I attended my wine party this weekend and had some delicious wine and good food. We were told not to bring anything, so we showed up with a bottle of wine and a sad Juniper...I wanted to cook!
Sooo...I just made my menu for myself for lunch today so you can plan your own party! Oh, Helper Munchkin wants to go on the record as saying "You eat disgusting stuff!"
Okay, let's plan your next wine party.
You will need plenty of wine glasses on hand, of course. I have bought wine glasses at a reasonable price at IKEA.
To cut down on glassware, do what they do at public wine tastings...have a pitcher of water and a bucket (something nice, like a champagne or ice bucket) handy for guests to swish their glass before moving on to the next wine.
You could also adapt this wine charm tutorial to fit your theme. This is an easy, inexpensive way to personalize your party.
You can also have small notebooks handy for guests to note their favorites. Maybe some card stock and this notepad tutorial will help inspire you.
First things first, invitations!I found a fantastic artist from Cathy Savel's Paintings on Etsy, that has adapted her beautiful paintings into greeting cards. Aren't these cards wonderful? Such detail, and perfect for your wine tasting.
You can plan to make it a casual tasting with several bottles for friends to choose from or you can make it more formal. There are many different ways to taste in a formal setting. You can taste wines from the same year, same vintage, from white to red, Italian wines, California wines...you will have to determine which is best for your party. You local wine shop can help you out.
I prefer a casual wine party with several types of wine to choose from. You can label the different vintages with your handy Wine Cork Place Cards!
Now, for my favorite part, menu! (You can also label your appetizers with the wine cork place cards)
My wine party menu is as follows:
Pistachio'd Grapes ( might have made that word up)
Smoked Gouda Purses
Chevre with Honey, Pears, and Pine Nuts
Chocolate Glazed Grapes
Let's begin with the Pistachio'd Grapes (my spell check is having a fit right now).
Washed grapes that are cold and dry
Cream cheese (cold)
Pistachios (pulsed in the food processor to a coarse crumb)
Take a pinch of cream cheese and begin to mold it around your grape, like this: (Sorry about the pictures, I was balancing the camera on a water glass and pushing the shutter with my chin!)
Now, roll it between your palms to get a cheese-covered grape like this:
Now, roll the cheesy-grape ball in the pistachios, like this:
These are the perfect combination of salty, sweet, soft and crisp. I think they are the perfect party food.
Next, we will make the Cheese Purses.
Smoked Gouda cheese, cut into small cubes
Begin by brushing the melted butter onto the phyllo dough, place another sheet on top and continue brushing with butter. Repeat until you have five layers.
Using a pizza cutter, cut the phyllo sheets into 3x3 inch squares and place a cube of Gouda in the center. Gather the edges of the dough together and pinch them together at the top.
Brush the outside with butter and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Mmmmmm....Crispy, melty, and smoky!
This next recipe is for Chevre with Honey, Pears, and Pine Nuts and is super simple.
Gather together the three ingredients, Chevre cheese, good honey, ripe pears, and pine nuts:
Assemble the plate with the cheese flanked by pear slices and nice crackers (I like bagel chips with sea salt).
Drizzle honey over the cheese and pears then sprinkle with pine nuts. This cheese will taste best when at room temperature. Go ahead and assemble this plate and leave it out until the party.
Finally, for dessert, Chocolate Glazed Grapes and Strawberries. Place grapes and strawberries on a platter. Melt both semi-sweet and white chocolate chips and drizzle over the fruit for a fresh, simple, sweet to end the evening.
Here are your appetizers: