Archive for wine tasting party

Chalkboard Paint Wine Glasses

Monday, June 9th, 2014

These chalkboard base wine glasses will add the perfect touch to your next party or shower. They also make great favors for guests to take home.

There are various types of chalkboard paint available at craft or home improvement stores. Instructions are below for both spray paint and colored paint methods.

The spray paint method was definitely the easiest and had a smoother finished look but the only color available is black. Therefore,  if you prefer to match the color theme of your  party or shower, use the brush method (but it was not as simple and was a longer process).

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Supplies:

If using the spray paint method, supplies needed:

  • Wine glasses ( dollar store, IKEA, etc)
  • Painters tape
  • Chalkboard spray paint ( hardware store or craft store)
  • Newspaper/ other paper to wrap the wine glass and protect surface

If using the colored paint method, supplies needed:

  • Wine glasses ( dollar store, IKEA, etc)
  • Painter’s tape
  • Chalkboard paint ( various colors available at craft stores)
  • Paint brush
  • Disposable bowl or cup

Instructions: 

Wash and dry your wine glasses. Depending on where you want the chalkboard paint to end, tape the glass stem.

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If using  the spray paint method, wrap the wine glass with a newspaper or grocery bag.

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Working in a ventilated area, lay some newspaper or grocery bag  on your work surface.  Shake paint well and holding the paint about 2-3 inches away from the glass,  lightly spray until surface is coated. Let dry 15- 20 minutes and repeat another coat.

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 Let dry at least 2 hours and remove tape from the stem. Let dry overnight.

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If using the color paint method, after taping the stem, add some paint to a cup or bowl. Using a paint brush, apply 3-4 coats, letting dry at least an hour in between each coat of paint.

IMG_1588After the last coat has dried, remove tape and let dry overnight.

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 Now you’re ready to write! Lay different colored chalks or chalk pens for your guests to choose from. (Some chalk colors require some soap and water to remove)

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Have fun!

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Hosting a Wine and Cheese Party

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Wine and cheese are two great pairings in life. But with so many options, where do you start? As with food pairing, there are no “rules”. It really comes down to personal preference and matching wine and cheese to enhance the flavor/taste, not overpower the other.

Does the cheese enhance the taste of the wine? Does the wine enhance the taste of the cheese? If you agree, it’s a good pairing and if you don’t, try a different pairing!

If you are planning a wine and cheese party, it’s best to provide a variety of  cheeses with different textures for comparison:

–          Fresh /milder cheese (Mozzarella, Havarti)

–          Soft cheese (Brie,  Camembert)

–          Semi hard cheese (Gouda, Gruyère)

–          Hard / stronger cheese (Aged Gouda, Manchego)

 

The same with wine. Have a variety to taste and compare and provide wines some may not have tried:

–          Sparkling (Prosecco, Cava )

–          White (Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino)

–          Red  (Tempranillo, Zinfandel)

–          Sweet (Riesling, Sauternes)

 

Though there are no rules, below are some approaches to pairing:

  • Pairing wine & cheese from the same region is a good, “safe” start (Spanish Tempranillo with Manchego cheese)
  • Identify dominate flavors of cheese & seek wines that share similar flavor profiles ( acid with acid)
  • Identify dominate flavors of cheese & seek wines that share opposite flavor profiles ( salt with sweet)
  • Determine wine list first & cheese will be dependent upon type of wine chosen

 

Once you determine your approach, below are some guidelines or suggestions:

 

Match Textures and/or Flavors

  • Goat cheese ( acidity)  pairs well with light acidic wines such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • Brie (creamy/buttery)  pairs well with a buttery wine such as  Chardonnay

Pair White Wines with Light Cheeses

  • Fresh / semi soft cheeses are lighter, has milder flavor and less salt which pairs well with  delicate white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

(If you prefer red wine with lighter cheese, Pinot Noir pairs well as it’s the lightest of the reds)

 

Pair Red Wines with Stronger Cheeses

  • Intense red wines such as  Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon can handle stronger types of cheeses, such as aged gouda
  • Spicy wines such as Zinfandel with smoked cheddar

(Exception: young red wines with high tannins are better with buttery/creamy cheese for balance)

 

Champagne /Sparkling Wine  with Blue, Creamy and Salty Cheeses

  • Yeasty, toasty qualities of sparkling wines balances with blue cheese
  • Rich and creamy cheese contrasts with the bubbles
  • Bubbles help diffuse salt in stronger cheeses (salt and sweet combo)

 

Hosting a party can be expensive so if you are planning your wine and cheese pairings ahead, assign each guest a bottle of wine or cheese pairing. I’m sure your guests will be happy to contribute for a fun evening with great friends!
Cheers!!