While every day is a perfect day to enjoy a glass of wine, May 25th is the official annual National Wine Day. That means you have plenty of time to put together the perfect menu of appetizers and snacks to go with your next wine tasting party. Here are three ideas that all pair great with both red and white wines.
Create a rich and creamy cheese sauce from one-third cup each of smoked Gouda, Gruyere, and Swiss. Heat one cup of dry white wine and one whole peeled garlic clove in a small saucepan. When it reaches a simmer, remove the garlic clove, and add the three cheeses, as well as one tablespoon each of cornstarch, lemon juice, and kirsch, which is a cherry brandy.
Slowly melt the cheese, stirring frequently to incorporate into a nice smooth sauce. Add ½ teaspoon dry mustard and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg right before serving. You can use a small slow-cooker to keep the sauce warm if you don't have a fondue pot.
Serve the fondue with bite-sized pieces of artisan breads, fruits, like Granny Smith apples, pears, grapes, and pitted cherries, and vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower florets, asparagus tips, carrots, and olives. Don't forget the skewers.
Baked Brie En Croûte With Apricot Preserves And Thyme
Top an 8-ounce wheel of either Brie or Camembert cheese with apricot preserves and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves. Remove the chilled, commercially prepared puff pastry sheet from the refrigerator and unfold on to a piece of parchment paper. Set the cheese wheel in the center, and quickly wrap the puff pastry around it, sealing the edges. Brush with an egg wash, and then bake in a 325-degree Fahrenheit oven for 20–25 minutes. Serve with crackers and fruit.
Personal Pita Pizzas
Fluffy pita breads are the perfect size for making individual pizzas. It will also be fun for your guests to make their own and will take some of the pressure off you. Offer your guests unique ingredients, like wild mushrooms, fresh arugula, prosciutto, pepperoni, olives, onions, peppers, buffalo mozzarella, fresh oregano and basil, and a pesto sauce as well as a traditional red sauce to ladle on the crust. Offer as many or as few ingredients as you like, and don't forget to supply plenty of pizza cheese. Bake for 5-7 minutes in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven. For dessert, you can cream mascarpone cheese with a bit of sugar and vanilla, spread on the pita crust, and then top with fresh berries and drizzle with balsamic vinegar before baking.