Here’s how UoB students master the art of wine and cheese night
Bored in lockdown, here’s how to absolutely boss wine and cheese night
We’re here guys. It’s happening. Lockdown 2.0 has arrived. Nice one Boris. So, how am I going to waste the next four weeks of my life?
Will I wonder aimlessly around Selly Park hoping that someone, just anyone, will talk to me from a respectful one metre plus? Will I become addicted to Among Us and develop psychopathic tendencies as a result? Will I bring back the Selly scream as I slowly lose my mind in this vacuous waste of my youth? It was looking pretty bleak at first. But then I remembered the answer. The answer to every single problem on this plague-ridden earth: cheese. Paired up with some of Wine Stops finest, an idea was germinating… The wine and cheese night had been born.
We can’t go out to Gales or Snobs. So fill those nights in with a cheese and wine night with your housemates. You’ll be thanking me next week. (I apologise in advance to all the dairy-free/vegans out there – this isn’t going to be pretty.)
With great cheese comes great responsibility, so I wish to impart to you my top tips – nay rules – of wine and cheese Night. Let’s boss this.
I mean the clue is in the name. It’s not a proper Wine and Cheese Night if you just sit around and eat a couple babybels and neck some echo falls. No hun, we’re doing this properly, covering budgets all the way up to Chamberlain.
Here are my top cheeses of choice:
• Camembert – specifically, baked Camembert. Heat it in an oven at 180C for 20 minutes, crisp up a baguette and dip that bad boy in there. 10/10 – the Queen Cheese.
• Burrata – oh boy. It’s like Mozzarella on steroids. Not strong but oh so creamy, delicious with some pesto and some crackers, maybe a couple tomatoes if you’re feeling it. What an iconic combination. Actual chills right now.
• Brie – Brie is perhaps my favourite cheese of all time (don’t @ me, I can’t help my bougie ways). Have your brie on some crackers, with some chutney or with grapes – Insane.
• Cheddar/Red Leicester – the staple cheeses for all those Plain Jane’s out there who refuse to try any cheese that hasn’t once been in the form of a cheese string. Cheese night has to be inclusive.
• Smoked Cheese – there is something so pleasurable about a cheese so creamy yet so smoky. This cheese blows my mind. Poetry.
• Comte – this is kind of a nutty, hard cheese so goes freakishly well with a chutney. It also sounds hella posh when you pronounce it in the French accent and I just love fulfilling all my Made in Chelsea fantasies (Chamberlain say whattttt).
Now this is but a glimpse into the expansive world of cheese, but at the risk of all of Selly thinking I’m some cheese-obsessed mouse, I’m going to move on.
Now supposedly white wine is meant to be paired with cheese, but my attitude is more the cheapest wine should be paired with cheese (because that is all I can afford – I spent all my overdraft on brie). So here’s a run down of the best, and most affordable wines.
• Isla Negra White Wine – it’s a classic. We love it. £5 a bottle. Beaut.
• Blossom Hill – how many nights have we gotten wine drunk of this liquid gold? I’m partial to the Rose (not least because The Feeling have a whole song dedicated to Rose wine and it just does make me cry). Around £5 again. Amazing scenes.
• Echo Falls – I mean this stuff triggers me. The Summer Berries one tastes like Petit Filous but is absolutely lethal – I swear to god this could be an actual weapon of war. But at only £3.49 a bottle it’s so worth it.
• Barefoot – okay, a curveball. A bottle of Barefoot is usually around the £7 mark buttttt it tastes kinda peng. Barefoot’s Pinot Grigio goes beaut with cheese (according to my very professional, fine-tuned tastes) so what’s an extra couple of quid?
I’m all about that abundant, overflowing cheese board aesthetic. None of that neat, geometric precision, where you trim down your cheese to fit your *vision* – I ain’t wasting a morsel of that dairy deliciousness. No. A bountiful board is a happy board. So what are the best nibbles/sides to push you that bit deeper into a food coma?
• Grapes – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. The juice of a grape cutting through the creaminess of the cheese is unreal. Get a couple punnets at least.
• Crackers – of course. If Wallace and Gromit taught us one thing, it’s that cheese without crackers is like Old Joe without a functioning clock face – it’s just depressing.
• Cold meats – now personally not my cup-of-tea as a wanna-be-but-always-failing-vegetarian, but still a staple. Get yourself some prosciutto, slap on some salami, maybe some chorizo, some cacciatore, some Peperami (call me classy) and we’re all good to go.
• Nuts – preferably salted or, if you’re gonna push the boat out, maybe with a sweet chilli coating of some kind (big up Sensations).
• Chutney – I could actually eat this stuff by the spoonful I am obsessed with chutney. I recommend a classic caramelised onion – the people pleaser of all chutneys. Or if you’re feeling fancy, why not some fig or tomato chutney? I’m here for them all.
I may or may not have created an entire playlist dedicated to cheese nights. It may or may not be called ‘Chill Vibes for Cheesey Times.’ We just don’t know. But what we do know is that Cheese and Wine Night requires some laid back tunes and some top drawer entertainment. Here’s what I recommend:
• Music – I’m not gonna preach at you with my music taste because that’s a sure fire way to get beef in the comments, but for me a bit of The Brummies, a dash of Dope Lemon and a hint of Still Woozy won’t go amiss. Or you can go full on cheese and download a Glee playlist and try hold back the tears. Whatever floats your cheese-laden boat.
• Movies – for afterwards. When you’re sat there in your joggers feeling your ever-expanding belly churn with cheese. It’s not pretty, but it was so worth it. Bung some chick flick on the T.V, some light-hearted romance to swoon yourself to sleep – you’re wine drunk, you’re happy, life is good.
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