Wine and Cheese Tasting at the Baby Shower

Having a baby shower wine and cheese tasting is a really simple and terrific way to gather your friends together. And it's not that strange, by the way. It's only the guests of honor (the mommy-to-be and the new baby) that are not supposed to drink, and that doesn't mean the rest of the guests need to be penalized, too. Provide a good non-alcoholic wine or a refreshing fruit spritzer for the mommy-to-be and the teetotalers and you'll be ok.

Pick a note card with a bottle of wine and a hunk of cheese on the front. Fill in the details of the baby shower wine and cheese tasting. You could also look for postcards from California Wine Country or anything with vineyards pictured and send that. A practical request would be to ask the guests to bring a bottle of wine to the baby shower.

Try to channel Sonoma or Tuscany when you're decorating the party area. Set out some miniature Christmas lights for a bit of sparkle and lots of unscented white candles to set the scene. Don't use any scented candles at a wine and cheese tasting. It will bother the way you'll perceive the wine.

Set the wine and cheese area with large grape leaves, if you can. Set each wine bottle on its own grape leaf until it's time to open it. Have the selection of cheeses on a cold granite slab (the kind you pick up at the construction store; a large granite tile will do perfectly). You could write the name of the cheese in chalk at the side of the tile. Garnish your cheese board with miniature grapes and nuts and a few grape leaves.

It's very simple to choose cheese for the cheese board. Have a minimum of three kinds: one soft, one hard, and one goat cheese. Whether or not you would like them strongly flavored is a matter of personal choice. Serve them with crisp, bland crackers or thin, dry toast. A selection of fruits (berries, apples, pears, apricots, and figs) cuts the strong taste and a few nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans) balances out the richness. Some dried meats would be good too: air-dried beef, parma ham and thin slices of saucisson sec are great additions.

Dessert is not usually necessary for this type of meal but if one is wanted, a small portion of rich chocolate or fruit-based dessert paired with a strong coffee would be perfect.

There are certain accepted suggestions about which wine and cheese make perfect pairings. While consultations should be made while purchasing the wines and cheeses, it would be great to ask an expert to give a short explanation on some secrets behind perfect pairings. This can take the place of games at this more formal baby shower.

A wonderful favor for this baby shower wine and cheese tasting would be a split of a favorite wine with a personalized wine label stating the baby's name and due date. Pairing this with a complementary dried fruit will give your guests a baby shower favor they won't soon forget.