Must Have Wine & Cheese Night Party Essentials

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

Without a regular wine & cheese night it’s possible my sanity would go flying out the window. I mean who couldn’t use a night out with the girls, some wine, a fab cheese board and some crafty DIY projects or card games?

You'll love these fresh fun ideas for making your party pop! Must Have Wine & Cheese Night Party Essentials! Everything from stemless wine glasses and cheese boards, to the perfect wines and wine markers! Plus the new must join monthly wine membership program!

Since I love to host I’ve slowly been filling up my sideboard and bar cart and decorating my conversation space with all the comforts a girl needs. And, to save on time and a trip to the store, I joined a new monthly wine club membership called Winc.

Winc! The amazing new monthly wine club! Winc not only saves me the hassle of guessing which wines I may or may not like by making recommendations based on my profile and how I rate the wines I receive, but I can also swap out any  or all of the wines they've chosen for me with my own picks. Bottles start at just $13 with free shipping when you buy four, and I can pause or cancel my monthly membership at any time.

Winc not only saves me the hassle of guessing which wines I may or may not like by making recommendations based on my profile and how I rate the wines I receive, but I can also swap out any or all of the wines they’ve chosen for me with my own picks. Bottles start at just $13 with free shipping when you buy four, and I can pause or cancel my monthly membership at any time. (But seriously. Why would I ever want to do that?)

So not only do I feel better about my wine selections from Winc than I do about randomly trying a new mystery wine I picked up at the grocery store, I’m always able to have wine on hand for guests that I can feel good about! With the wine handled the rest is just cake. (If you’d like to sign up for Winc, you’ll get $20 off your first purchase! Simply join here.)

You'll love these fresh fun ideas for making your party pop! Must Have Wine & Cheese Night Party Essentials! Everything from stemless wine glasses and cheese boards, to the perfect wines and wine markers! Plus the new must join monthly wine membership program!

Wine & Cheese Night Party Essentials

If you’re still trying to tackle the purchase of those must have party essentials, then be sure to check out my collection of amazing wine & cheese night party essentials below. And don’t forget to share your wine & cheese night success story as a hostess with the mostest in the comments!

This extra large cheese board from Red Maple Run is perfect for hosting large parties during the holidays, special events or simply a girls only wine & cheese night!

The Cheese Board.

This extra large oak cheese board from Red Maple Run is perfect for hosting large parties during the holidays, special events or simply a girls only wine & cheese night! I also love the gold rimmed agate cheese boards from Wynn + Whiskey.

These hand stamped cheese markers from Vintage Garden Art are a must have wine & cheese night party essential!

Cheese markers are another must have accessory for your wine & cheese night. Knowing which cheese is what means less time reviewing the cheeses and more time enjoying the night! I’m extra fond of these hand stamped cheese markers from Vintage Garden Art. These fun and timeless cheese markers are made from silver plated vintage flatware that has been hand cut, filed, stamped and tumbled.

I also really like the handmade ceramic cheese markers from Wishing Star Pottery as well as the chalkboard inspired black clay cheese markers from Manuel Marino Ceramic.

These hand blown stemless wine glasses from Miss Mac Glass are must haves for your next wine & cheese night!

Pour Another Glass.

These hand blown stemless wine glasses from Miss Mac Glass are must haves for your next wine & cheese night! With a blended design between a highball and a modern stemless wine glass, each of these artisan stemless wine glasses offers a little extra weight in the bottom so it’s comfortable to hold.

Another great option is a set of stainless steel wine glasses. Not only will these wine glass not break like glass can, but this gold colored glasses also offer performance vacuum insulation to keep your drink cool. Pair them with beautiful slip on or magnetic stemless wine glass markers and you won’t have to worry about guests forgetting which glass is theirs!

Must have wine & cheese night party essentials! Without a regular wine & cheese night it's possible my sanity would go flying out the window. I mean who couldn't use a night out with the girls, some wine, a fab cheese board and some crafty DIY projects or card games?

Bar Cart Beauties.

A bar cart is an easy way to not only add extra storage space, but it also makes it easy to transport everything you need for your wine & cheese night to the same space that the festivities are taking place in. I have this rose gold metal, glass and leather bar cart that I purchased from Target this year.

Industrial Bar Cart! I love this this brilliantly designed industrial bar cart from Fry By Design that offers three storage levels and a hanging wine glass rack. 

But I’m also quite fond of this brilliantly designed industrial bar cart from Fry By Design that offers three storage levels and a hanging wine glass rack.

