Fall entertaining is easy with a Wine & Cheese Bar. Set one up for holidays or any gathering with friends or family.
I hope you’re ready for a marathon of posts this week as I share my ideas for making Thanksgiving special and stylish! All week I’ll be sharing styled tables, DIY projects, and EASY recipes for hosting the holiday at home. I’m calling it my Autumn Entertaining Series and it all starts today with a Wine & Cheese bar that provides light bites to tie you over until the big meal.
Entertaining with a wine & cheese bar during dinner parties and holidays keeps guests occupied and happy while they wait for the meal.
My husband has always had an erratic work schedule so we have never been able to travel much for Thanksgiving to be with family. Several years ago we decided to get together with our other misfit friends (most of them in his industry too) and have Friendsgiving together. It was such fun and the highlight of the day ended up being the hours leading up to the big meal around 6 or 7 o’clock.
All day we would sip wine, nibble on appetizers, talk & laugh, and sometimes play a game or two. Things have changed in the last couple of years. Friends have moved away, some couples have separated, and some have had family move into town. As a result our Friendsgiving has sadly come to an end. However, those years of spending the day sipping wine & noshing on appetizers while waiting for the turkey to cook is what inspired my wine and cheese bar today. I hope it inspires you for ANY wine & cheese entertaining, or other occasion.
How to set up a Wine & Cheese Bar
I set up the bar in 3 different sections; one for food, one for wine, and one with cider and a “thankful tree“. I served a trio of wines including Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Syrah. These wines paired very well with the selection of cheese (white cheddar & Havarti with dill) and cheesy appetizers. All of the food here is light enough and bite size so it won’t fill you up while you’re waiting for dinner. You’ll find the link to these 3 easy cheese appetizers at the bottom.
For decor I chose a very non-traditional color palette of brown and turquoise, with a touch of vintage, and old newspaper print as the recurring details. All the decorative elements are made with paper, some craft punches, and items around the house.
I think the old newspaper print is symbolic of the different generations that come together at the holidays, and it feels a bit nostalgic. After all, the holidays are a great time to talk about the ‘good ole days.’
Decorating and Styling a wine and cheese bar
- You know how I like to use unique pieces to display food. This time I re-purposed a mini hutch into a “food cupboard” to serve appetizers from. I painted it and lined it with paper to keep it food safe and I think it looks adorable.
- I also utilized the doors as holders for our ‘thankful tags’. The idea came about because I felt like they needed some color, so I wrapped jute twine around the little doors and tucked in the tags for people to write down things that they are thankful for. They can then hang them on our tree branch for the day.
- Mini soup shots are served in shot glasses and displayed in boxes lined with more news print.
- Nuts find a home in small tin containers found at a home decor store.
- I have a drink option for those who don’t drink wine, or for the kids. I poured apple cider into two flip top bottles and serve it from a wire basket which also holds our ‘thankful branch’. Tag embellishments and a mini bunting dress up the display and of course the ‘thankful tags’ add a dash of color to the branch.
There you have ideas and tips for setting up a Thanksgiving wine & cheese bar. You can see my Fall eclectic table setting ideas here and stay tuned, there’s a LOT more to come this week!
Tips to Remember for entertaining with a wine & cheese bar
- Create a unique setting using a non-traditional color scheme and fun items from around the house.
- A wine & cheese bar is always a classic & satisfying appetizer option. Serve some quick & easy cheese appetizers to add extra flavor to the regular pairings.
- Some favorite wine varieties to serve are Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Syrah. Remember temperature can make or break your wine experience. Follow my 5 basic tips for serving wine for entertaining. Pinot Noir also pairs perfectly with your turkey dinner, and champagne is always on point.
- Create your own paper crafts & DIY flowers with craft punches, buttons, paper doilies, etc.