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Wine and cheese parties are a staple of the season. Sunny summer days give us a perfect opportunity to invite friends over, hang out on the patio, and snack on some delicious cheese while enjoying a crisp glass of wine.

If you’re interested in hosting one this year, go through this guide to make your event the talk of the neighborhood. Not only will you find some top-tier wine and cheese pairings, but you’ll also get a few tips on how to quickly and easily prepare for this classy, crowd-favorite summer event.

Planning Your Party

Anyone can pick up some bottles of white wine and lay out a few different cheeses, but a successful wine and cheese party host knows it’s more beneficial to plan ahead. Here are the essential things that you’ll need to prep before the big day

1. Invitations

This needs to be the first step, because the amount of cheese and wine you buy purely depends on how many people are coming to your party. So this part’s up to you — do you want to gather a few friends on the couch, or host a crowd on the patio? Once you figure out how many people you want at your party, start creating and distributing invites.

Invite people in the easiest format for you: paper cards, e-vites, social media invitations, or even just through word of mouth. But no matter how you invite people, make sure they have a reliable way to RSVP so you can get a head count. 

And once everyone’s invited and confirmed, you can get to shopping. 

2. Cheese

You can decide whether to get cheese or wine first — it all depends on what’s more important to you. Do you want to find wine that complements all the great cheese you bought, or would you like to do some reverse pairings that center around your favorite summer wines?

Regardless of what order you shop in, you can always rely on your local grocery store or deli to have all the cheeses you need. Their selections typically range from affordable common cheeses to some pricey and rare finds. If you have a go-to deli that provides a variety of hard, soft, and medium-aged cheese, we would recommend you go there.

There are even online platforms and some liquor stores that sell cheese trays especially for wine and cheese events, so your shopping possibilities are pretty much endless.

3. Wine

Now this one’s really simple…you can stock up on all the wine you need for the day at WTSO. Find your favorites or stock up on some of the cheese-friendly options listed below. No matter what you choose, we guarantee you’ll find some white, red, and sparkling options that your guests will love at our online wine store. And it pays to get enough to go around — every order of 12 bottles is shipped with a 20% off case discount. 

Plus, it helps that you won’t even have to leave your home. As you’re cleaning your house for your event, you can easily browse our daily selection and pick the bottles you want. Your shipment will arrive in just a few days, making it easy to stock up last-minute without having to rush to the liquor store. 

4. Decor & Appearance

What kind of look are you going for? Are you saluting summer with bright and seasonal decor, or are you keeping it simple and classy? Once you figure out your desired aesthetic, just build the decor around it. You could find what decorations and materials you have in your own home, or you can make a shopping list if you’d like to go the extra mile for this part.

It’s also imperative to know where you want everyone to sit and eat. If they’ll be outside most of the time, focus your energy on that space. Wherever the table is, make it the center of attention.

Setting Up for the Soiree

And now that you’re done shopping and decorating, it’s time to set the table. This may seem like a simple task, but wine and cheese parties call for a lot of small materials that could easily be overlooked.

Here’s everything you’ll need to have out and ready on your table or tasting station by the time your guests arrive

  • Wine glasses 
  • Water
  • Serving platters
  • Cutting boards
  • Cheese knives
  • Napkins 
  • Toothpicks
  • Plates
  • Table Settings
  • Candles
  • Cheese
  • And of course, enough wine for everyone!

If you’ve crossed all these off your list, then it’s time for the part we’ve all been waiting for: the wine and cheese pairings.

Say Cheese!

While it may seem difficult to find the perfect pairing, it’s actually simpler than you think — just focus on the texture and body.

Cheeses are grouped into three categories: soft, medium-aged, and hard. Each type works well with a corresponding type of red and white wine — so even though we have some cut-and-dried pairings listed below, you have a little bit of wiggle room based on your selections. 

For example, soft cheeses such as ricotta, brie, and mozzarella typically go well with light-bodied red or fruity white wines because of the light feel and flavors. Medium-aged cheeses like havarti and gruyère, however, work better with medium whites and fruity, balanced reds. And finally, hard cheeses like aged cheddar and gouda are a match made in heaven for full-bodied reds and whites

As you’re shopping, make sure you keep these matches in mind to make the best impression at your party:

Chevre (Goat Cheese) —–> Sauvignon Blanc

Ricotta —–> Pinot Grigio

Aged Cheddar —–> Zinfandel

Manchego —–> Tempranillo

Smoked Gouda —–> Champagne

Brie —–> Chardonnay

Havarti —–> Beaujolais

Blue Cheese —–> Port

Camembert —–> Pinot Noir

It’s Party Time!

And now, you’re all set for your wine and cheese party! We hope our guide allows you to plan, shop for, set up, arrange, and pair for your event with ease. Once you put all the pieces together, your house is bound to be the wine and cheese destination of the block for the rest of the summer.

Need some help getting started? We’ll help with the wine. We offer a wide variety of wine every day to, so checking daily will help you find the perfect wine for any cheese you buy. And if you can’t find the type of wine you’re looking for, our team will look through our selection to provide you with the wine you need or a similar bottle. Just give us a call at 866-957-2795 to get your cheese and wine party rolling today!