If you’re looking for a vintage inspired bar cart, then definitely consider the Annie Bar Cart from Inspire Q. This glam bar cart evokes the Art Deco era with its bold finish and a hardware. Plus it has a holder for three bottle of your favorite wine! Alternately, the Silverwood Bar Cart comes in a hammered bronze finish and also offers two tiers of storage as well as dedicated wine holders.

The Wine.

While Winc has me covered in the wine department, if you’re already at the store browsing for cheese selections, I highly recommend Three Thieves Pinot Grigio. It’s light and refreshing and at just $10 a bottle the price is right. If you prefer a sweeter white wine, Schmitt Sohne Riesling is also good and equally budget worthy.

My friend, Bambi, recommends the Matua Sauvignon Blanc if you prefer a drier white or for reds the Alamos Malbec and the Bogle Cabernet Sauvignon. While my friend, Hillary, is currently digging the Fitch Pinot Noir, Villa Appalachia Corvina Reserve 2010 (out of Floyd, VA paired with gorgonzola cheese), Open Kimono Sauvignon Blanc, and the Fincastle Cabernet Franc 2010.

These easy DIY coasters are a great project for a DIY Girls Only Craft Night! Not only will you get in some awesome adult time making your own functional and fabulous custom DIY coasters that your husband will never remember to use!

If you’re looking for an easy and fun DIY to pair with your wine & cheese night, be sure to check out my post for creating DIY coasters for a make and take craft night! Or discover more great DIY ideas on my Pinterest boards.

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Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.


Cold Process Wine Soap Recipe

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

This cold process wine soap recipe is a creative way to use up that leftover wine that's sat in the fridge too long.

This cold process wine soap recipe is a creative way to use up that leftover wine that’s sat in the fridge too long or simply wasn’t too your liking. Like making homemade beer soap, however, you’ll need to take a few extra precautions and make sure you’re starting with icy cold wine and mixing in a sink or other contained area.

This cold process wine soap recipe is a creative way to use up that leftover wine that's sat in the fridge too long.

Cold Process Wine Soap Recipe

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

12.6 oz. lard
7.2 oz. refined (76° melt point) coconut oil
5.4 oz. castor oil
5.4 oz. rice bran oil
5.4 oz. pomace olive oil

11. 8 fluid oz. cold wine
4.7 oz. lye/sodium hydroxide

2-2.25 oz. fragrance oil, optional

Soap Notes:

Water as % of oils = 33%
8% superfat
1 oz. fragrance oil per pound

Lard used as 35% of the oils in this recipe, coconut oil at 20% and castor, rice bran and olive oil at 15%.

This is a palm free cold process soap recipe but if you want a vegan soap you can substitute the lard with an equal amount of palm oil and adjust the lye to 4.8 oz. The olive and rice bran oils can easily be substituted in all or part with canola and/or grape seed oil.

(If you want to rebatch this soap after to add some extra goodies, omit the fragrance oil and add 1 oz. of fragrance when you rebatch. That recipe will follow this one.)

This cold process wine soap recipe yields 10-12 bars around 4 oz. each and fits inside my DIY wooden loaf soap mold.

Instructions:

Follow your basic cold process soapmaking instructions to make this cold process wine soap recipe. (If you’ve never made soap before there’s a great, inexpensive beginner cold process soap recipe here.)

Begin by measuring out the chilled wine of your choice in fluid ounces. I used a local white wine for my recipe. Put into a heat safe pitcher and place in the sink. Now using a digital scale weigh out the lye. Slowly pour the lye a little at a time into the wine. Stir well after each pour to dissolve. Don’t rush it. It will seem like there’s not a huge reaction however the wine will go from yellow to orange at which point mine boiled then turned a dark brownish-orange. Once you’ve added all the lye and it’s been dissolved in the wine set it aside to cool.

Continue by weighing out the soapmaking oils and combining in a stainless steel pot. Heat over medium heat until melted then remove from heat and set a side to cool.

When both the lye-water and oils have cooled to 90°-95°F you’re ready to mix them together. The wine in this recipe does seem to increase trace so if you’re using a fragrance oil you may want to mix it into the oils before adding the lye-water. If you’ll be rebatching later or want an unscented soap you don’t need to add the fragrance oil.

Slowly pour the lye-water into the soapmaking oils and mix with a stick blender until you reach trace the pour the soap into your prepared mold.

After 24 hours you can unmold your soap and cut it into bars. Allow to cure for 4-6 weeks.

A little something extra.

