When planning a wine and cheese party, it is essential to consider how many people will attend the event and how much food and drink they will consume. How much to buy should be based on what you know about your guests and the season.
A guide to buying the right amount for your party
As a general rule, plan to provide 60-120g /2-4oz of cheese per person and offer 3-6 options, depending on the number of people. Include soft, semi-hard, hard cheeses according to your guests’ preferences, and blue cheese, if you know your guesses like it. Serve each guest 25-60g/1-2oz of each type of cheese and 60-140g/2-5oz of charcuterie (cold cuts or seafood) each. Accompaniments such as store-bought condiments, fruit compotes, chutneys, honey, nuts, dried and fresh fruit can be added along with the bread and crackers. And any optional you may like.
Plan for approximately half a bottle of wine per person. Provide non-alcoholic drinks options and snacks along with cheese and wine. Finally, remember to have the right serving tools like cheese cutlery, wine and water glasses.
It’s always better to have extra than to run out, so plan accordingly.
The cheese - Include different tastes and textures.
Choose different types of cheese to balance flavours and textures. Pick one kind from each variety.
Don’t put too much cheese out when you make a cheese plate, as people won’t remember it. Limit your cheese selection to 5 or 6, and less for a small group. Have a mix of different cheese flavours (sharp, nutty, buttery), ages (soft, hard, crumbly), textures, kinds of milk (sheep, cow, goat), and colours on a plate to avoid being boring so each cheese can be appreciated.
For larger events, aim for at least six types of cheese. You should still get one soft cheese and one that is semi-soft, but also add a bloomy cheese, a crumbly stinky blue cheese (if your guests like it), and a washed rind cheese (if your guests enjoy it). You can also include smoked cheese and different types of milk (cow, sheep, goat). Mix mild and strong cheese to have a variety of flavours on the plate.
Avoid everyday common cheeses like semi-soft pizza mozzarella or young cheddar.
How much cheese to buy
For each person and each type of cheese, plan on serving 25-60g (1-2 ounces) if it’s the main or only dish on the appetizer table. For soft and creamy cheeses, serve a little more; for strong cheeses, serve a little less.
Aim to serve about 60-120g (2-4oz) of cheese for every person.
Choose 3 or 5 cheese types and 1 or 2 plates for 5 to 15 guests.
Choose 5 or 6 cheese types and 2 or 3 plates for 15 to 30 guests.
For a wide selection, set the table with 6 to 12 types of cheese, with about 3 or 4 cheeses per platter.
When buying cheese for a party, it is better to be cautious and purchase more than you think you need. It is also important to consider your guests’ preferences and dietary restrictions. With these factors in mind, you can confidently determine how much cheese to buy for your event.
Charcuterie (cold cuts) and/or Seafood
I like to use one or two salty foods on my plate and put them in different spots to make it look like there are more choices. Charcuterie means different cooked or cured food, including meat, fish, poultry, or vegetarian options.
You should aim for about 60 to 140 grams/ 2 to 5 ounces per person.
Charcuterie can be pretty rich, so keep that in mind.
The vehicle - Crackers and breads
Have at least three kinds of bread on your table: crusty breads, flatbreads, and crackers. Pick two savoury breads, one dark/whole wheat and one lightly sweet with raisins or walnuts. The sweet bread will help improve the taste and make the cheese even more flavourful.
Serve about 85-150 grams/3-5 ounces of bread and crackers per person.
Use the smaller amount if there are more crackers and the more significant amount if there is more bread.
When planning for a social event or gathering where wine will be served, ensuring you have enough wine to go around is important. A general rule of thumb is to plan for approximately half a bottle of wine per person. This will help to ensure that everyone has enough to drink and can enjoy the event without running out of wine too quickly. Additionally, it’s essential to consider factors such as the duration of the event, the level of formality, and your guests’ preferences when deciding on the type and quantity of wine to purchase. Considering these factors can help you create a successful and enjoyable event that your guests will remember fondly.
Plan for approximately half a bottle of wine per person.
For example, you need two white and one red wine bottle for every six people.
For 20 people, you need six white and four red wine bottles.
How many glasses of wine can I get from a bottle?
One 750 ml bottle has five servings of 150 ml/5 oz each. A case of 12 bottles has 60 servings of 150 ml/5 oz each.
You should provide around 500 ml or 17 oz of cold bubbly apple or pear cider, fruit juice, and sparkling water per person.
Cheese goes well with non-alcoholic drinks. Some people can’t drink alcohol because they are too young or don’t want to. If you want to serve hot tea with cheese, choose different kinds of tea with different tastes, like black, green, and oolong teas. Make enough tea for everyone to have a good taste of each.
These tips are from my own experience;
I’m neither a party organizer, a sommelier, nor a turophile (a cheese connoisseur).
I just love cheese, wine and spending time with family and friends.
I hope my easy tips will give you the confidence to host a wine and cheese party with a handful of close friends.
If you use my tips for your next Wine & Cheese party, please comment below and remember to take a picture, tag @Fast2eat.com and use #Fast2eat so that we can both marvel at how easy it was!
I hope my easy tips will give you the confidence to step into the kitchen and prepare delicious meals to eat with a handful of close friends.
Have you made a Fast2eat Recipe? I love seeing your take on my recipe!