Recipes for Your
Wine Pairing Party
The key to any successful wine tasting party is to have fun. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few suggestions so you can plan ahead, set a beautiful table and create a simple, flavorful menu to please the palate and complement your wine choices.
Wines are as diverse as the people who enjoy them, so you have plenty of options when it comes to deciding which wines to serve. You can organize a region-specific tasting and serve a variety of wines, or keep things campy and fun with a blind tasting of wines from a range of price points; you just might find out which ones are really worth the price tag.
Once you have decided which wines you’ll be serving, make sure you have plenty of the right glasses. Next, it’s time to figure out what foods to serve.
Wine & Cheese Forever
Small bites and snacks are perfect for stress-free entertaining. The key is choosing foods that are easy to prepare in the first place and even easier to refill throughout the evening. A classic choice: a cheese platter. Not only are wine and cheese a match made in heaven, creating a memorable cheese platter is a breeze.
The key is to pick a variety of cheeses so look for both soft and hard cheeses. Then place them on a board with some crackers or bread slices and some finger-friendly foods like almonds, olives, and dried fruits. You can set out some small plates, cocktail napkins and a set of cheese knives and get back to enjoying the party.
Prosciutto Halloumi Bruschetta
This classic appetizer pairs well with everything from Soave and Chardonnay to Chianti, Pinot noir and rosé. Stick with traditional bruschetta topped with tomatoes and herbs, or serve guests a hearty version with unexpected flavors.
8 ounces halloumi cheese
18 thin prosciutto slices
4 jarred, grilled red peppers
Slice the red peppers and halloumi into shapes similar to the shape of the bread. Top the halloumi with a pepper slice, wrap it in prosciutto and add it to a slice of bread. Brush the top with olive oil and bake it for 12 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the tops are golden. Arrange the bruschetta on a serving platter, sprinkle it with fresh basil and serve immediately.
Lamb and Goat Cheese Strudel
Dry rosé, Beaujolais, Pinot noir and Rioja all pair well with the richness of this lamb and goat cheese strudel. Assemble the phyllo packets ahead of time and then bake them right before serving for easy prep work. Arrange the strudel on tiered stands or decorative trays for a pretty touch.
8 ounces lean ground lamb
1/4 cup chopped onion
5 ounces of chopped baby spinach
5 ounces of soft goat cheese
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
6 sheets of thawed phyllo dough
1/4 cup melted butter
Brown the ground lamb and onion in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Drain the excess fat before adding the spinach, lemon zest, salt, milk, nutmeg and cheese. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
Unfold the phyllo dough one sheet at a time and brush it with melted butter. Add another sheet of phyllo, lining all the edges up before brushing it with butter and repeating the process until all the phyllo sheets are stacked. Cut the phyllo in half and spread half of the lamb filling on each phyllo stack. Fold the short sides over the filling and then fold the long side to contain the filling.
Place both phyllo packets on a baking sheet with the seam facing down. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle the tops with salt and pepper. Place two to three diagonal score marks on each phyllo packet. Bake the strudel for 18 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the dish sit for around 15 minutes before slicing the packets into 10 slices each.