My dad and son love when I take my cold process soap recipes and rebatch them to add some extra love to them as they both have very dry skin in the winter. So that’s what I did for this recipe. If you want to rebatch your soap simply grate the soap with a cheese grater after unmolding the loaf and combine in a stainless steel pot or double boiler with the following.

Rebatch Wine Soap Recipe

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

loaf of cold process wine soap, grated (recipe above)
1 oz. fragrance oil, optional (if loaf is unscented & fragrance is desired)
1 oz. pure coconut water (not from concentrate)
1.5 oz. aloe vera gel
.25 oz. beeswax
1 oz. cocoa butter

Instructions:

Combine the grated wine soap into a large pot or double boiler on the stove. Weigh out the coconut water, aloe vera gel, beeswax and cocoa butter and combine with the soap over medium-low to low heat, stirring often to avoid scorching.

Once the soap and the added ingredients have melted, add the fragrance oil if desired or omitted from the previous cold process wine soap recipe. Mix well to combine then pour into your prepared mold. (In this case I used the same mold I had used for the cold process wine soap recipe. )

Allow the soap to harden two to three days then unmold and cut the soap into bars. Allow to cure 4-6 weeks.

For more homemade soap recipes be sure to follow my Pinterest boards. You can also keep up with all my new posts and recipes by following me on Blog Lovin’, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Instagram.


Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.


Seared Sashami Tuna with Sauteed Shrimp in an Orange-Soy-Ginger Reduction Sauce Recipe

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

For New Year’s Eve my boyfriend cooked me up a special dish choosing from several of my favorite foods to eat: tuna, shrimp and asparagus with the fact that I love sushi niggling in the back of his head. The dinner was in truth a great experiment that we both thought turned out to be a great success. Scott, my boyfriend, calls it Seared Sashami Tuna and Sauteed Shrimp in an Orange-Soy-Ginger Reduction Sauce with a side of Asparagus. You may want to file this one in your recipe book as simply “DELICIOUS.”

Following is the recipe for Scott’s dinner. Keep in mind that for him cooking is an art – and while he by means thinks of himself as a great chef – he doesn’t treat his dishes like and exact science. He likes to have fun with his food preparation and all ingredient amounts are approximate because he never measures anything. Basically, he considers himself a self-taught cook who just likes to eat. He rates his own recipe 4 out of 5 stars and I think that’s pretty darn accurate. I encourage you to try this recipe, play around with it a little yourself with a little more of this, a little less of that and maybe something we never would of thought of. Then come back and tell me how it turned out! You can want to cook this up for your special someone on Valentine’s Day!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Wild Sashimi Tuna Steaks (Our steaks were approximately .43lbs. each bought from The Fresh Market at $14.99 a pound.)
  • 1/2 lb. large, raw and peeled deveined shrimp
  • 1-2 lb. of fresh asparagus depending on your love for this vegetable
  • Cayenne Pepper Sauce (We used Frank’s Red Hot Original)
  • Soy Sauce (We used Asian Gourmet)
  • Toasted Sesame Oil (We used Eden Selected)
  • Peanut Oil (You can substitute canola oil if you have nut allergies)
  • Horseradish (We used Agrosik)
  • Pickled Ginger (We didn’t like the way the yellow pickled ginger looked in the jar, so we bought pink pickled ginger from the prepared sushi section of The Fresh Market. It’s our favorite.)
  • Fresh Garlic
  • A large California Naval Orange
  • Black pepper

Optional Ingredients:

(Because it’s fun to get a little crazy.)
  • Brooklyn Brown Ale or your beer of choice
  • Schmitt Sohne Reisling (Ya know, the label on the bottle screams, “Pick me, pick me!”) or your white wine of choice
  • Château Morrisette Sweet Red Table Wine (or your red wine of choice)

Directions:

