not put a spin on your typical wine and cheese party and plan a relaxing weekend Wine and Cheese Tasting Brunch.

I love brunches, don’t you? They’re easy to plan, informal, leave lots of time to linger with friends, and yet everyone gets home before dark :) Add a wine and cheese exploration theme to your brunch and you’ve got a party!

Here’s an easy wine and cheese tasting brunch option for six to eight people.

Brunch 'n Tasting Menu:

Wine & Accompanying Cheeses
Sauvignon Blanc – Brie
Gewurtztraminer – Swiss
White Zinfandel – Cream Cheese (brick)
Merlot – Gruyere
Shiraz – Cheddar (sharp)
Zinfandel - Goat Cheese

Bread & Crackers
Baguettes (to accompany brunch)
Plain Crackers (for the wine tasting)

More Food
A great big green salad with orange slices and thinly sliced red onion rings
A selection of salad dressings on the side
Whole almonds
Walnut halves
Chocolate, broken into small pieces
Dried apricots or dried apples
Coffee and tea, iced or hot
Cream, sugar, etc.
Pitchers of ice water

Wine glasses – no plastic cups, please
Coffee cups and other glasses or cups
Colorful plates (disposable OK)
Lots of forks & knives
Knives for cutting bread and cheeses
Colorful tablecloths
Paper and pens for note-taking
Bucket or bowl for dumping extra wine into
A side table for the wine & cheese pairings, if available

Getting Ready

Wine & Cheese Party Tips
* For enjoying with brunch, two bottles each of a red and a white wine (or one each of your selected wines if you don’t mind having leftovers!)
* For tasting, one bottle of each wine for six-eight guests (2-oz. of wine per tasting)
* Five to six different wines is a good amount for a wine tasting
* Try the same number of cheeses (five to six) for a cheese and wine party
* Provide water and plain bread or crackers for cleansing palates between wines
* Provide an extra pitcher of water for rinsing wine glasses between wines

In advance of your wine and cheese party, prepare three or four “nosh plates”, with alternating rows of nuts, dried fruits, and chocolate chunks. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s time to serve brunch. Chill white wines two to three hours before the event (too cold ruins the flavor) and chill red wines about 30 minutes prior; remove from the refrigerator as guests arrive. Take cheeses out of the refrigerator about an hour before serving. Mix the salad, and cover and refrigerate it too, without adding dressing.

On a side table, lay out the wines in the order shown above, with the cheese for each on a plate in front of its wine pair. Provide a small knife with each cheese, for cutting. Use folded index cards or other method to identify the cheeses.

On another table, lay out the baguettes, crackers, water, wine glasses, plates, tableware, and napkins – anything that doesn’t need refrigerating. Wait for your guests to arrive, and let the fun begin.

Exploring at a Wine & Cheese Party

Beginning with the Sauvignon Blanc, have each guest pour a taste of wine (approx. 1/5 to 1/4 of the glass) and take a piece of the cheese. Begin with a sip of wine, and have everyone describe the taste. Then have everyone take a small bite of the cheese followed by another sip or two of wine, and discuss what changed in the taste. Let people take some notes about the pairing, rinse glasses, nibble on crackers, and move on to the next wine. Repeat the process for all six wines.

Then, if your guests are still in a tasting mood, mix it up. Have each guest taste a wine of choice and any cheese OTHER than the one paired with it. Let everyone describe how or if that changed the taste for them. Does sharp cheddar with Gewurtztraminer work at all?? C’mon, it’s a party. Have fun with it!


After the wine and cheese party exploration, bring out the salad, the “nosh plates” and the coffee and tea. Invite everyone to have a glass of their new favorite wine and more cheese, and settle down for a leisurely afternoon with your friends. Enjoy!

Now that our Wine and Cheese Party was a great success...

Let's go plan a Vertical Wine Tasting Dinner!
OR experiment with Old World vs. New World Wines
AND possible a Horizontal Wine Tasting Pot Luck Dinner

Return from Wine and Cheese Party to Wine Tasting Parties.
Return to Homemade Wine Making Guide Home Page.

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