Long before iPad, burgeoning party throwers spent hours pouring over sticky-thumbed cookbooks in search of the perfect bite to feed wine drinking guests. Since every party starts with an appetizer, Dabble wine expert Jameson Fink shares some inspired pairings.
Asparagus: Nothing sticks in my craw more than the old saw that asparagus is ‘difficult’ to pair with wine. Boo. A crisp, grassy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc like the 2009 Spy Valley is a perfect complement.
Portabella Mushrooms: The earthiness of mushrooms cries out for Pinot Noir. Look for a bottling from Oregon such as the 2009 Evesham Wood or a Burgundy like the 2007 Robert Chevillon to produce a fine match.
Swiss/Gouda with Dried Apricots/Apricot Jam: I love a cheese board with an assortment of dried fruit and preserves. With firm, milder cheeses such as Swiss and Gouda, I’m thinking German Riesling. My pick is the 2009 Leitz Dragonstone, which has a zippy character that cuts through rich dairy, and brings wonderful fruit and a touch of sweetness along for the ride.
Sliced Turkey and Chicken: Think dry French rosé is just a summertime porch-pounder? Au contraire. A slice of a rustic loaf of bread, dab on some garlicky aioli, and top with sliced chicken or turkey to achieve rosé nirvana. I recommend the 2010 Commanderie de Peyrassol.
Individual cheese plates hold a tasty assortment of meat, cheese, dried fruit and jam; allowing guests to easily hold an appetizer while mingling. Look for small wooden boards at the dollar store.