This recipe can be made using one pot, a random dish for marinating the tuna and shrimp, one large sauce pan to minimize clean up later – and a colander. You’ll also need a knife and a spatula at minimum. So even bachelor’s wh generally eat out can probably swing this one as long as their stove top works.
Asparagus Prep: First you’ll want to prep your asparagus for later. Rinse your asparagus in cold water, then snap off the ends. You’ll know where to snap because if you try to snap too low you’ll get some resistance. Move higher if this happens and you’ll end up with great tasting asparagus and no chewy, tough ends to contend with. (It still boggles my mind that there are restaurants who leave the ends intact.) Bring a pot of water to a boil, then blanch the asparagus in boiling water 1-2 minutes until bright green. Transfer to a colander and drain. Set aside. (I’ll admit we did consider buying both white and green asparagus, but as I’d never tried white asparagus, I chickened out.)
Make Your Marinade: Your marinade is what will later become your Orange-Soy-Ginger Reduction sauce. So be sure to reserve about 1/3 of this marinade for your sauce later on. First, however, you’re going to make a marinade for the shrimp and tuna.
In a food processor combine approximately 1/8 Cup peanut oil, 1/4 Cup soy sauce, 1/8 Cup toasted sesame oil, about an 1/8 Cup pickled ginger, your whole naval orange peeled and sectioned, 3 cloves of fresh minced or chopped garlic, a dash of black pepper, 1 Tablespoon horseradish, 2 Tablespoons of the hot sauce, and if you want to be silly like us – a dash of beer or wine or both just for kicks. Blend well.
Then pour about 2/3 of the marinade into a dish with the shrimp and tuna. Allow to marinate for approximately 10-15 minutes.
Cook the Asparagus: While your tuna and shrimp marinate, you’ll prepare your asparagus. Add a little peanut oil, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and a couple of teaspoons of the marinade into a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add the asparagus and saute for 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and cover.
Sear the Tuna: Using the same pan you just sauteed the asparagus in and still over  medium-high heat, add a bit more peanut oil and soy sauce and a Tablespoon of the marinate to prep the pan. Add your sashimi tuna steaks to the pan and sear on each side for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from pan and plate. (You want it rare inside because rare tuna is tasty!)
Saute the Shrimp: Again, you’ll use the same pan you just seared the tuna steaks in. Add a bit more peanut oil and soy sauce and about a Tablespoon of marinade to the pan. Add the shrimp and saute over medium-high heat until pink, turning once. Remove the shrimp from the pan – while reserving as much “juice” as possible in the pan – and drain the shrimp in a colander.
Prepare your Sauce: Now you’ll make your Orange-Soy-Ginger Reduction Sauce. To do this, simply pour the remaining marinade set aside earlier into the sauce pan you just used to cook the tuna, asparagus and shrimp. Add a touch more peanut oil followed by a shot or two of wine. White is recommended – we used a Riesling only because that’s what I like to drink – but you can go a little wild like us and add a shot or two of red wine as well. Oh, and maybe just a touch more beer. We did. Leave the marinade mixture on medium-high heat stirring occasionally until it reduces into a sauce.
Plate it and serve: Plate your shrimp with tuna and pour as much sauce as desired over the tuna and shrimp. Add asparagus to the side and serve immediately.
The center of the tuna when cut should be rare with just the edges seared. I like to eat mine with some fresh pickled ginger.
As an afterthought, Scott also made the suggestion of encrusting the tuna steaks with sesame seeds and a bit of cracked peppercorn and sea salt by coating the surface of the tuna just before placing in the hot oil in your pan.
Looking to purchase quality, organic herbs, spices and seasonings for your own gourmet dishes at home? I highly recommend shopping Mountain Rose Herbs for the best quality and prices. Not only will you receive a great product, but you will save a lot of money by buying in bulk over shopping for spices at grocery stores.

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.


How to Make Herbal Wine

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

Mountain Rose Herbs has published a wonderful article on how to make your own herbal wine. From understanding the basic alchemy behind wine making to several at home recipes you can try, this article will get you started on everything you need to know. Make some for yourself or as gifts for your best friends. Wouldn’t it be fun to organize a wine tasting party where everyone brings a bottle of their own homemade brew?
Homemade wine bottled and corked
“You can make wine out of anything but a rock!” Appalachian winemaker John Bulgin explains in The Foxfire Book of Winemaking. My experience says he’s right. When local lawns are covered with dandelions, I race my neighbors’ lawnmowers to behead the little beasts for my favorite herbal wine. When I prune back the grape arbor in midsummer, I strip leaves from excised vines for a beverage that rivals a good Riesling. And when a local farm had a surplus of nicked potatoes, I combined them with ginger and other herbs to create a sweet dessert wine that kept my friends guessing the secret ingredient.
Winemaking most likely began in the Neolithic Period (8500 to 400 b.c.), and early archaeological evidence places winemaking at a site near Mesopotamia (ca. 4000 b.c.) and another in what is now Georgia (the former Soviet state, not the home of Atlanta) between 5000 and 7000 b.c. The Old English word wyrt, which evolved into wort, described a liquor made from mashing and fermenting plant leaves. Plainly, we humans have been at this business of turning herbs into wine for a very long time. If our ancestors could do it, you can too.

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.