Hosting a wine tasting event or class can be a lot of fun. However, one of the most difficult parts of the event can be finding out the correct amount of cheese to purchase for it.
While cheese isn't necessarily expensive to invest in, obtaining too much of it can end up being a waste. Because of this, you need to figure out how much cheese per person is appropriate. Below you'll find some helpful tips as to how you can figure out how to budget and plan for your event and ensure you get the right cheese to pair with the bottles you plan to serve.
There are a few different ways you can calculate how much to budget for during these events for your guests, especially if you want to do it à la française. The first important thing to consider is whether it is a seated meal or a buffet, and if you serve it on the side of a meal/buffet, combined with charcuterie or as the single food available. It's also important to consider how many people you plan to host when you visit a shop to get this dairy product.
Lunch or dinner at a seated table: if you plan to have your event during lunch or dinner, you should have about 2-3 oz per person, according to the other dishes you propose.
A Platter: if you plan to just have a simple platter on the side of a buffet, you'll want to look at investing in about an ounce or two per person.
If you plan on serving a combo meal, then your quantity of fromage per person should be around 7 oz., the charcuterie in a little less quantity and, of course, do not forget the bread, about 5 oz. of each for every guest.
If you are hosting an exclusively cheese and wine dinner, you should provide around 9 oz. per person.
Dessert: if you're just hosting a dessert, you may decrease the amount. So, you can look at about 4-6 oz. for this event.
It can be easy to go overboard when planning an event, but do not worry too much, cheeses are also made for being preserved, so it is better to have a little too much of it than not enough. Another way of to find your way is to stick to one fromage per vin.
If you're not sure which type to pair with your event, here are some suggestions:
Brie: this type tastes soft and creamy and pairs well with wines like Pinot Gris, Champagne.
Tomme d'Alsace: with a harder and tougher taste, Tomme d'Alsace pairs well with wines like White Bordeaux, Pinot Blanc, and Red Burgundy.
These are just a few you can try pairing together although there are many other proper planning when shopping for it. With the tips above, you'll be able to successfully host one.
For more information, please refer to the following pages:
In general, a serving size for cheese is roughly 2 ounces, so ideally, each piece of cheese that you eat at a wine tasting will be close to that amount. However, the exact amount of cheese in each serving may vary depending on the type of cheese and the host of the event. If you are tasting a particularly rare or expensive cheese, for instance, then your serving may be slightly smaller than average. Additionally, the size of your cheese serving will depend on the person cutting it. If you attend a wine and cheese tasting held by a restaurant or winery, then serving sizes will be fairly accurate since the cheese was likely cut by a professional. A tasting at a friend’s house, however, may not have exact serving sizes unless your friend has excellent cooking skills. However, while exact sizes may vary, most cheese servings will at least come close to 2 ounces.
What you bring to a wine and cheese night will ultimately depend on the formality of the event and the host’s requests. Bringing your favorite wine or cheese may seem like a natural choice, but if your host has already pre-selected certain wines and cheeses to taste together for a more formal tasting, then adding your own input may be considered rude. On the other hand, some hosts may ask you to bring your favorite wine and/or cheese.
If you’re unsure of whether you should bring your own wine and cheese selection, then you should bring other foods that may complement your wine and cheese tasting. Charcuterie meats can be an excellent addition to a wine and cheese night, and olives also pair well with wine and cheese. Crackers and bread are other tried-and-true options, and certain snacks like nuts or dried fruits will also likely go over well.
To bring out the best in your Pinot Noir, you should pair it with cheeses that are rich and/or made from sheep’s milk. Gouda - made from sheep’s milk or cow’s milk - is often considered one of the best cheeses to pair with pinot noir thanks to its richness and nuttiness. Likewise, manchego - a type of gouda - is also a great option thanks to its overall richness. Dutch Edam, Saint Andre, and Lancashire cheeses also go well with pinot noir due to their rich flavor profiles. In the US, cheddar cheese is another great option for pairing with pinot noir. A good medium cheddar is excellent for bringing out the flavors of the pinot noir without overwhelming them, so you should avoid sharper cheddars if you choose to pair your pinot with cheddar cheese. Finally, Gruyere’s light taste can be an excellent option to pair with a stronger pinot noir.
