How to Throw a Cheese-Themed Party | Président Cheese
Whether you’re celebrating Australia Day or just feel like having people over, hosting a cheese-themed party is such a fun, easy way to spend an evening.
In particular, a cheese tasting is a great way to entertain that doesn’t involve a ball or board games. It’s the perfect chance for guests to try new things and chat about them and since you can prepare everything ahead of time, it’s stress-free for the host! All it takes is a little planning.
At Président, we’re sharing our top tips to planning the perfect cheese tasting party that everyone will be talking about for months!
First thing’s first, who to invite? And how many? Well, you don’t have to be a cheese connoisseur to enjoy a cheese tasting party. The discovery that comes with the tasting is what makes it so enjoyable! Guests are able to interact and mingle over a shared topic which makes cheese tasting a great way to introduce guests who may not know each other.
Up to 12 people is manageable, but a cheese tasting can be enjoyed by 2 or 20 people!
2. Picking the cheese
Plan on serving 150-200 grams of cheese per guest.
When choosing your cheese, variety is key – aim for around five different types from the following categories: blue, hard, soft and fresh. You may have leftover cheese, but it can always be used later in a variety of recipes from mac and cheese to pasta sauces, cheesy mash and quiches.
For beginners, three to five cheeses is perfectly acceptable so as not to overwhelm your guests.
Here’s a sample shopping menu:
- Soft cheese – Double Brie, Camembert
- Blue cheese – Stilton, Gorgonzola, Roquefort
- Hard cheese – Parmesan, Gruyere, Cheddar
- Semi-Hard cheese – Comte, Gouda
- Fresh – feta, goat, mozzarella
- Cream cheese – Rondelé
Whatever you decide, offering a combination of soft and hard textures as well as mild and strong flavours will provide the best tasting experience. Opt for cheeses that you love and don’t be afraid to experiment – a cheese tasting is the perfect time to branch out!
3. Selecting Accompaniments
A quality cheese tasting is a symphony of colours, flavours and tastes. We all know that cheese is delicious on its own but the flavours can change and can be intensified when served with other foods and drink.
When you pair Président cheeses with different accompaniments, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a unique gourmet experience!
Here are a few ideas to get you started, but you can read more about accompaniments here:
- Something sweet – fresh strawberries, grapes, blueberries, pears and chutneys
- Something savoury – olives, nuts, cured meats, tapenade
- An array of fresh vegetables – like celery sticks, carrots and cauliflower
Remember that your evening is all about the cheese. You don’t want to overwhelm the flavours of the cheeses you have so carefully selected, so choose fresh, plain bread like baguettes, plain crackers, breadsticks or lavash bread that will help complement and bring out the flavours of the cheese.
Wine is another classic cheese accompaniment. You’ll want to pick a combination of reds, whites and sparkling or ask your guests to bring some of their favourites!
Tip: You can plan the perfect partner list with Président’s Definitive Guide to Cheese and Drink Pairings. Download the infographic as a PDF for a handy reference next time you’re heading to the supermarket.
Use slate, wooden or cheese boards to display your cheeses, accompaniments, utensils and pairing suggestions. They really let the food shine! Every cheese deserves its own knife – they can help you and your guests enjoy your selection.
Red wine and cheese are best served at room temperature so take them out of the refrigerator at least two hours before serving. White wine and sparkling can be kept nicely chilled.
When it comes to arranging the cheese, start mild and finish strong. Beginning at the six o’clock position and going clockwise, arrange cheeses from mildest to strongest. For example, start with a soft, fresh cheese, progress to a Double Brie, then move into more flavourful washed rind, hard, and finally, blue cheeses.
TIP: Pre-slicing at least one portion of each type of cheese will encourage guests to start tasting, here’s how.
Get creative with your presentation by adding little cards or labels next to each cheese with a few facts about each. You could also use a chalk and chalkboard to identify the cheese and pairings.
Everybody’s favourite part! Your tasting program needn’t be complicated. Simply offer a brief description of the cheese, its origin, flavour profile and which wine and food you suggest as the best pairing. Urge your guests to taste the cheese on its own, with wine, then with your accompaniments. Leave room for guests to make their own comments about the cheese – entertaining with cheese and wine is very convivial! If you need some vocabulary to describe your cheese, take a look here.
Tip: Provide a pen and paper so guests can note their favourite cheese and which flavour combinations they like best.
You’re now equipped with everything need to throw the best cheese tasting party your friends have ever seen! Take a snap of your event and share it with us on Facebook.