Host an Elegant Wine and Cheese Party

There are few culinary combinations that work together as well as wine and cheese. By learning just a few basics of wine and cheese pairings, you can create combinations that bring out the true complexities of both, allowing you to experience new nuances of flavor. Use these five tips to host an elegant wine and cheese party for your friends and family.

Wine and cheese pairings from Hickory Farms

Source: James Merrell via Real Simple

Start by gathering your wines and cheeses. While as a general rule, white wines make better pairings, you can also use a lighter-bodied red. When creating your pairings, choose to contrast your flavors. If you’re using a creamy cheese, for example, a dessert wine will bring out its natural sweetness, while dry wines will add a pleasing acidic note. To make sure you enjoy your selections, try out your pairings before serving them at a party.

Wine and cheese pairings from Hickory Farms

Source: James Merrell via Real Simple

Next, send out your invitations. For something unique, make your wine and cheese invitations with personalized coasters that your guests can bring along to the party.

 

Wine & cheese from Hickory Farms

Source: James Merrell via Real Simple

 

Prepare your wine and cheese. Place sliced cheeses on slate trays with the name and description of each cheese written on the platter and remove your cheese from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Chill your white wines to about 45 degrees and your reds to 60.

Wine and cheese party ideas from Hickory Farms
 

Put out some snacks. Options that pair well with cheese platters include Hickory Farms’ Mixed Nuts or Colossal Cashews from the Hickory Holiday Celebration, or the Shortbread Cookies and  Signature Beef Summer Sausage included in the Winter Wonderland Basket.

Wine and cheese pairings from Hickory Farms

Source: James Merrell via Real Simple

Create a festive atmosphere. Prepare a few tasteful decorations, such as fresh flowers and candles, and a sophisticated playlist featuring jazz and classical music.

With these simple wine and cheese party ideas and one of Hickory Farms’ gourmet wine and cheese baskets, featuring fine wines, creamy cheeses, fresh fruits and delicious snacks, you’ll have everything that you need to throw an elegant wine and cheese party.

 

Cooking Safety Tips

On the day of your holiday feast, the kitchen is the most important room in your home. But between sautéeing, broiling and baking, accidents can happen. At Hickory Farms, we want to make sure everybody has a safe and joyful holiday season with these basic cooking safety tips.

Source: photostock via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Take precautions for your holiday feasts.

A night or two before the feast and cooking, fire safety tips should be your priority. Walk around your home and check all of your fire alarms. If smoke from the cooking causes the alarm to go off, avoid the urge to remove the battery.

Before you begin cooking, scrub your range top and oven. Get rid of as much build up as possible to prevent unexpected flare ups. Also, make sure all of your supplies are approved by a recognized testing facility and keep a small fire extinguisher at the ready.

Dress to impress and show off your arms. Long sleeves with loose cuffs can easily catch on fire while cooking.

Be Attentive

With your guests talking and laughing in the living room, it can be tempting to leave the kitchen for just a moment to join them. However, unattended pans can quickly turn into kitchen fires.

Keep your working space clean. Avoid placing items, such as towels and pot holders, near the oven or stovetop where they can burn.

Know how to react

If a fire does break out, be prepared. If a fire breaks out on the stove top, turn off the heat and place a lid over the flames. Grease fires often require a fire extinguisher. For oven fires, keep the door closed and turn off the range.

If you follow these simple safety tips, enjoying this time with your family can be one of the best parts of your holiday celebration. Enlist some of your relatives to help you in the kitchen and put out a platter full of Hickory Farms’ pantry essentials to nibble on while you cook. But above all, enjoy a warm and safe holiday celebration!

 

Featured Basket – Here’s to the Holidays: Wine and Cheese Pairings

Wine and cheese pairings from Hickory Farms

Are you planning on hosting a holiday cocktail party? With two varieties of our signature sausage, four of our delicious cheeses, a jar of flavorful Sweet Hot Mustard and a bottle of bold Lucinda & Millie organic Cabernet Sauvignon, Hickory Farms’ Here’s to the Holidays basket  is the perfect addition to a fantastic holiday gathering.

An introduction to pairing wine with food

Pairing wine with food from Hickory Farms

Source: mconnors via morgueFile

As a general rule, foods with more subtle flavor should be served with lighter wines, while bold or spicy foods should be served with robust wines.

Pairing wine with food from your basket

Gourmet sausage and cheese from Hickory Farms
When pairing a gourmet meat and cheese platter with wine, the most important thing to consider is balance. Each component should act in harmony with one another, bringing out additional complexities in the flavor profile.

Wine and cheese pairings are one of the easiest to master. Simply read the descriptions of each and look for similarities. The big flavors of your Cabernet, for example, will go well with salty, aged cow’s milk cheeses, such as our Farmhouse Cheddar Blend. If you really want to bring out the spicy notes in your wine, try pairing the Cabernet with our Jalapeño Cheddar Blend.

Although you may not see it often, wine and meats are another natural pairing.The appeal of this pairing comes from a sensation known as “mouth feel.” While wine leaves your mouth feeling astringent and slightly dry, the natural fats in meat add a complimentary soothing touch. To maximize this sensation, take a sip of your wine and hold it in your mouth for a moment. Follow this with a bite of Hickory Farms’ signature turkey or beef sausage to really wake up your taste buds.

Another factor to consider is texture. Foods with contrasting textures create greater interest. Top your salami with a piece of creamy Swiss cheese for a rich textural treat.

Pairing wine with food from Hickory Farms

Source:James Merrell via Real Simple

With these simple tips and pairing wine with food from Hickory Farms‘ Here’s to the Holiday’s gourmet sausage and cheese platter, your holiday party is sure to be a huge success!