Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Fancy Pants Wine & Cheese Night

It was one of our summer goals to bring in the season by gathering our friends together for some wine and cheese pairings. The tragic, but timely downfall of Amanda Bynes provided the perfect window for said party. In case you're not familiar with Ms. Bynes' best work - a film called She's the Man - there's a specific scene where Bynes' character who is posing as her brother, coaches a yet-to-be over-exposed Channing Tatum how to talk to girls. See hilarious evidence below -

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With this inspiration in mind, we moved forward with our party plans. As it turns out, the work of Amanda Bynes encourages some very positive work. 

Here are the pairings we decided to go with -
  1. Cheddar and Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. Goat cheese with Sauvignon Blanc
  3. Stilton or Blue Cheese and  Pinot Noir
  4. Brie en Croute and Chardonnay
So a few weeks before the party we set up a Facebook invite for our lady-kins. A week before the party we met to decide what pairings we would serve. Then, day of the party, lists in hand, we shopped for all of our supplies.  Some might say that we were playing it risky shopping the same day as our party, but hey we live on the edge. 

Early that Saturday, we stopped first at the Farmer's Market downtown where we grabbed majority of our party foods. We wanted to make sure we were serving the freshest dishes so we chose to go local. Among our Farmer's Market take was a jar of apple butter from Ralston's It's All About Bees, some Aged NY Cheddar from Jisa's Farmstead Cheese, some delicious and spicy garlic mustard from Denison Mustard and finally a French baguette and walnut sourdough loaf from Le Quartier. Of course I couldn't help but make Kerry stop to check out all of the peonies - 

Next it was off to Trader Joe's and then Whole Foods where I eyed the ice cream, especially since it was already 85 degrees outside. 

It was at Trader Joe's that we picked up the remaining party supplies including the Stilton and Goat Cheese. Knowing Trader Joe's would be the place to buy all of the wine from (hey we're on a budget), Kerry did some research online and found some of TJ's better, inexpensive wines which turned out to be very beneficial. If you're ever roamed around TJ's wine aisles you know it can be a little daunting, especially when you get home and open up that $6 bottle to find it's complete and utter shit. We also grabbed the rest of our pairing items such as almonds, honey, grapes, and salami. It's great to include these little extras to help break up the cheese and wine tastings.  Giving people something to munch on between pairings as a cleanser or to further accompany the main pairings really rounded out the whole experience. 

We broke up Kerry's table space into four stations. Each corner was dedicated to a specific pairing. An hour before the party we set out the cheeses so they would be at room temperature by the time people arrived - this is key when having a cheese party.

Brie en Croute & Chardonnay 

Goat Cheese, Apple Butter, Grapes & Sauvignon Blanc

It was important to us to not only to offer some great pairings, but also educate our guests on the cheeses and wines. We laid out notecards which listed the cheese's name, it's texture, taste, and what items and wine to pair them with.

Stilton Blue Cheese, Honey, Sourdough Walnut Bread & Pinot Noir 

Aged NY Cheddar, Denison Garlic Mustard, Pretzel Crisps, Salami and Cabernet Sauvignon

Overall I think we were both really proud of how everything turned out. The Stilton pairing ended up being the crowd favorite and yes, by the end of the night all 6 bottles of wine we bought that day were drank. All in all, it was a pretty successful night!

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