Wine and Cheese Party: Easy Entertaining for Drop-in Guests
In this post: If you’ve ever had unexpected guests drop by, you’ll love these easy entertaining tips for pulling together an impromptu wine and cheese party.⇒
Last weekend the phone rang.
An old friend was in the neighborhood and wanted to stop by. I was delighted to see her and said “sure, come on over!” Then I went to the refrigerator to see what snacks I could serve.
There was a half bagel, 2 lemons and some left over pad thai from 3 days ago. I was mortified!
Well, ok, there were a few more things, but nothing that could readily be put together into a cohesive spread of hors d’oeuvres.
If it was my brother, I’d just take out the pad thai and let him dig into the container. But this was someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. I needed to get creative.
Wine and Cheese Party
Step one was to take out a bottle of wine. I figured serving drinks would cover a multitude of sins. We have a wine fridge and always keep wine chilled and ready to serve. This was a good place to start.
Next I pulled out my prettiest goblets and this inspired me to style a lovely presentation. What it lacked in substance, I’d make up for in visuals.
I was now on a roll and this drove me to take a closer look at what we had on hand. There were some grapes in the produce bin. And a package of crackers. And finally an epiphany… I had some cheese!
Not really the selection I’d gather if I was planning this in advance, but enough to munch on with a glass of wine. A mini wine and cheese party. Now we were in business.
I pulled out my prettiest cheese tray and some vintage accessories. An antique marmalade jar, some mother-of-pearl spreaders, a tiny silver tray and a cheese knife or two.
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Fortunately, I always have fresh flowers in the house. I buy them with my groceries and they make me smile.
I took apart my arrangement and cradled the stems in a white embroidered napkin, then draped them over the side of the cheese tray to cover for the fact that I had way more tray than cheese.
Once I plattered the cheeses, I filled in with grapes and crackers. I checked the pantry once again, for items I might’ve missed the first time, as they would’ve seemed like nothing on their own, but could add interest to the charcuterie board type presentation that was beginning to take shape. I found dried apricots, almonds, and assorted olives. That was enough to fill the platter along with the flowers decorating the corner.
This whole thing took me all of ten minutes. I was left wondering why do I ever get stressed with complicated hors d’oeuvres?
My lovely little wine and cheese party was perfect for this impromptu occasion.
If you’re like me, you probably over-plan when entertaining. But I learned from this experience that a little bit of cheese and wine (or really whatever you have on hand) can go a long way when presented beautifully to your guests.
It’s kind of like wrapping a simple present in an amazing package… 😉
So next time a long lost friend calls and they’re in the neighborhood, go ahead and invite them over. I’m sure you can do better than a half eaten carton of pad thai!
Some items that might be in your pantry or fridge to add to a cheese platter:
- Pepperoni & charcuterie meats
- Fruit (canned or fresh)
- Assorted nuts
- Jams, fig or other spreads
- Chocolate pieces
- Small slices of bread
- Hummus & other dips
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Very nice cutlery. It looks like you prefer white wine and french goodies 🙂
I am always serving fresh goat cheese with fig jam or marmelade. I’ve learned it here in France since I am here. Hugs. Monika
Ah, how lucky that you’re in France!! Yes, I definitely do prefer French goodies, especially white French burgundies. I didn’t think of using the marmalade with goat cheese, but I do sometimes do it with baked brie. Funny – I always wonder/worry if people that are actually from France would consider my style French since I always say it is, but I’m sure its the American version… ;-)!
Beautiful presentation Lory! Like Handmade Creations said, I too always keep red pepper jelly on hand and serve it with cream cheese in a pinch. I also always keep a frozen set of appetizers in the fridge (the store bought kind) like Spanakopita. If I need them, they are there. When they’ve been in the fridge for a while I make them on a Friday night for the family to have a little end of the week party and replace them at the grocery store the next day.
Thanks, Nancy! I never heard of red pepper jelly but I better go check it out. I love roasted peppers so if its anything like that, I’m in. Also like the idea of frozen hors d’oeuvres to keep for just this kind of thing… 🙂
Lory, you are so right! Wine and cheese are perfect for “drop ins”, but your presentation with the napkin wrapped flowers make it sooo special! And voila! You’re the perfect hostess! I really like this post 😉
Beautiful presentation, Lori. I’m sure your friend felt special.
I do love your gorgeous glasses and mother of pearl spreaders!
You make everything beautiful and seem so simple. I over analyze having people over, even family. Trying to put an end to that and realizing rustic and simple doesn’t mean no beauty.
Thanks, Cindy! Well, when it comes to more involved holidays, believe me, I’m not so relaxed… 😉 But I really like this more simply kind of entertaining. I also like to have people over for drinks before dinner and then go out to dinner. It’s the best of both worlds!
I keep jars of olives, cans of oysters and almonds on hand. I put them in small dishes on the cheese tray or in a pretty divided dish. I keep a jar of pepper jelly on hand, too. We don’t have a wine fridge but I find white is the perfect temp when kept in the garage at this time of the year. It’s my well stocked wine cellar. Wink! Wink!
I love the idea of flowers laying over the tray. So pretty and a creative way to hide when there is not a lot of food.
Thanks, Joanna! And I love the idea of cans of oysters!!
You always make everything look so beautiful…great presentation!!!
Your presentation is always so beautiful and I love reading your blog! Thank you for all your wonderful ideas and for sharing with your readers.
Ah, so pretty, as always. You are such an inspiration!!
I would love to see what you’d do with some advance planning, this is beautiful!
Great idea to fill the tray with fresh flowers – love that idea!
Thanks, Patti! I think flowers make everything look better… 😉
Oh my you are my inspiration and what a beautiful table presentation
Beautiful and creative ideas! Would love for you to come link up at Sunday Features! http://bit.ly/2BA6K20
I like this blog!!! You have the finest and most creative decor ideas ever.
Lory, you are so creative and have a beautiful style! Thank you for the inspiration!
Thank you so much for the kind words, Diane!