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The possibilities for what you can create with a wine and cheese gift basket are as numerous as the variants of wine available for purchase. Pairing sweet and savory wines and cheeses can be the basis of a family get-together, a girl's night out, or even a romantic getaway for two. Add a few more snacks and treats, and you’ve got yourself the beginnings of a party.
Go beyond the basic wine and cheese gift basket with the ideas we’ve put together for you below. At the same time, remember that we gather around food and drink as a way to connect with one another and have fun. No matter how you spend your time while drinking wine and eating cheese, the basket you create could become the inspiration for a long-standing tradition in the future.
Charcuterie: a popular accompaniment
Wine and cheese are often enough for a light meal, but oftentimes they may be served alongside various meats as well. Charcuterie, or a selection of cold meats that have been thoroughly cooked, complement the wine and cheese by giving guests a balanced selection. These meats can be served on a wooden board or platter.
Wine is often paired with meat during meals, so it’s typically a harmonious partnership between the three. Meats on the charcuterie board can vary from traditional and more reserved meats to exotic and even region-specific meat cuts that provide nearly as much flavor as the wine and cheese you pair them with. Additional charcuterie offerings may include fruit, crackers, nuts, or chocolates.
This collection is pictured in a 16 in x 13¼ in x 3½ in wooden gift box by Carpenter Core.
Non-alcoholic wine and cheese gift baskets
Not everyone can drink wine, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo giving them a wine and cheese gift basket. Instead, you can focus on the main elements of the basket to come up with your own non-alcoholic gift basket that’s sure to please.
For example, you might include earrings shaped like wine glasses. You can also find charms that resemble cheese wheels. A pin shaped like grapes could lend something to a non-alcoholic offering as well.
Alternatively, you can choose non-alcoholic wines such as Surely Rosé, Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon Dealcoholized, and St. Regis Chardonnay De-Alcoholized Wine. While some people feel a bit tipsy off these wines simply because of the experience associated with this drink, the effects are strictly within the mind.
Create your own wine-soaked cheeses
Certain cheese companies have experimented with infusing their cheeses with wine and other spirits. The results of these endeavors are flavorful cheeses with a burst of alcohol. Popular brands and flavors include Rogue River Blue, Margot, Ubriaco, Pour Me A Slice, and Murray’s CaveMaster Reserve Project X.
You can also create your own wine-soaked cheeses. Simply take a glass of the wine you would like to infuse into a cheese, and place the desired cheese within the glass. Depending on the consistency of the cheese, it may take anywhere from 2 to 7 or more hours for the full effect. You can experiment with a few glasses of your favorite wine to see which cheeses pair well and for how long they should be soaked.
Infusing cheese with wine is a type of fat washing. After the cheese has been sitting in the wine, you’ll want to strain it and freeze the fat/cheese that’s left. You can do this multiple times in order to infuse more wine into the cheese.
Wine and cheese guessing game
Wine and cheese gift baskets can also provide entertainment within friend groups. If you and your friends think they know a lot about wines and cheeses, put their knowledge to the test. Plus, it’s entertainment for the whole group.
To begin, choose a selection of wines and/or cheeses to test. Have someone blindfolded and sitting down at a table. They should know the possible selections before you begin the game but should not be able to see you select which wine/cheese they will sample.
Ask them to taste the wine/cheese and determine which brand or type it belongs to. Write down their answers and compare them after all selections have been sampled. Compare what options they chose with the actual wines and/or cheeses tested to see who has the most sophisticated palate. Celebrate with a glass of wine and a few nibbles of cheese.
Delight your friends and family with a sweet and savory wine and cheese gift basket. Add more snacks as you please, but remember that it’s more about sharing an experience than how much you spend. Focus on coming together to build upon the relationships you already cherish.
What other ideas can you think of for making a sweet and savory wine and cheese gift basket?