How to Host a Wine and Cheese Party

Make a wine and cheese party a roaring success. The success of the party will rely on the skills of the host or hostess, so put significant thought into this fun event.

Pick a day, time and season for your party. Hot summer days are good for crisp, white wines and champagne. Cold winter nights are suited to full-bodied red wines.

Choose cheese that complements your wine selection or select cheese varieties first. For example, you might feature several Spanish cheeses and find wines to pair with your selections.

Decide whether you'd like to host a full meal and choose foods that suit your wine selection. Find information about matching food with wine at (see Resources below).

Create invitations for your wine and cheese party and send them out three to four weeks in advance.

Cut up assorted cheeses. If you would like to let your guests determine their portion sizes, spread the cheese out on cheese boards and provide knives.

Set out your wines at least 20 minutes prior to serving. Pop the corks of a few bottles and let them breathe. You can also purchase decanters for serving wines.

Provide enough wine glasses to go around. If you're serving both red and white wines, provide each guest with more than one glass. Separate glasses are also a good idea for serving dessert wines and champagne.

Make description cards for each wine or cheese so your guests know what they are drinking and eating. Noting the type of cheese is beneficial for those who have allergies.

Provide take-home descriptions or pencils and paper, allowing your guests to keep a record of the wines and cheeses they enjoyed.


Don't be surprised if you rack up a large bill. Purchasing enough cheese and wine for a party can add up. You can cut some of these costs if you shop diligently for various cheeses--but this would take up more time. A light poultry dish might be overpowered by a robust Zinfandel. Likewise, a delicate Sauvignon Blanc will lose its subtle flavor when eaten with a rib-eye steak.

Things You'll Need

  • Budget for supplies
  • Variety of wine and cheese to serve
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