Sunday, September 7, 2014
Wine & Vegan Cheese Party!
This post doesn't exactly fit into my Mofo Pantry Raid theme, but I had a party this weekend, so I wanted to post about it anyway.
"It's like a Tupperware party but with wine instead of storage containers." That's how I explained to my potential guests about the Wine Shop at Home party I hosted this past weekend. My friend Heidi recently became a Wine Shop at Home consultant. She goes to the host's house and the guests sample six different wines, while Heidi offers a description and suggested food pairings for each. At the end, guests can buy bottles or sign up to host their own tasting.
I'm not always crazy about the selling-from-home parties (except Arbonne because they make awesome vegan skincare products). But a wine party? That's something I can get down with. I agreed to host a tasting at my house, and we had the party this past Saturday night. Here are the wines we sampled. The bottles are empty because I forgot to snap a pic before we downed them all. Oops!
Now just a little disclaimer: I do not know about the vegan-ness of Wine Shop at Home's wines. They come from small-batch wineries in Napa Valley, so they're not big brands that are listed on Barnivore. And my rule with wine is generally to drink it unless I know for sure it isn't vegan. If no info is available, I just hope for the best. It's a sticky vegan topic, and I'll be hosting a discussion about this very issue at Vida Vegan Con 3 in Austin next May.
The Wine Shop at Home website recommends hosts serve a couple of cheeses, crackers, fruit, and chocolates. And I guess I could have purchased some Daiya wedges, but I'm always looking for an excuse to make Miyoko's awesome aged vegan cheese from Artisan Vegan Cheese. I made a Cashew Chevre with Lemon Zest and Peppercorn.
This was a light and tangy white soft cheese with a hint of spice from the peppers. I found that it paired best with the sauv blanc and the rosé.
I also made Miyoko's Sharp Cheddar.
LOVED this cashew cheese! It had a sharp and tangy bite from the aging process, and it had a nice twang from the miso. This was great with the red wines, which are my fave anyway. I also love that this gave me an excuse to use my cheese board and accessories. Vegans can use that stuff too!
We had the cheeses on a variety of crackers — water crackers, garlic & basil crispbreads by Z Cracker, and Ritz Bacon & Black Pepper crackers (yes, they're vegan).
I considered making truffles, but I really just didn't have time. So I broke up a few vegan chocolate bars — Theo Cherry Almond Chocolate, Endangered Species Almond Butter Creme Filled Chocolate, and Chuao Chocolatiers Orange A-Go-Go.
We also had grapes, but y'all know what those look like. Here's Heidi, our lovely wine consultant, and my friend Greg.
And here's Shay and I, enjoying one of the reds.
We kept the party small so the six bottles of wine would be enough to go around. But we still had plenty of people to throw down — Cassi and Amy (left), Jordan and Andy (right), and Shay, Nicole, and Vaughan (bottom).
We had a lovely night! And I ended up ordering a bottle of the Syrah because it was my fave of the night. Since I was the host, I also got to order a free bottle of the sparkling wine. Bonus: I have two wheels of cashew cheese leftover since the recipes made four wheels, and we only made it through one of each. I know what I'll be snacking on all week!