Do you know what I love the most about fall? Don’t worry; I’m not going to say anything about cider or pumpkin spice!
Unlike the summer, most people travel a lot less during this season, and more of my friends are in town on the weekends. That’s why I love to entertain between September-November — the time of year between Labor Day and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to host your friends! Folks aren’t taking as many vacations as they do during the summer, and you’re also not overwhelmed with holiday gatherings. Not to mention, the weather is pretty incredible this time of year as well!
Since we just moved to our new place a couple of months ago, we decided to host a small gathering of friends for a wine and cheese tasting party — a super small housewarming party, if you’d want to call it. Here’s how we planned it!
How to Host a Wine and Cheese Tasting Party:
Choosing the Right Varietals
Even though I’m a big red wine drinker, I always like to have both a white and red wine while entertaining friends so I can please everyone in the house. For this shindig, I opted for Landmark Vineyards‘ award-winning Overlook Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varietals. Their grapes are sourced from California’s finest winegrowing regions, and since it’s priced under $25/bottle, it’s an affordable treat for any wine lover!
The 2016 Overlook Chardonnay is incredibly crisp and has smoky oak and vanilla barrel notes with a clean, textured finish. Alternatively, the 2016 Overlook Pinot Noir is a medium-bodied, complex wine with notes of black cherry and ripe raspberry.
Crafting the Perfect Cheese Board
Since the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir both have entirely different flavor profiles, we picked out a mix of cheeses for our guests to taste with both wines. The cheese we selected included:
- House Whipped Feta with Lemon and Rosemary
- Local Goat Cheese (from Maryland)
- Tête de Moine
- Alva (firmer goat cheese)
The whipped feta and the Alva will pair well with the Chardonnay, and the local goat cheese, Tête de Moine, and Manchego were a great match for the Pinot Noir. We finished off the cheese board with regular and sesame toasted baguettes, candied oranges, peanuts, and garnished with rosemary. Bon appétit!
How do you like to entertain during the fall?
Loving this wine and cheese tasting party feature? Take a look here for more of my entertaining favorites!
Photos by Tom McGovern
Thank you to Landmark Vineyards for partnering with me on today’s post! All thoughts and opinions are my own.