So this post is going to be a little different as I wanted to wander into the realm of pairings this week. I am honestly not that into food and wine pairings but that could be a lack of something internally. Actually it’s probably just that I just don’t have the patience…when I want wine, I want wine. I don’t need cheese or meat or fruit or whatever…I just love me some wine.
That said, I have grown very fond of cracking a bottle with a fun assortment of snacks that are super easy, inexpensive and can be obtained at your local store for an impromptu wine/snack night. This quick snack idea has often become a meal replacement for my wife and I when neither of us (Read: Me) want to cook.
So here is my perfect “Cheese Plate”…..
Two types of cheeses; I like something spicy and something creamy so I usually hit up some type of pepper jack and a Havarti. Smoked gouda is also a great choice. Then I grab some meat; usually in sausage form. We tend to choose chicken apple sausage or chicken meatballs. Of course, you can’t have cheese and meat without some type of bread or crackers. I like a soft baguette or basic water crackers. Shivani really likes Trader Joe’s Enchanted Cracker. Another cheese plate winner from Trader Joes: the Rosemary Marcona Almonds. Our friends call these “crack nuts” and they go oh, so well with wine. Finally, to make you feel better about all the glorious fat and carbs you are inhaling, you should throw some fruit on that plate. Apples, pears and berries are all awesome and easy. Of course, you could just use them as garnish if you don’t want to fill up too much on health.
All of these snacks will pair well with many types of wine. I say, crack two and decide which you like paired with each type of food. Some will pair better with the creamy, fat of the cheese and some better with the tart, sweetness of the fruit. The only way to learn is to try!
This photo is one from our anniversary last year. It’s a variation of the ingredients I list above paired with an amazing Pinot Noir from La Vie Vineyards. This particular pinot is a 2001 Fiddlestix Reserve. Nothing like a 15-year old pinot standing up to all that sweet, fatty goodness. It was awesome!
Next time you struggle to find something in the fridge for dinner or want to impress company, use these ingredients as a starting point and go wild based on what you like. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to make wine tasting a more casual experience.
And….stay tuned for my review of a very special wine next week. Hint: It’s as old as I am!