Pairing wine, cheese and… property

Pairing wine, cheese and… property
Pairing wine, cheese and… property

Property and food go so well together that wine and cheese pairing has now gone beyond the plate… into selling real estate.

It seems natural to us here at Property Observer that beautiful houses, and even the not-so beautiful, are more palatable with a glass of merlot and, perhaps, a wedge of Roquefort (or perhaps camembert or gouda for the less daring). But is wine and cheese pairing a good idea?

While you may think that allowing your guests to sip pinot noir (many a property industry pundits favourite glass of red) is the ultimate in sophistication, if you find yourself pairing the drink and the property incorrectly you’ll be in for a bad surprise.

Last weekend, The Palladio at 25 Nollands Road, Arcadia (pictured below) was open for inspection. Owner Tim Higgens has held the property since he purchased the land in 1987, and then built the home in 1990, originally as a weekend getaway. With $160,000 of garden furniture and artifacts included in the sale, it has been looking for offers above $2.75 million. 

Pairing wine, cheese and… property

Sandy Ward of Ray White Dural decided that a wine and cheese tasting was the perfect way to present the home, and answered our questions about this technique.

Why offer a cheese and wine tasting with the inspection?

This is our first time that we have offered this with our viewings. It allows the locals the opportunity to talk amongst themselves in a beautiful setting and will help to create local awareness by getting them to talk about who knows who and on acreage living. This seldom happens over the fence on large properties. The buyers that we have personally invited are delighted and like the idea.

Are these techniques becoming increasingly common?

If it is successful we will be doing the cheese and wine tasting again. We have had twilight inspections previously and the timing works well with people returning from work in the evenings. The Palladio looks particularly wonderful at this time of day and winter has been magic with the weather of late.

What homes does it and does it not work for?

As this is our first trial and with a property that is completely unique we are hoping for a more relaxed environment for buyers. The Palladio at 25 Nollands Road Arcadia would suit buyers that are looking for a unique property, it is for those out of the box clients, looking for a unique idea suitable to fashion, arts, photography shoots, wedding receptions, holiday retreat or exclusive bed and breakfasts... It may not work for all inspections but once in a while there comes a gem along that it would totally be the correct setting. The viewing this Saturday is set amongst artistic elements that permeate this beautiful residence created in the Palladian style to reflect the feel of the European countryside.

Which cheeses and wines do you use, and why?

We have encouraged a local wine tasting merchant to join us with his RSA and [offered] two selections of each of the red and white catering for up to 50 to 200 attendees. The cheese platter was arranged by Sandra Ward with some fruit in season and catering for most tastes.

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So, cheese platter aficionados – don’t forget that it’s not just about the cheese.

Looking local, and using some other treats to balance out the palate (such as fruits, crackers and chutneys) will always go down a treat. Bear in mind that blue cheeses are not everyone’s favourite (perhaps put them on a separate plate if you’re adamant they should make an appearance) and try to avoid anything too messy or crumbly – strangers sharing food can often be an exercise in disaster, particularly when etiquette is not a quality instilled in every person. Lastly, consider providing a dairy-free cheese, to cater for allergies and diets of all types.

Serve your cheese at room temperature. Keep it somewhere clean and tidy, provide enough plates or napkins as necessary, and ensure that high traffic won’t block through-ways to the rest of the house – remember that the purpose is, after all, for buyers to view the home.

And, of course, watch your spend. While some properties’ prices can justify a significant outlay on wining and cheese-ing your prospective buyers, those with prices closer to the city’s median might not want to include the extra few hundred dollars, or more, that it costs to cater. In fact, some properties would be better off directing those funds to re-painting.

It doesn’t mean you need to give up the wine and cheese concept entirely. This $390,000 Tarneit, Victoria home (pictured below) uses the suggestion in the listing to conjure up the idea. The agent suggests a wine and cheese platter on the space next to the spa bath. While most of us are more likely to clutter it up with half-used shampoo bottles, it’s nice to dream – and the effect is certainly there.

Pairing wine, cheese and… property

Meanwhile, more creative writing and suggestions are provided for this amazing Mount Richon house (pictured below), which actually won the 2004 Housing Industry Association WA Home of the Year award. We can see why – the home is breathtaking, particularly at its $899,000 price point.

Pairing wine, cheese and… property

The agent suggests that on the master bedroom’s Juliette balcony “with ornate balustrade providing some hills romance” Margaret River wine and cheese “on a clear star filled evening” would be the perfect accompaniment. We hardly disagree.

While we’re on the topic, we can’t go past at least a cursory mention of the most commonly sighted bottles in open homes and real estate photographs. Moet, Chandon and, in more recent months, Penfolds, have taken out top titles of most commonly found celebratory alcohols in the listings. There’s even a Perrier-Jouët that makes an appearance.

These photos all come from current listings, or those we've kept tabs on over the past few months.

Pairing wine, cheese and… property

Pairing wine, cheese and… property

Pairing wine, cheese and… property

Pairing wine, cheese and… property

Pairing wine, cheese and… property

Pairing wine, cheese and… property

 We’re not sure all of these are effective, but at least some creativity is being used.

{module Do you think a bottle of plonk helps sell a home?}

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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