We’re thinking about having a wine tasting party, so I am noting some ideas here for future reference. I found these in various places around the net and from friends’ advice, so I just wanted to compile them.
- The “big 8” varietals are: cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, merlot, shiraz/syrah, chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio/pinot gris.
- Recommended for a tasting with 4-5 wines: riesling or pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc or chardonnay, chianti or valpolicella ripasso, cabernet sauvignon or shiraz or zinfandel, pinot noir.
- Recommended for a wine/cheese party of 16 people: 6 pounds cheese and 8 bottles wine.
- If serving cheese, it’s recommended to have some from each of these 4 categories (note I don’t like blue cheeses so I’ll probably omit those)
- Aged (Cheddar, Comte, goat gouda
- Soft (Camembert, brie)
- Firm (Manchego, parmigiano
- Blue (gorgonzola, stilton)
- Nice to have different breads/crackers with cheese such as baguette, breadsticks, and different crackers. Also different condiments go well with cheese, such as fancy mustards, preserves or honey, and chutney.
- Recommended wine/cheese pairings: Gewurztraminer and Swiss, Riesling and gouda, Chardonnay and brie.
Some thoughts on appetizers: goat cheese tartlets, sausage with hot mustard, sausage potato puffs, roasted red pepper dip, cheese puffs with crab dip, feta-artichoke dip, pan-fried polenta with pesto, stuffed mushrooms.