How to host an at-home wine and cheese night on a budget

0
597

I love a good wine night, especially when it is filled with plenty of snacks, charcuterie and of course, delicious wine. I try to stay within a reasonable budget for both low-key and slightly more extravagant gatherings. It is key to go to the store with a plan, in order to keep from spending money on items you don’t really care about.

The Budget: 

Decide how much you want to spend on the party. Aim to spend at least half of your budget on wine, though this may change if guests are bringing part of the wine and how much you envision your group drinking. A good, general rule is to plan on about half of a bottle per guest — and then adjust that number based on how long your guests are over, which night of the week you’re hosting and of course, who your guests are.

The Wine:

If you are the one providing the wine, limit yourself to a maximum of five different types of wine. This will keep you from overwhelming palates. Pick an assortment of dry and sweet reds, dry and sweet whites, rosé or Prosecco, or have a smaller focus. Do not be afraid to get creative!

The Food:

After you have picked out your wine, it is time to select food. Offer foods that go well with wines you have chosen. Pick cheeses, fruits, meats and other bites that are typically paired with wine. Throw in a few unexpected elements as well.

Below are a few key finds and steals that will add to any of your future wine nights without breaking the bank:

Photo by Christy Core Harris

Aldi

Various Charlotte locations

Aldi is a great resource for gathering dried fruits, seeds, nuts, chips and other snacks. Because I typically go to Aldi with a very specific list, I will buy doubles and even triples of nonperishable items. This way, I am partially prepared for future get-togethers.

Items for your spread:

  • Apricots
    Price: $2.79
  • Chopped pitted dates
    Price: $1.89
  • Figs
    Price: $1.89
  • Pumpkin seeds
    Price: $2.19
  • Sweet potato chips
    Price: $1.89
  • Apple chips
    Price: $1.69
  • Dark chocolate pomegranate or blueberry acai
    Price: $2.99
  • Exotic vegetable chips
    Price: $2.89
Photo by Christy Core Harris

Trader Joe’s

Various Charlotte locations

I unquestionably end up finding most of my food for a wine night from Trader Joe’s. They have a variety of small items that add a lot to any spread. Trader Joe’s offers reasonable prices on both food and wine for your get-together.

Items for your spread:

  • Salsa Authentica
    Price: $ 1.79
  • Peach Salsa
    Price: $2.29
  • Salsa Verde
    Price: $1.99
  • Chunky Salsa
    Price: $1.99
  • Plantains
    Price: $1.69
  • Medjool Dates
    Price: 4.99
  • Pomegranate seeds
    Price: $4.49
  • Truffle Marcona Almonds
    Price: $5.99
  • Crystallized Candied ginger
    Price: $1.69
  • Chili Spiced Mango
    Price: $2.49
  • Chocolate Chunks
    Price: $1.99
  • Fig Butter
    Price: $2.49
  • Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
    Price: $1.79
  • Almondia
    Price: $2.99
  • Ciabatta Demi Baguette
    Price: $1.29
  • Dozen Macarons
    Price: $4.99
  • Vegetable Birds Nest
    Price: $3.29
  • Dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt
    Price: $1.99
  • Dark chocolate Swiss 72% cacao
    Price: $2.29
  • Prosciutto
    Price: $3.99
  • Calabrese Salame
    Price: $2.99
  • 1,000 Day Gouda Cheese
    Price: $11.99/lb
  • Greek Olive Medley
    Price: $3.99
  • Brie*
    *Whatever Brie is on sale and also looks amazing

Wine:

  • Coastal Trader Joe’s wines
    Price: $4.99
  • Bay Moon Sauvignon Blanc
    Price: $5.99
  • Josh Sauvignon Blanc
    Price: $10.99
  • La Marca Prosecco:
    Price: $13.99
  • Prosecco Cecilia Boretta
    Price: $8.99
  • Mattellozzo Prosecco
    Price: $6.99
  • Bertrand Cote Des Roses Rose
    Price: $12.99
  • Carayon La Rose
    Price: $5.99
  • Josh Cabernet
    Price: $12.99
  • Trader Joe’s Cabernet
    Price: $6.99
  • Shaw Cabernet
    Price: $3.99
Photo via @TotalWineAndMore on Facebook

Total Wine and More

Various Charlotte locations

Total wine is a great resource for wine and their online price listings make it stress-free to compare prices. You can order online and pick up in store, have it shipped, or just head to the store and shop there. Obviously, wine selections will depend heavily on personal taste and often the season. I also find exploring their vast wine selection in person way too entertaining.

Items for your spread:

  • Michael David Cabernet Freakshow, 2015
    Price: $15.99
  • Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
    Price: $7.47
  • Bertrand Cote Des Roses Rose
    Price: $12.27
  • Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rose
    Price: $17.97
  • Meiomi Chardonnay
    Price: $14.99
  • Meiomi Pinot Noir
    Price: $15.97

Author’s Note: At any given time, purchase produce wherever it seems the freshest and is on special. The prices listed are without tax and are subject to change.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here