Just a little over a week ago, Hubby and I invited six of our wonderful friends over to our place for a chic wine and cheese night. I wanted to test this out on our close friends, just in case I failed miserably...however, the night was a total susccess!! The night itself was easy, however, it did take a lot of planning and preparation to make it successful.
Weeks in advance I studied the different varietals of wines and put together a shopping list and budget. I started purchasing the bottles many weeks in advance as buying eight bottles of wine all in one shot would really put a hole in my pocket. Once I selected which wines we would be tasting, I then researched to see what types of cheese paired well with those wines.
I chose to do the tasting blind - meaning, I covered the wines in brown paper bags so that we didn't know what type (or how expensive) the wine was. I found that this added a very interesting dynamic to the tasting. Wouldn't it be funny if somebody was CONVINCED that they hated Chardonnay, but that's the wine that they liked best after the blind tasting? Also, I think that if you do the tasting this way it really forces you to use your imagination and be creative with the tastes and smells.
In the end, our guests had a really great time. Everybody wrote their own notes during the tasting, and discussed before revealing the true identities of the wines. It was neat to see all the reactions when the wines were finally revealed. It was a classy night that was a nice break from the same old thing - so if you're interested, try it! After all, what could be better than good friends, fine wine, and delicious cheeses?
PS: Because we're on a budget, I asked all of our guests to bring $20 to cover the cost of the wine. Hubbby and I covered the cost of the cheese and the appetizers ourselves. Our guests were more than happy to pay the $20, and I had sooooo much cheese left over after that I sent everybody home with a care package full of delicious cheese and crackers - happy friends and no waste!
PPS: I rented a pack of 10 wine tasting glasses from Lonsdale Event Rentals, just to add a touch of class and becuase they were really inexpensive ($5/10 pack).