I love cheese and I love trying new cheeses. I could spend hours in the fancy cheese isle at the supermarket. I usually buy one specialty cheese each time I visit the grocery store, but it is never enough; there are so many to try! To feed my craving, I decided to throw a “fancy cheese party” and, oh my gosh, it was so much fun! We invited a few friends over, put on our Sunday best and got to cheesin’. Here are a few tips to help you throw the ultimate cheese party!
The perfect cheese plate should include a mix of fresh, aged, soft and hard cheeses, arranged in the order in which they should be tasted: from the lightest and freshest to the ripest and most intense. However, don’t feel like you need to follow any rules; when it comes to cheese, I say anything goes! Our cheese tray included Brie, WI Colby, Gouda, Swiss, Fontigo and Asiago. Pair the cheeses with tasty crackers and your favorite wine. If you have a husband like mine who would prefer anything but wine, offer other beverages such as a local craft beer. It might be a good opportunity to try something new!
We spent a large portion of our evening enjoying the various cheeses and good conversation. As the night continued (and we had more empty wine bottles compared to full), we decided to introduce some games to the party. Games such as Charades, Pictionary or Heads Up! are excellent additions to a party and keep people laughing. Check out my list of “Cheese Party Essentials”, support the dairy industry and throw a party of your own!
Cheese Party Essentials:
1. Slate serving boards
It is all about presentation! Instead of using a platter or buying a fancy cheeseboard, use slate tiles from the hardware store. Write the names of the cheeses on the tiles with chalk, or use note cards.
2. A knife for every cheese
Set out a separate knife for each cheese to prevent mixing flavors. Cheese knives are great, but butter knives and paring knives work well, too.
3. Wineglass labels
Have guests write their names directly on their wineglass with a Sharpie marker. The ink washes off with soap and water.
4. Nonalcoholic options
Wine can get to a gal, so it might be a good idea to also serve nonalcoholic drinks to help pace the evening. For a sparkling-wine party, serve sparkling water mixed with different fruit purees.
Remember to have lots of plastic bags or containers on hand so you can save any extra cheese to bring home for making macaroni and cheese.