Host an Eco Wine & Cheese Party

Host an Eco Wine & Cheese Party
Claire Paparazzo, wine director for the farm-to-table Blue Hill restaurant in New York City, helped us put together this list. Your neighborhood shop can suggest comparable wines.

  1. A bright, honeyed sparkling wine like the 2004 Sparkling Pinot Blanc, Lieb Family Cellars, N.Y.
  2. A crisp Riesling like the 2006 Handley Cellars Riesling, Calif.
  3. A smoky, fruity Pinot Noir like a 2007 A to Z Pinot Noir, Ore.
  4. A rich, bold Cabernet Sauvignon such as the 2005 Crocker & Starr Cabernet Sauvignon, Calif.
  5. A port with flavors of plum and toffee such as the Quinta do Infantado Ruby Port, Portugal

With the help of Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheesemongers in New York City, we came up with the following suggestions. Ask at your local cheese counter for similar products made near you.

  1. A fresh, young goat cheese like Pearl from Seal Cove Farm, Maine
  2. A bloomy cheese (one with a white, pillowy rind) or a washed-rind cheese (a more pungent cheese washed with salt water or alcohol as it ages) like Grayson from Meadow Creek Dairy, Va.
  3. A semi-firm cheese like the Goat Tomme from Twig Farm, Vt.
  4. A firm cheese such as Cabot Clothbound Cheddar from Jasper Hill Farm, Vt.
  5. A blue cheese such as Boucher Blue from Boucher Family Farm, Vt.

For more creative—and nutritious—pairings, skip the crackers and French bread and serve your cheese with these small bites, which provide bonus antioxidants and minerals.

  • Endive or fresh figs with young, creamy cheese
  • Grapes or fennel with bloomy or washed rind cheese
  • Dried cherries or cranberries with semi–firm cheese
  • Dried figs, apples, or quince paste with firm or hard cheese
  • Honey, pear, or walnuts with blue cheese