There is nothing I love more than getting together with friends for fun evenings, I’ve always hosted gatherings! However, whereas as when I was my younger self it was easy and affordable (I knew no different!) my friends and I now have more refined tastes… we can no longer always get by on cheap alcohol and celery!
These days, a good evening includes a cheese board along with some delicious wine pairings. Mostly, followed by Gin! Good cheese and wine are thought of as expensive. One couldn’t put value cheese slices on a cheese board and pair it with an own brand box wine!
Nevertheless, that does not mean a cheese and wine evening needs to break the bank. Even in unprecedented times, like we are experiencing now, you can host an affordable cheese and wine evening that will impress. Your bubble at least!
While you can’t skimp on the cheese, if you look well enough, you can find cheaper wine tastes almost as good as the more expensive options. If you aren’t friends with a gang of sommeliers, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Here are some tips on looking for good, cheap wine.
Familiarise Yourself With Grapes
Lots of people name wines without really knowing what they’re talking about. It can seem daunting bur, don’t worry! People speak about a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon as if these are brands, but they are actually types of grapes, believe it or not!
But, this does not mean that all Merlots are the same. Definitely not. There are some wineries that really know how to ruin good grapes and make bad wine. However, if you know what type of grapes you and your friends’ favorite wine is made from, you can start looking for cheap options that are more than good enough.
Try out Local!
Some of the world’s best wine regions might be nowhere near where you live. You may be tempted to buy wines from Saint Emilion or Marlborough because you know that is where great wine is produced. However, you are going to be paying a premium not only for the quality, but for import costs and taxes as well. You can nearly always find local wineries you can support anywhere in the UK.
High End With Low Cost
A thing to remember, avoiding the big brands is a good start. You’ll be paying a premium for their renowned quality, in addition to what’s probably an expensive region. However, some of the most expensive wineries also have cheaper options that are just as good!
The price might imply low quality, but big names are not going to risk their reputations by selling bad wine. It won’t be as good as the premium options, but it will be more than sufficient for you and your friends evening in.
Mix it up!
If you really want some of the best wines to go with your cheese, you can choose to splash out on a couple of great bottles while having a couple of cheaper bottles for later on in the evening! You will pair the best wines with cheese, but use the cheap wines as top ups and for casual drinking… or at that point you know your friends won’t know the difference after a couple!
Finally remember, unless your friends are complete wine snobs and are highly educated in the world of wine, do not worry! Your friends will enjoy the wine you choose, i’m sure!
Most of all, Cheers!