I’ve mentioned some of my wine nights before but never went into the details, but I’ve decided, that’s gotta change. Wine Night is so enjoyable and so easy that everyone should do it. It’s versatile so you don’t get bored, scalable for any number of guests, and is compartmental so that everyone can contribute. What better way is there to have a great evening with friends. It’s so easy (because everything can be store-bought), that you could still pull this off tonight! Here’s what you need:

Full table

FoodMayhem’s Holy Trinity: Wine, Cheese, and Fruit
~with just these three things, you can have a mini event going, a pre-dinner mingle or an after work social.

Wine: Pick whatever wine you like. Try different ones. If you don’t know what you like, ask for suggestions at your local wine store. Many of them have free tastings. I just like having a different one every time, and you’ll never run out of new ones to try, ever!

Cheese: You’ve heard it before; wine pairs well with cheese. We happen to love cheese to begin with and this is a great excuse for trying more and more cheeses. We try to have a mix of some old favorites with some new ones to taste. Again, a store with a good cheese section (or if you’re lucky, a whole cheese shop) can help you navigate a cheese plate. They usually give samples too.

Fruit: The pairing of cheese and fruit dominates my diet. I believe nature intended for this pairing. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try fig (dried, fresh, or jam) with brie, try apples or pears with blue cheese, try tomatoes with fresh mozzarella. You will be hooked and never look back again. Jams and preserves are also fantastic!

Wine Night: The Full Shebang!
~on top of the holy trinity, you can add on any or all of these things to make it a full on wine night.

Bread/Crackers – it’s easier to eat the cheese when you have bread and/or crackers. You can spread cheese on them and also make yourself mini sandwiches. They will also fill you up more if you are making this a meal.

Meat – This makes your meal much more substantial. Thinly sliced cured meats are my favorite, stuff like thinly sliced prosciutto, speck, and salami. You can also have sausage, cocktail wieners, or even smoked fish.

Vegetable – Vegetables can be a nice touch for color and for balance (nutrient factor), again making it  more complete meal.

Nuts – Nuts really jazz up your fruit and cheese plates by adding another texture. You can use any kind you like.

Olives – Wine nights are about sipping, nibbling, and chatting. Olives are perfect for little bites into the night.

Little Extras – Mustards, pickles/cornichons, olive oil, condiments…I bet you can think of more cute little additions.

Notes: Just some things to keep in mind when you’re planning a wine night.

Combining – Any of the categories can be combined for even more variety. Vegetables, fruit, and cheese can be in a salad. Tomato Bruschetta is combining vegetable and bread. They don’t have to all be separate.

Tastings – You can take any one category and do a tasting for something fun. Do an olive tasting, a olive oil tasting, a cracker tasting…

Room Temperature – As I mentioned, wine night is about nibbling the night away with friends. It’s best to choose foods that are best left in room temperature. You don’t want to get up constantly to heat something. You don’t want to make courses. Everything should just be available on the table and even the host/hostess can relax and enjoy.

So here on in, I’m going to give full details on all my wine nights and how we fill each catergory (coming up in the next post).

posted by jessica at 02:58 PM Filed under Basics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.