Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Party Ideas: Wine & Cheese

**Warning** This post has lots of pictures. Of cheese. So you might not want to look if you're hungry.

What three things get better with age? Wine, cheese and me! J Instead of trying to think of a delicious restaurant and fun bar to go to for my birthday where I can’t even catch up with everyone, I decided to stay in this year. And I’m glad I did! I was recently infringing on Agatha’s French themed dinner party plans by suggesting a cheese tasting. I know I love cheese, but I don't know much about it and want to learn. So instead of forcing my ideas on Agatha’s dinner party, I decided to host my own!

Doug and Mia went to see Baby Erin while my girlfriends came over to eat cheese, drink wine and catch up J I didn’t know how to decorate until I came across this page in a Crate & Barrel catalog the week before. Then I had the perfect vision.
I also didn’t know where to get fancy cheeses, but my cheese loving world traveling jet setter friend recommended Pastoral.  I requested that everyone bring either a bottle of wine or a cheese but we ended up with 13 cheeses and 11 bottles of wine for 9 girls! Just so I remember next time, we had: brie, Rogue River Blue (cow), Dante (sheep), Tomme Brebis/Chevre (sheep/goat), English cheddar with caramelized onions, Ossau-Iraty (sheep), Prairie Breeze (cow), Delice de Bourgogne (cow) and a few others.

Necessities (and decorating tips near the pictures):
    Cheese - get good tips on what to buy here, from Real Simple.
    Wine
    Grapes
    Meat
    Crackers
    Baguette - slice, drizzle with olive oil and toast at 350° for 5-10 minutes.
    Knives/plates/platters - love the B. Smith collection at Bed Bath and Beyond.
    Small plates – mine were from World Market.
Make one set of fun napkins go a long way by mixing with plain ones.
Inspired by HWTM (as always), cut strips of cardstock with fun scissors and used double sided tape to close.
No misplacing your glass at this party!
Faux table runner made by laying out four placemats and overlaps were hidden by chargers (from Target).
Hydrangeas from Jewel (*gasp*)! Picture frame with glitter wrapping paper from the Winter One-derland.
Used leftover flowers from Erin's tutu to take this from spa to Spring.
Replaced my Christmas wrapping paper (finally!) with cardstock.
Bought one thing of yellow flowers from Michael's.  
My favorite of the night - a seasonal blue cheese wrapped in grape leaves steeped in pear brandy.
The non-blue cheese likers were not a fan.
Cheese labels made the same way as the wine glass name tags except with toothpicks.
This one definitely tasted like onions - so I put it on my burgers the next day!
This one oddly tasted like an omelette - so I put it in my omelette the next morning!

I think we all had a good time talking and snacking the evening away J It also forced me to dust my furniture, change out the Christmas wrapping paper in my frames, and buy new Spring placemats and kitchen towels. Maybe I should do this party every year? Thanks for joining me ladies!

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5 comments:

Agatha said...

Everything looks so different in the sunlight - we should have started day-drinking! :)

Seema said...

Omg, looks amazing!!!!

Summer said...

This made me hungry and thirsty...for wine. It looks great. I'm here from Speramint Baby.

Tonya said...

What a fun party! Those hydrangea centerpieces...gasp! Gorgeous!!

Madigan at madiganmade said...

What pretty details! I love the yellow decor accents, especially the wine glass tags. Great tips. Thank you!