Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sara: Wine and Cheese? Yes Please!

I love planning things.
Wine tours for us gals, dinner dates and nights on the town and of course--PARTIES! So when I first saw the idea on Pinterest for a wine and cheese party, my little head and all the thoughts in it could not seem to concentrate on anything else. Ask any of the other gals--I annoyingly party planned out loud to them via emails, phone calls, and get togethers for weeks until the party actually happened last Friday.
So here I am to share with you the inspiration and details for my Wine and Cheese extravaganza. It all started with this innocent little pin:

The chalkboard/cork/wine combination was just too classic to mess with. So it was from this pin that my party was born. It started with the invites that I made. I bought an off-white blank card and envelope set, cork scrap-booking paper with an adhesive back, chalk board scrap-booking paper (all from Michael's), and olive and burgundy toned paint swatches that I stealthily stuffed my purse with at Walmart (yes I'm that girl; and the idea is seriously too ingenious to let the embarrassment of potentially being seen stop you!)

I'll put a better picture on here if I can find
one, but for now.. that's as good as it gets.
This is what I came up with:
The invite asked each guest to RSVP, and as they did I gave each guest a particular wine to bring along with them. Nothing fancy, just the average liquor store or local winery variety, any brand. (I was shooting for the $10-$15 range so that no one would have to break the bank!)

After the invites I began some party prep. I bought enough wine glasses for each of my guests and painted the tops of their bases with chalkboard paint, so that everyone could claim a glass of their own and mark it with their name or designs. I used Martha Stewart Chalkboard paint in black. First I taped around the stem of each glass to keep the lines crisp. I found four coats of paint gave me the perfect opaque matte finish I was looking for, and voila!

I made the cute little sign by putting a piece of the chalkboard paper in a cheap antique looking frame, and hanging it on the wall above the wine glasses the night of the party!

I found an ingenious pairing website, hellovino, that gave me all of the ideas for the food I would make, and the cheeses I would offer for each wine! Here's a portion of my wine list, and the food I decided to serve with each:

Cabernet Sauvignon- Gouda, Cheddar,  & Camembert Cheeses; and Hershey Kisses

Chinati-  Fontina & Fresh Mozzerella Cheeses; and Pizza

Grenache- Cheddar, Gouda, Swiss & Fontina Cheeses; and Herbed Italian Mini Meatballs (great recipe!)

Syrah- BBQ Pork, Cornbread, Twix candy bars (I didn't make this up! visit hellovino for other strange pairings!)

Tawny Port- Blue Cheese; and Hershy Kisses & Almonds
Chardonnay- Brie Cheese; and Cornbread and pumpkin dip (Do yourself a favor and beg Kayla for this easy-peasy recipe!)

Pinot Grigio- Gouda

Gewurztraminer- (This wine is one of my most favorites. If you haven't had haven't lived) Swiss & Muenster Cheeses; Mini Quiche Lorraines

Riesling- BBQ Pork, Caramelized Onion Apple Bites (Strangely savory & delicious) & Gingersnap Cookies

Sauvignon Blanc- Goat Cheeses; and Spinach dip & Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp (Everyone raved about this dish!! Thank you Pioneer woman, you've done it again!)

Prosecco- Chicken Cordon Bleu (I cheated here... I cut down chicken tenders into bite sized pieces, and halfway through their baking added a slice of ham and swiss cheese!) & Lemon Chiffon Pie (mmmm)

There was so much food and wine that I couldn't make my display as picture perfect as my inspiration board, but I'll take more food over presentation any day! Here's how the night turned out:

Note the cute little cheese flags in the photo above? Super easy: cut the flag shapes out of cardstock, poke two tiny holes on the triangle's fat end--one above the other--insert toothpick end in and back out the holes, and write on the type of cheese! 

For each bottle of wine, I made these cute little tags that the guests could tie on with green rafia as they arrived! Each tag had the wine name, the pronunciation for those not so familiar with wine lingo, and the back listed any cheeses or dishes that were recommended to try with each variety.

I also gave some door prizes for the guests who could guess the closest number to this trivia question's answer: How many gallons of wine can be produced from an acre of grape vines? The answer: 800! Here are the prizes I gave pictured below; The closest two got these mini grapevine wreaths I made and the next four got these "charming"  grape ornaments/wine bottle charms!

Happy guests and a table full of food! We are still polishing off the leftovers!

Me and some of the wine loving gals

Check out the chica on the left at her blog, Team Studer!

The collateral damage--altogether, 16 girls finished off 10 bottles of vino, and left 2 half finished! Not bad for a nights work!

Now, I have the daunting task of emptying the remaining bottles.... poor me, however will I do it? ;)

Happy Party Planning!

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