Choose wines that have been made in the South, or better yet, wines that have been made from Southern fruits. For example, muscadine, peach, and strawberry wines are all deliciously sweet and Southern! Of course, you’ll want wines that aren’t sweet as well, so be sure to include traditional reds and whites. Check out these Southern wineries: Duplin Winery, Lake Ridge Winery, San Sebastian Winery, Georgia Winery, Tiger Mountain Vineyards, or Three Sisters Vineyards Winery.
2. Wine alternative
Of course, not everyone will be imbibing at your party, so provide an alternative for those who are underage, designated drivers, or just don’t care for wine. Sweet tea is many times referred to as the "House Wine of the South" anyway, but may I recommend a slightly fancier option? Muscadine Grape Juice is about as Southern as it gets, and I happen to know where to find the most delicious Purple and White Muscadine Juice. Yes, this is a shameless self-promotion for my husband and our family’s operation: Paulk’s Pride! Check us out at www.paulkspride.com
You can’t have a wine and cheese party without cheese! I do suggest having a variety of textures and flavors for everyone to enjoy: soft, creamy, mild, sharp, aged, blue, etc. Our rural local grocery store doesn’t have many choices, but you can find more options at larger grocery store chains. Or, support a family-owned business such as Sweetgrass Dairy. For a uniquely Southern touch, how about some pimiento cheese? Proper Pepper Small Batch Pimento Cheese is a delicious alternative if you don’t make your own. Of course, if you’re near our small town of Ocilla, Georgia, feel free to stop by The Shoppes at Fourth and Cherry to order some of The Cafe’s Pimiento Cheese!
A variety of cured meats to go with the cheeses ensures that no one goes hungry at your party! Salami, pepperoni, and sliced deli meats are typical choices, but a summer sausage from Carroll’s Sausage and Country Store makes a delightfully Southern option.
I know, it may seem like a crazy combination, but honey and cheese are delicious together! Try Savannah Bee Company’s Honey for Cheese or any of their honeys for that matter! Or, find a local beekeeper for the freshest honey in your area.
Start with what’s in season at the time near you. Fresh peaches, pears, berries, muscadine grapes, and apples all go well with your wines and cheeses and look beautiful on your table. Find a pick-your-own or farmers’ market for the freshest produce. Add in some jellies and preserves along with dried fruits and nuts for a little variety. Great resources include:
You probably already have most of what you’ll need to serve (glasses, plates, trays, utensils, napkins, cutting boards, etc.), but if you’re missing anything, you can find it here at The Southern Mercantile!