Wine & Cheese Party on a Budget

Crystal Palate

Looking for some budget friendly inspiration for your next girl’s night in? Why not throw a wine and cheese party with an Italian flare.  I am going to share some simple sips and tips that will surely inspire a fabulous evening with your closest friends.

When it comes to creating a basic cheese plate, I always aim for a minimum of three cheeses. A soft cheese, a stinky cheese and an aged cheese are a great start!

For the wine, I like to have a pairing for each cheese. In this case, I would go with a sparkling wine, a dry, crisp white wine and a fruit forward youthful red. Since, we are going Italian theme, here are my wine and cheese party essentials:

 

Choose 3 wines and 3 cheeses 

  • Prosecco – A fruit forward, dry and crisp Italian sparkling is the perfect start to any occasion. (SRP: $10-$20)
    •  Budget Pairing: Gorgonzola dolce w/a drizzle of honey
    •  Splurge Pairing – Substitute delicious fig spread and thinly sliced prosciutto on a baguette slice for a taste of heaven
  • Soave –  Soave is predominately made from the Garganega grape and is an excellent alternative to Pinot Grigio.  The vibrant acidity in the wine provides the perfect balance to a rich creamy cheese.  This is my go to Italian white wine.  (SRP: between $15-$20)
    • Budget Pairing w/goat cheese rolled in italian herbs (it’s more affordable to by the log of goat cheese and roll in your own seasoning)
    • Splurge Pairing: Roll the goat cheese in crushed pistachios
  • Barbera – Barbera tends to have vibrant fruit characteristics  with high acidity and mellow tannins.  This is a versatile wine that generally drinks best when young and pairs beautifully with an array of menu items. This is my go-to pizza wine!  Tip:  Barbera also tends to be one of the best values at your local Italian eatery.  (SRP: between $20-$25)
    • Budget Pairing – Aged Pecorino or Romano (these are budget friendly alternatives to Parmigiano Regiano)
    • Splurge Pairing – Aged Parmigiano Reggiano & Dried fennel sausage

Add some water crackers, baguette slices, assorted olives and some fresh fruit and you are to ready entertain!

For more sips, tips and perfect pairings, visit www.crystalpalate.com.

Cheers,

Crystal