One of my very favorite summer pastimes is sipping on a crisp glass of wine with the sun kissing my shoulders. With a cheese board in arms reach, of course, and good company! Hosting a wine and cheese party is such an easy way to gather your friends without having to cook a big meal. Take a cue from this al fresco shindig captured by Amanda Lenhardt and read some of our tips below for the ultimate tasting!
Now's the time to let your cheese board shine! Provide a variety of flavors from cheeses and meats to chocolate and honey. Your wine types will really help determine this, but make sure to research what pairs well with each.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT STEMWARE
For the best tasting experience, choose the right glass for your wine! Believe it or not, the way the wines aromas lift from the glass opening and into your nose can change up the way different vinos taste. Check out this guide from Williams-Sonoma to learn more!
If you're hosting a tasting, serve water as a palate cleanser so you can fully experience each wine on it's own.
LET IT BREATHE
Decanters aren't just fancy vehicles for wine—they allow the wine to interact with the air so you can fully experience the flavors and aromas, especially for more full-bodied reds and even whites.
LABEL YOUR WINES
For a wine tasting party, label wines if you place them in decanters so your guests don't have to play a guessing game!
Provide cute little tasting notes for your guests so you can compare how you each experience the wine individually. Get the template here!
THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE
The temp of a wine can completely change how you experience it's flavors and alcohol content. Follow these basic guidelines for temperature and you'll be enjoying every sip!
Light bodied white wines, rosés and sparkling wines: 40–55 °F
Fuller bodied whites and light reds: 55–65 °F
Full reds and ports: 60–65 °F
HANDLING YOUR GLASS
Most people tend to hold their glass by the bowl. However, we recommend holding your glass by the stem as not to alter the temp of your vino as you're sipping away. Cheers!
PRESERVE YOUR WINE
If you don't enjoy all of your wine in one evening, make sure to store it properly. Keep whites and rosés in the fridge or a wine fridge. If you don't have a wine fridge make sure any reds you leave out aren't near a heat source or high cupboard where heat rises. Consider investing in a wine preserver as well!