Wine and Cheese and Chocolate Party!
So, we’re in the awkward season of holidays where people still want to get together but there isn’t a big national holiday or festival coming up that we can celebrate. St. Patrick’s Day is soon, but that’s really an Irish / College holiday (or for people who live in Savannah,GA) and Easter is kind of a family-only deal, right? Mardi Gras / Karneval is over and I’m pretty sure people aren’t having Lent parties (although some die-hard Catholics may have a papal conclave party. There’s got to be a black smoke / white smoke drinking game, right? Time to invent one. Hmmm, I sense a future blog post topic).
So in an effort to create a reason for people to get together, we suggest hosting a wine and cheese and chocolate party. That’s right – you don’t need a holiday or conclave or royal wedding in order to have a party. All you need are some great friends, food and drinks and you’re good to go.
ArtisanalCheese.com provides an excellent “cheese clock” with suggestions for what to serve in each of a 4-course cheese menu. Be sure to check out their website. EatWisconsinCheese.com has a really excellent Cheese & Chocolate pamphlet that also helped with these recommendations, so check them out too!
Scroll down to see a 4-course wine, cheese & chocolate menu for your party!
- Wine: Start out with a light white wine, champagne or a pilsner beer.
- Cheese: Serve with an Artisanal Mild Chutney, young mild goat cheeses, double or triple cremes or bloomy rind cheeses.
- Chocolate: Because the wine and cheese are milder in flavor, begin with a milder selection of chocolates. We suggest White Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Solid White Chocolate Pieces, and Vanilla Caramels with Sea Salt Coating
- Wine: Light Red Wine, Rose, Lagers and Pilsner Beers
- Cheese: Choose soft to semi-firm cheeses, like a mild cow, an aged goat or a sheep milk cheese. Be sure to alternate milks and textures to create a contrast between cheeses around your plate. Camembert and a light cheddar are good choices.
- Chocolate: Milk Chocolate Covered Peanuts or Peanut Clusters, Solid Milk Chocolate Pieces
- Wine: Red Wines and Ales
- Cheese:As you move through the evening, the cheeses get bolder. Cheeses in this pairing are hard mountain cheeses, long-aged cheddars, and mild wash rind (“Stinky”) cheeses
- Chocolate: Dark Chocolate Truffles, Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seeds, Chocolate Merlot Raisins, Mayan Cayenne Almonds
- Wine: Dessert Wines, Ports, and Stout Beers
- Cheese: Choose cheese with a bigger presence, such as more assertive washed rind cheese or a classic blue cheese like Roquefort.
- Chocolate: Solid Dark Chocolate Pieces, Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Dark Chocolate Covered Cashews, Port Wine Cordials