Updated: Apr 30, 2020
Forget the quarantinis! A virtual wine and cheese tasting is probably the most fun a group can have whilst social distancing. Good food, good wine and a bit of learning thrown in.
I roped in my family to trial and test this one. Things we do in the name of work, eh?
We chose the wines first, then the cheeses to best compliment. It helps to have a wine aficionado as part of the group. The '24 Hour Wine Critic' by Jancis Robinson is an easy to read wine guide. However, there are also plenty of online resources to help with the selection and theme. The Wine Folly was particularly useful, accompanied with some beautiful visuals.
Although the pairings are there to guide and you want to follow a group agenda, the best advice is to experiment. Buy a few good cheeses, pop the cork and start tasting. Nibble a little cheese, then take a sip of wine. Enjoy the flavours as they develop. And then ask yourself...do I like how this tastes? If not, then try a different cheese or a different wine.
Take your time, leave plenty of opportunity for discussion, note taking and questions in between each pairing. And, for those quick drinkers out there, remember you also don’t have to limit yourself to only one glass per wine…
Contact us if you want any tips on how to run your own.
EVENT AT A GLANCE
2 weeks before: Select wines and send to all participants for them to order
5 days before: Select final cheese pairings & send list of all participants for them to source
Day of event
9.00am: Put the Samur & Rosé in the fridge
6.00pm: Gather all notes ready for the session & take cheeses out of fridge
6.30pm: Send instructions to attendees. Ask them to create a wine glass placemat by drawing 6 circles on a piece of blank paper. Number each circle.
7.00pm: Prep cheese and bread, put all required glasses out on the table
7.15pm: Zoom call begins as people finalise equipment, food & drink
7.30pm: Wine tasting starts
7.35pm: Sumur & brie
8.00pm: Rosé & goats cheese
8.25pm: Shiraz & gouda, Syrah & blue cheese. Taste these as a pair, alternating with small sips.
9.00pm: Cabernet Sauvignon & cheddar
9.25pm: Bordeaux & Parmesan
9.50pm: Round table top wine & cheese pick
10.10pm: Event close
6-12 people is ideal
Food & drink?
Wine & cheese pairings, of course!
Bouvet Ladubay Saumur, France Brie
Jas de Vignes IGP Mediterranee Rosé 2018 Goats cheese
Kangarilla Road Shiraz 2017/18 McLaren Vale Smoked Gouda
Domaine Les Yeuses 'Les Epices' Syrah 2017 PGI Pays d'Oc Blue cheese
The Long Coast Cabernet Sauvignon Mature Cheddar
Château Cap de Faugères 2011, Castillon Côte de Bordeaux Parmesan
With a white sourdough or oatcakes to soak everything up. Make sure you have water available to hydrate and clear the palate.
Bonus treat? A little taste of chocolate at the end does wonders to finish an evening of indulgences.
Google Forms to organise tasting notes
Pen & paper
White wine glasses
Red wine glasses
Make sure you select some wines with screw tops so they keep for a while after the tasting.