Another fun idea for a party that’s simple and easy is wine and cheese. Think of it as a dinner party with relatively easy prep and clean up. We all enjoy having dinner, in or out, with friends. No one likes to eat alone and sharing time with friends is healthy and enhances relationships… not to mention just plain fun! Most “social drinkers” prefer wine over traditional alcohol cocktails. Want to please everyone… even have some beer available!

Many people consider a dinner party a very time consuming and daunting task and thus don’t have as many of these get togethers. A simple wine and cheese party can create a very relaxed and comfortable atmosphere to enjoy your friends’ company.

Basically, all you need are wine glasses, some small plates, cocktail napkins (paper is fine) and you’re good to go. You don’t need an assortment of wine glasses if you don’t already have ones for red and white wine. Likewise, you don’t need a collection of plates..just some small party plates will do. Napkins… go to your local party store and get some small cocktail napkins in colors/patterns to match the occasion or décor.

If you want to add some flair, use tea lights or small candles for atmosphere and mood setting. Light music adds to the entertaining atmosphere.

Now for the most important part… the wine and cheese!

In its simplest form, you can get your favorite dry red and white wines and a sweet red or white to complete the selection and cover everyone’s tastes and serve them with assorted cheeses like Swiss, brie, cheddar, bleu, Gouda and an Italian favorite. There are also a variety of cheese “spreads” and flavored cream cheeses that can add different flavors and textures. A bunch of fresh grapes adds some additional personality and flavor to the presentation Assorted crackers and crusty bread complete “the meal”. Another option is to add a selection of sliced meats to the cheese board. A small bowl of assorted olives is another nice touch.

Note… with a little careful shopping, you can easily get a nice quality bottle of wine for $10 or less. Also..from my experience… guests will offer to bring a bottle of their favorite wine to share with everyone which adds more variety and personality to the selection.

If you want to get more elaborate… consider pairing the cheese with the complimentary wine. Wine and cheese from the same region tend to go well together but it doesn’t mean you have to serve a French wine with a French cheese or Swiss with Swiss. Do what’s comfortable for you.

Some suggestions…

Camembert with Chenin Blanc or Cabernet
Brie with Merlot, Champagne or a Sweet Sherry
S Roquefort with Tawny Port
Sharp Cheddar with Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc or Rioja
Italian Cheese with Chianti
Muenster with Beaujolais or Zinfandel
Swiss with Gewurztraminer

I hope I’ve convinced you that a very comfortable and enjoyable get together can be accomplished with just a little effort and not a great expense… and… you won’t have a lot of dirty dishes to clean!

For a variety of quality cookware to prepare your meals, visit my website @ We offer a selection of enamel coated pots, pans, and sets from respected brands like Rachel Ray, BergHOFF, Reston Lloyd, Lodge and Fancy Cook.

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