Entertaining at Home: Wine and Cheese Pairings + a Giveaway!

Image Courtesy The Cheese Ambassador

One of the things I love to do most is to entertain. I would have people over every day if I could. While I love the hustle and bustle of larger parties I do prefer the smaller, more intimate gatherings... one or two couples or a handful of girlfriends. Doesn't a nice evening at home with the girls... a nice salad... some bread, cheese and lovely wine sound divine?

Well, I'm joined forces with Sarah Kahn owner of The Cheese Ambassador who has graciously agreed to give one of my lucky readers a chance to win a Cheese Basket! You'll get to choose either The Mediterranean Course Gift Basket or The American Artisanal Course Gift Basket. All you'll have to do is pick up some fresh bread, and a couple of bottles of wine! Go to her site and let us know which basket you prefer.

Of course if you are hosting a wine and cheese party you will need to know how to pair wine and cheese. Sarah has these fabulous tips to share with us!
Pairing wine with gourmet cheese is more an art than a science. The great part about that is the trial and error process can be rather delicious. Here are a few guidelines to get you going in the right direction.
Play the match game. Match the boldness of your cheese with the boldness of a wine. If you have a slightly more subtle cheese like a Port Salut, you need an equally medium intensity wine, otherwise one will overpower the other. Try to match the subtleties in a wine with the subtleties in a cheese. The nuttiness of a cheese like Piave works well with a slight nuttiness of a wine. The bright, tanginess of a fresh chevre goes well with the bright, acidity of a Sauvignon Blanc.

ImageTry sweet with salty for a classic combination. Off-dry and dessert wines like a Late Harvest Riesling balance the saltiness of cheeses like the Cave-Aged Blue.
Give Equal Opportunity. Just as with your cheese plate, you want a variety of grape varietals and regions represented. If you’re serving three cheeses, try to pair them with one sparkling, one white and one red wine from different regions.

Go Regional. As with food, cheese and wine from the same region have a natural inclination to pair well together. For hundreds and thousands of years, farmers and vintners have been creating their goods to work well with the local palate. So try the Tipsy Goat with a spicy Spanish wine from Rioja for a near foolproof pairing.
Serving Order. Keep your heaviest cheese and wine pairing until the end otherwise you’re apt to have your mouth coated in blue cheese early on making you unable to taste the nuances of delicate cheese and wine pairings.

For more information on wine and cheese pairings visit The Cheese Ambassador website. (Link at the top of the page)

To participate in the giveaway
You will get 1 entry if you follow, 1 entry if you Tweet about the giveaway and 1 entry if you mention my giveaway on your blog. For a fourth entry leave a really witty or sweet comment! Please, no wining or cheesy comments ;)

The giveaway will end in one week -- Wednesday, March 10th and the winner will be announced sometime in the evening.