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Wine and cheese parties are classic because they can be thrown any time of the year for any occasion. Often wine and cheese is a great starter at any event although I firmly believe that the two should have it's own night to celebrate how they compliment one another. Take this opportunity as a great time to not only learn about new cheese and wine but how they pair for your taste buds. My favorite thing about a wine and cheese party is the low prep involved. Even with low prep there is still... a list of essential things to consider when planning and I'm here to take you through it step by step.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Begin collecting serving boards early. I really love Brooklyn Slate Company for their packaging and sweet shapes of their boards. They also make sure to include a couple of sticks of chalk to make it easier for you to write the names of cheese on respective boards for guests to learn while they eat! Trust me, cut a few corners while you can - party planning can be tiring but very rewarding. The mini versions also make great hostess gifts.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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Each cheese should have it's own knife. People generally hesitate to make the first move when it comes to eating at parties so you want to make it as easy on your guests as you can. Also a separate knife for each cheese helps keep the flavor profiles in tact when your guests are savoring each bite for sampling. Love these Highlands Cheese Knives from Anthropologie.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Crackers and Bread
I suggest buying a couple boxes of variety of assortment crackers and a fresh loaf of french bread as a foundation for pairing cheese, meats and toppings. To stay in budget your local Trader Joe's has some great cracker options. This is a great box to start with here.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Really it's a wine, cheese and meat gathering but wine and cheese is just so much easier to say. Italian cured meats are a welcome addition to your party. Some of my favorites are prosciutto, soppressata, pepperoni, capicola and salamé but I would suggest limiting to 2-3 meats to compliment 4-6 cheeses. One of my favorite places to shop in the city is Murray's Cheese where I discover tasty selections with their meat of the month club.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
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Adding small bites such as apples, pears, figs, dried nectarines or peaches can greatly compliment the flavors of your cheese selections. They also add color and fun where guests can mix and match cheese, crackers and bites. Don't forget the honey on top! Bees Knees Spicy Honey from the Bushwick Kitchen is one of my personal favorites,Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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Chutney & Jams
Chutney and jams play a role similar to your toppings. Sweet or savory that add a little interest to each bite. I love what the ladies of the Jam Stand are doing with flavors like Sweet Wino Onion or Not Just Peachy, Sriracha Jam.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Wine Glass Hang Tags
I prefer not to write names on my wine glasses. Instead make cute hangtags with each guests name. They can tie them around the stem of their cup when they arrive so you will have less dishes to wash at the end of the night. Always remember to think ahead! These wine tags from Kate Spade are so sweet.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Buy some cute little stationary notepads for your guests. It doesn't have to be anything fancy but a place for them to jot down notes about cheese or wines that stood out to them would be so helpful after the party ends. Papyrus always has great options.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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Save them! Either give guests small bags to take home of their favorite cheese or bottles at the end of the night or save it all for a glorious mac-n-cheese wine filled dinner the next day. Really into this Mac and Cheese recipe from Epicurious.