In the fourth installment of our home and lifestyle series with Williams-Sonoma, Inc., we are working with their namesake brand — Williams Sonoma — to prepare you for fall party essentials.

Each season Williams Sonoma brings together a group of people for an inspiring conversation around the table. This fall, it was women in the wine and cheese industry, including Andréa and Robin McBride, the sisters and co-founders behind McBride Sisters Wine and creators of the newly released Black Girl Magic Riesling. They talked about the challenges and changes they faced being women in the wine industry and the love of their craft.

“There's a really awesome analogy in wine, that goes: ‘The harder the vine struggles, the better the wine,’” said Andréa. “We definitely have gone through the struggle.”

Here, the women at the table share their wisdom for throwing a wine and cheese party like a pro — the kind that looks beautiful, feels effortless and brings people together.

The Party

1. BYOW. Ask guests to bring their favorite $30 (or less) bottle of wine, along with the story of when they first discovered it.

2. All the Milks. Take a note from Cowgirl Creamery by building a cheeseboard with cheese made with cow, goat and sheep milk to provide a sense of how flavors vary milk to milk.

3. Why Not DIY? From topping personal pizzas to making pasta together, have your guests get their hands dirty by building the meal together. Friends that cook together, stay together.

4. Easy as 1, 2, 3. Because everyone loves dessert, make it easy on yourself by combining fresh seasonal fruit, crème fraîche and pre-made pastry from your favorite local bakery.

The Simple Guide to Wine

5. Red Wine. Pair reds with stronger cheeses like blue, Stilton and Roquefort. 

6. White Wine. Pair whites like chardonnay and sauvignon blanc with mild cheeses like burrata, mozzarella and goat.

7. Rosé. While rosé plays well with mild cheeses, it’s also a refreshing accompaniment to fresh fruit, sweet pastry or chocolate. Plus, it makes for an Instagram-worthy photo.

The Cheese

8. Beyond basic. Go beyond just crackers by accompanying cheese with flavor-enhancing accoutrements such as savory items like olives and garlic or sweet bites like dried apricot and honeycomb. 

9. Go deep. Deepen your guests’ understanding of cheese by selecting three cheddars from different regions or different cheeses from the same geographic region, labeling the cheeses and their place of origin.

10. Think variety. Consider texture by arranging cheeses with a variety of textures. Think creamy, crumbly, smooth, dense, grainy and curdy.

Get all your wine and cheese-pairing supplies here and be sure to share your wine-party pics on Instagram using the hashtag, #MyWilliamsSonoma.

Read the rest of our home and lifestyle series with the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. family of brands.

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