Every month a group of my neighbors and I get together to drink wine and catch up about our ever changing and busy lives. I look forward to this night every month and here’s how it works… Each month a different person hosts and the host is in charge of the wine and food while the rest of the group just shows up to enjoy. Since we have eight women in our group each person is only responsible for hosting once or twice a year. Awesome, right?
It was my turn to host this month and here are my easy steps to hosting a simple wine night…
- Wine – Don’t go overboard. Get 2-3 bottles of your favorite white and 2-3 bottles of your favorite red (you’ll probably have extra but since it’s your favorite wine, you won’t mind taking care of those leftovers).
- Cheese – all you need is 3 cheeses to create a pretty nice cheese board. One soft, one semi-soft, and one hard.
- Crunch – Add some crackers and/or breadsticks to go with the cheese. Nuts would also be a great addition but aren’t necessary.
- Fruit – Fruit and cheese are meant to go together. I always like to have grapes on hand because they’re also easy to snack on. In addition, some sliced apples or pears always pair nicely with cheeses. And don’t forget one fruit spread like fig jam (mango chutney and quince paste are also great options).
- Sweets – Keep it small and definitely have chocolate. I love the chocolate covered caramels from Trader Joe’s and mini mexican chocolate chip cookies from Carla Hall (I find mine at Whole Foods).
- Extras – Totally optional. I love a good Italian prosciutto parma and some marinated olives to give some option other than cheese.
- 30 minutes – Leave the cheese out to bring it to room temperature & uncork the red wines to let them breathe a little bit.
- 20 minutes – Set up a little wine bar area where guests can easily help themselves to wine when they arrive and can easily get more during the course of the evening.
- 15 minutes – Set up the cheese plate. Be sure to leave enough space around your cheeses so you can easily cut into the cheeses. Arrange the meat and fruit in bite size portions (I cut the long slices of proscuitto into 3rds so it would be easier to place on a cracker or eat on its own). Add a fruit spread to the tray where there’s room.
- 10 minutes – Take your packaged food (crackers, cookies, olives) out of their containers and put them in bowls around your cheese plate.
- 5 minutes – Pour yourself a glass of wine and have a seat because you’re done 5 minutes before your guests arrive!
This is about as easy as entertaining can get so hurry up and email some friends to get your own wine club started! Fete on!