When my aunt offered to throw me a bridal shower in New York City, I didn’t hesitate with my venue selection. I’ve taken classes at the Artisinal Cheese Center before and always thought it would be a great place to have a party. Having been to my fair share of showers over the years, I thought it would be nice to have an activity weaved into the event (that would also help me avoid embarrassing shower games).
We started with a cocktail reception of sparkling wine, fondue and a few mild cheeses. Then, when everyone entered the room, we sat at round tables with a plate of cheese and a wine selection at each place setting. Two whites and two reds were featured: Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, Pinot Noir and Malbec. I have a few pregnant friends and I wanted to make sure they were able to enjoy the experience as well, so the venue selected a variety of juices that they thought best reflected the wines that the rest of us were tasting.
Working from mildest to strongest and featuring a variety of milks, the fromagiere walked us through tasting each of the seven cheeses and seeing how each paired with one of the four wines. Starting from the bottom and eating clockwise, there was: Majorero Pimenton from Spain, Toma di Bufala from Italy, Amarelo da Beira Baixa from Portugal, Ocooch Mountain from the United States, Helen from the United States, Beaufort Chalet d’Alpage from France and Gorgonzola Piccante Guffanti from Italy. Everyone weighed in with their own pairing opinions and we jotted down our thoughts on a cheese spreadsheet. I found a new favorite cheese in the buffalo milk cheese, Toma di Bufala; it was smooth and buttery. It was also my first time trying a buffalo milk cheese other than when it’s used for mozzarella.
Instead of flowers, centerpieces featured gerbera daisy plants that would last much longer and could be taken home by guests. Cake pops were an easy-to-eat option for after the cheese tasting or for guests to take home.
In keeping with the wine and cheese theme, my bridesmaids selected beautiful glass wine stoppers to give as favors.
A wine and cheese shower theme can be easily replicated at any venue or at home. Be sure to have a varied selection of cheeses and a few wines on hand. It’s likely not everyone will agree on an ideal paring or like every cheese, but everyone will definitely go home happy and quite full.