Wine & Cheese Party
We talked to the best party planners in 417-land to learn how to transform your house into the ultimate party venue. Whether you’re planning a holiday soirée or just want to have a few friends over to watch the big game, we have you covered.
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Mix it up: Consider using a variety of cloth napkins, including some with patterns, to help add color and interest to your table.
If you’re looking to host a truly top-notch affair, a wine and cheese party is a safe bet. We talked to local event planners Megan White and Becca Murdaugh of Social Graces and Chef Chadwick Isom of Hy-Vee to ensure your guests will be wowed with both elegant décor and a variety of delicious gourmet cheeses and fine wines from around the globe. —Savannah Waszczuk
Set the Mood: Break tapered candles and fit them in the tops of wine bottles to create an easy D.I.Y. table centerpiece. Also, consider placing wine corks in a cake stand or decorative bowl to help carry out your theme.
Styled by Becca Murdaugh and Megan White, Social Graces; shot on location at the Vesta Room; flowers by Hy-Vee; napkin rings courtesy Provence; wine and cheese courtesy Brown Derby International Wine Center.
Fresh and Formal: Consider dressing your table with short flower bouquets in rich colors, such as dark eggplant, dark pink and raspberry plum.
Activity Suggestions by Social Graces
• Educate your guests. Invite a local winery, such as OOVVDA Winery (5448 N. Berry Ln., Springfield, 417-833-4896, oovvda.com) to give a lesson on the wine-making process.
• Have a tasting contest. Blindfold guests and ask them to determine what wines and cheeses they're tasting.
• Travel the globe. Set up stations based on regional wines and cheeses, and have guests vote for their favorite region.
Perfect Pair: Looking for tasty wine and cheese combos? Consider Rusack savignon blanc with Spanish Manchengo cheese or Cune Rioja with Purple Haze cheese, all from Brown Derby International Wine Center.
1. Event planners at Social Graces suggest using wine corks to create cheese name cards.
2. Chef Chadwick Isom of Hy-Vee says to pair like items when pairing wines and cheeses. "Matching cheese and wine is like dressing for the weather," he says. Start with the food and determine how heavy its flavor is, then match it with a wine hat can either keep up or tone down.
3. Isom also suggests serving six to 10 cheeses at your party, including some warm, some cold and some at room temperature, and he notes to have a piece de resistance, which is a centerpiece cheese made by a master cheese maker.
Head to the next page for 417HomeMag.com exclusive recipes from Chef Chadwick Isom of Hy-Vee.