Essentials of a Wine and Cheese Board
A Cocktail Hour That Lasts All Night!
There is little I love more than my house filled with my favorite people laughing, drinking wine, and sitting around the table for hours. Charcuterie, cheese, and wine does just that, but it can be set up with a fraction of the time and effort it takes to put on a full meal.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love to cook! But, when a Friday night rolls around the LAST, and I mean very last, thing I want to do is cook for another two hours. Just give me my people, some wine, and a cheese board as fast as you can. So, if you are shy in the kitchen or just short on time, this dinner party is perfect for you.
Below you’ll find Part II of my Dinner Party series that details everything you need for the perfect charcuterie and cheese board in three SUPER easy steps.
Step 1. Your shopping list
For me, this is the fun part! I love piling my cart high with all sorts of fun and yummy things. But, it can be a little intimidating when it comes to choosing the cheeses and meats. Here are some tips and an easy to follow shopping list:
It’s customary to have four types of cheese – soft, hard, aged, and blue. Start with these, and you won’t be disappointed!
(Blue) Blue Cheese
(Aged, Hard) Aged Cheddar
(Aged, Soft) Gouda
My favorites are:
You don’t need all of these in one night, but a good selection from each category is what I like to shoot for.
Fruit Paste (I like apricot!)
Pair your selection with a red and a white wine. Champagne can replace a white wine and is never a bad idea!
Rosé or Chardonnay
Remember, this is just a rough list so I know what categories I need to hit. But, it’s wine and cheese night! Do what makes you happy, and throw whatever you want into your cart!
Step 2. Find Your Serving Pieces
Glasses, plates, silverware, cheese knife, serving platter(s), napkins. It’s a really simple list.
Pull out all of your favorite serving pieces! You know, the ones you never use because they are just too pretty?! Yes, those — you’re using them. Feel free to mix and match. Use your wedding china, and those pieces your grandmother gave you. I’m all about filling the table full of memories. Not only are they fun to use, but they make great conversation pieces.
One of my favorite pieces I own is this STUNNING Michael Aram Cheese Board. It is almost too pretty to use. But, I love it because it makes a big statement and is a perfect centerpiece. Pull out those linen napkins, your favorite fancy glassware, and plates! I like to try to stick with a color scheme. I love blue and white, and I have these really pretty Juliska glasses that I use for serving wine or rosé. They come in pink too, and you can bet those are on my wish list!
If you don’t feel like you have enough “fancy” pieces to use, don’t let that stop you. Just start with what you have, and make a point to acquire new pieces over time. I received some great advice from a friend of mine several years ago. She always picks up a new serving item anytime she buys a wedding gift for someone. Even if it’s just a new set of napkins or a salad bowl! I loved that idea, and now I try to collect things the same way.
Step 3. Plate it!
This is the part where you can get the most creative. It doesn’t have to be perfect and actually, I like mine to look a little messy so that our guests aren’t afraid to start diving in!
I have found that adding flowers or greenery to the board really helps to make it feel special and put together, so I always try to do that. But in just three steps, you are ready for your guests to arrive!
Whether you are wanting to dip your toe into hosting your first dinner party or you’re a seasoned entertainer… you can’t go wrong with a fancy and fun wine and cheese night.
Oh, and don’t forget to let me know if you end up throwing your own, I’d love to know how it goes!
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Photography by Dani Nichol
Don’t miss the full Dinner Party Series!
Part 1 – An Introduction
Part 2 – Wine & Cheese Night
Part 3 – Coming Soon!
Part 4 – Coming Soon!
Part 5 – Coming Soon!