How To Style the Table for Cheese and Wine Night

A wine and cheese party should be an indulgent, elegant occasion – and it starts with the table setting. Read our styling guide for expert hosting ideas.

Cheese and wine night essentials

How to style the table for cheese and wine night

A wine and cheese party should be an elegant occasion where guests can relax and indulge themselves. As a host, your role is to create a memorable evening that offers tasteful entertainment, delectable drinks and delicious food – and it all starts with the table setting. Which wine glasses should you use? Are you decorating the space with special adornments? Does your tableware radiate the level of luxury that the ambience demands? At Nambé, we have plenty of cheese and wine night ideas to get you started, from how to style a table in the right way to which serving dishes you should use.

How to decorate the table for cheese and wine night

When it comes to table accessories and decorative elements, it’s all about achieving the correct aesthetic. While a cheese and wine night rightly shouldn’t be as extravagant or as formal as a dinner party, it should still bring a sense of refinement and elegance, which all comes with the small, intricate details that need to be carefully considered.

The perfect table décor should strike a thoughtful balance between lavish exuberance and toned down simplicity. And it goes without saying that there is no room for stinginess – such as paper serviettes or plastic tumblers. That’s why it’s crucial to set the table with high-quality serveware, glassware and embellishments, without over-doing it.

For cheese and wine night, it’s best to keep it traditional. Crisp, white table linen is your first priority, alongside embossed or embroidered cloth serviettes to add a touch of personality. These natural colours will complement your sparkling flatware and glassware perfectly. For further shine, simply place two or three candlesticks sporadically on the table. If you’re hosting your cheese and wine soiree on a spring or summer evening, a distinct clear vase filled with vibrant flowers makes for the ideal seasonal centrepiece. Not only do these clean, premium colour schemes coordinate with any interior, but they’ll also serve as sophisticated accents for your cheese and wine selection.

Cheese and wine night essentials

Before you start preparing for the evening ahead, you need to think about a few cheese and wine night essentials that will help to elevate your hosting expertise. If you’re aiming to create a lavish atmosphere, your serveware and tableware needs to illustrate this. If you’re planning a more simplistic event, adding some humble homely touches can make the world of difference, such as linen-lined bread baskets.

Generally, you should keep things minimal, yet opulent. Small side plates that are both durable and visually appealing are an absolute necessity for sampling cheese. Alongside this, you’ll need to offer both a white and a red wine glass to each guest – clear, clean crystal glasses are reliable choices for an elegant table.

With cheese boards, you should opt for marble, glass or solid wood. A high-quality cheese board sets the precedent for the food it serves, laying the perfect foundation for each cheese offering you’ll provide. When it comes to the smaller details, you should keep red wine bottles on simple white or silver saucers, while white wine or champagne should be nestled comfortably in a cooler or ice bucket. For effortless cheese slicing and serving, choose a good quality cheese knife that is sharp and practical, but also harmonises with the tableware. For instance, try a silver or stainless steel knife as opposed to a slicer with a wooden or plastic handle.

If you want to instil a sense of quirkiness with more adventurous patterns or colours, this should ideally be restricted to a single theme and used only if it fits well with the colour scheme of your dining space.

One of the most visually pleasing ways to make a buffet table more interesting is to be creative with your space when it comes to laying out your food and drink. A tiered cake plate or cake stand can highlight a wheel or cake of cheese. Linen serviettes can be tucked into wine glasses, or folded into shapes that sit neatly on each place setting. Group candlesticks together in twos or threes to create a sense of cohesion. If you have plenty of table space to work with, try highlighting each wine and cheese pairing together. And most importantly, be generous with the utensils you provide and set out enough cheese knives, butter knives, forks and wine openers – because your guests shouldn’t have to share.

How do you set a table with wine glasses?

Knowing how to style a table with glassware is one of the most significant lessons in hosting. Each place setting should be set with all the glasses that will be used during the cheese and wine night. Therefore you’ll need to offer champagne flutes, white wine glasses and red wine glasses – as well as tumblers for water to cleanse the palate between each bite of food. Keeping it traditional is always recommended. This means the water glass belongs to the right of the central plate, just above the main dining knife. Wine glasses should be set to the right of the water glasses in the order in which they will be used. So if you’ve planned out each cheese tasting course for the evening and paired a specific wine for each one, you can easily plan out your glassware, too.

Which cheeses should you serve?

When offering food to guests, less is never more. Ultimately, you’ll want to set out a selection of cheese that appeals to everyone’s tastes, so that no one is limited on choice. With this in mind, your cheese and wine night essentials should ideally include soft, hard and blue cheeses. You should encourage your guests to start with the softest cheese first – a good choice for this is a brie or camembert. This should then be followed up by the harder cheeses, such as Gruyère or Comté. Finally, your stronger – and usually more potent cheeses such as stilton - should be eaten. Cheese should be eaten in a certain order so that the flavours are not compromised. Another clever way to ensure that each cheese is as flavoursome as possible is to also offer grapes, chutneys, quince pastes or pear and apple chunks as palate cleansers alongside your cheese board.

Cheese board ideas
Cheese board ideas

Hosting a cheese and wine party

Are you ready to host your cheese and wine party? Our serving platters, glassware, cheese boards and tableware promise to deliver an authentic yet opulent feel to your evening. Ideal for preparing a buffet or banquet that looks as appetising as it tastes, or for putting on a seasonal spread that oozes sophistication, our kitchenware and tableware has been crafted by award-winning designers and artists. Browse our collection today and leave a long lasting impression on your guests.

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