we had a fun wine and cheese party for some of our close friends last evening. with the evite I sent a link to a wine and cheese pairing chart and each guest brought a bottle of wine with a matching cheese to the party. I had some light snacks set up and we enjoyed a great evening of conversation, sipping, and snacking. parties like this are so easy to put on, without having to cook a lot of food, and having a topic of conversation (like wine and cheese) is such a great way for people who don't know each other to unite over a topic and get to know each other.
this wasn't a formal wine and cheese party. we kept the attire and atmosphere casual. none of us are that snooty with our food and beverage. it was more about enjoying each other and trying fun things than it was about having knowledge and showing off sophisticated pallets.
to mark our glasses and provide a cheap and easy party favor I made some wine charms from beads and beading wire that I had on hand
the lighting in our kitchen is very bright so I bought some white christmas lights from a yard sale to use for a more dim effect
I took some pillar candles that I had on hand and tied corks around them to use as centerpieces for the table
I typed up cards for each wine and cheese pairing, plus spread kraft paper over the table for our guests to sign, and to write additional notes of what wines to try with each cheese
the snacks consisted of salmon mousse that a friend made, salami, olives, pickles, pickled okra, marinated mushrooms, pickled carrots, crackers, a strawberry tart that a friend made, rosemary curry spiced nuts, and chocolate fondue with pineapple and strawberries
my favorite two pairings of the night were Camembert with Merlot and Jarlsberg with Riesling, closely followed by Brie with Chardonnay and Cabernet with smoked Gouda. delicious!!!!