Most wine experts will agree that Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most difficult wines to pair with cheese. This type of wine’s deep, rich, and complex flavors often clash with many cheeses and can overwhelm the palate, so you must be very careful when pairing Cabernet Sauvignon with cheese. As a general rule, you should try to pair Cabernet Sauvignon with medium-bodied cheeses without intense flavor profiles, such as Gruyere, Comte, Beemster Classic, and even Taleggio. Cheeses with a more intense flavor profile, such as sharp cheddar or smoked gouda, can clash intensely with a Cabernet Sauvignon, making the tasting an unpleasant experience. Additionally, Cabernet Sauvignon does pair quite well with charcuterie given the wine’s richness and acidity, so to enhance the taste of your wine and cheese, you may want to consider including a little salami with your Cabernet Sauvignon pairing.
As its name suggests, you will primarily eat wine and cheese at a typical French cheese and wine dinner. This type of dinner is distinct from a wine pairing dinner, which typically contains multiple courses such as soup, meat, and dessert. The primary purpose of a wine and cheese dinner is to sample a diverse array of wines and cheeses, so you should expect cheese to be the primary food at this event. These cheeses may be served all together, but they are often served as courses paired with particular wines. While you should expect to fill up on cheese at a wine and cheese dinner, your host may offer other snacks and small bites. Most wine and cheese dinners have various breads paired with the cheeses along with a simple salad, and some may offer fruit or charcuterie with certain wines. However, these extras should not overwhelm the cheese, which is the main component of the meal.
If you plan to host a wine and cheese tasting for your friends, then you may be wondering how to select cheeses to pair with your wines. Ultimately, the cheeses that you choose should complement the wines that you serve, and the cheeses you choose may be limited by what’s available at your local grocery store or cheese shop. As a general rule, you should pair mild cheeses with milder wines and flavorful cheeses with bold wines. For instance, you should pair a strong gruyere with a full-bodied Chianti. However, you can mix and match with flavors and textures. Sweet wines, such as Port or Moscato, can pair well with “funky” cheeses like bleu cheese or taleggio. You should also consider origin when pairing wine and cheese. For example, Sauvignon Blancs and goat cheeses often pair well, and they both hail from France’s Loire Valley. Finally, cheeses that are firm and have a nutty flavor profile, such as gruyere and comte, often complement many different types of wine.
At a wine tasting, you will typically end the night with a dessert wine like a sparkling Moscato, a rich Port, or a lightly sweet Riesling, and many experts recommend pairing cheese with this course to ensure that this sweet wine is not overwhelmed by an even sweeter dessert. However, the type of cheese that you choose should complement your dessert wine selection. Rich, sweet wines like Port and Madiera go well with bleu cheeses and cheeses with nutty undertones, such as Gruyere. Likewise, sweet sparkling wines can make for an excellent finish when paired with creamy cheeses or goat cheese. Sherry generally pairs with saltier cheeses like Manchego, and a light Riesling is complemented by creamy cheeses such as Reblochon or Muenster. As a general rule with dessert wines, you should always take care to pair your cheese selection well with the specific wine that you choose. Dessert wines are often sweet and flavorful, so you should ensure that your flavors do not clash.
Sauvignon Blanc hails from the Bordeaux and Loire Valley wine regions of France. This wine is crisp, acidic, and refreshing with herbal and fruity notes. Given Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor profile, it is most commonly paired with goat cheese. The level of acidity in this type of wine and in goat cheese match near perfectly, and the cheese’s tangy, fresh taste complements the wine’s bright, herbaceous, and fruity undertones. If you’re not partial to goat cheese, then fear not – cheeses like gouda and fresh mozzarella also match with Sauvignon Blanc, and you can even pair this wine with various Alpine-style cheeses as well as many traditional brick cheeses like Muenster, Parmesan, and even Sharp Cheddar. Generally speaking, Sauvignon Blanc is known for pairing well with flavors that range from smoked meats to raw garlic to fresh seafood, so you will rarely find a cheese that truly tastes terrible with this type of wine.