What's a good snack spread without the right wines to pair with?
‘Tis the season for tiny bites at holiday soirees. But don’t let their petite size fool you; the best hors d’oeuvres pack plenty of flavor and sometimes even outshine the entrees. Pairing hors d’oeuvres with the right wine can transform grazing into a full-fledged tasting experience. Don’t stress about which wine to pair with your charcuterie or deviled eggs; this guide features twenty-one wines that match perfectly with classic hors d’oeuvres.
How to pair wines with a charcuterie board
Loaded with cheeses, cured meats, nuts, and fruits, charcuterie boards do the heavy lifting at holiday parties by offering a little something for everyone. The various textures and flavors, and call for refreshing bubbles that don’t weigh down the palate, and can slice through the fat.
Codorníu Ars Collecta Cava Brut Blanc de Blancs ($15)
These festive bubbles from Catalunya are made in the same labor-intensive method as Champagne but won’t break the budget. A crisp and refreshing blend of all-white grapes – Chardonnay, Xarel-Lo, and Parellada, the harmonious fruit, brioche, and nut notes mesh well with the many flavors of the board.
Silver Thread Vineyard Pétillant-Naturel ($26)
There’s a whole lot of deliciousness in this playful Pét-Nat from the Finger Lakes, New York. Made using the rustic methodé ancestrale, it blends red and white grapes, including Cabernet Franc, Lemberger, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and NY-45, a local hybrid. Fizzy and fresh!
Medici Ermete Concerto Lambrusco ($26)
Hailing from Emilia-Romagna, the land of Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano, this fizzy, chilled red wine was destined to match with holiday cheese & meat boards. Fruity but not sweet, its soft tannins impart just the right amount of grip.
How to pair wines with a seafood tower
Nothing brings the drama to a party spread like an abundant tower of treasures from the sea. Pair yours with refreshing white wines that won’t overpower briny oysters and sweet shrimp & lobster tails.
Granbazan Albariño Etiqueta Verde ($27)
Located off the Atlantic coast, Galicia, Spain, is renowned for seafood and the white wine Albariño. Crisp and mineral with a hint of salinity, this classic Albariño creates a veritable ocean-to-table tasting experience when paired with seafood.
Pieropan Calvarino Soave Classico ($40)
This Soave will shush naysayers who doubt its capacity for complexity and finesse. Italy’s first single-vineyard Soave, this iconic mineral-driven blend of Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave, is always a superior sip.
Susana Balbo Signature Barrel Fermented Torrontés ($28)
Six months in French oak adds dynamic texture and complexity to this game changing Torrontés, an aromatic white grape native to Argentina. Silky and with lively flavors of lemon zest and lychee.
How to pair wines with caviar
Guests go wild for these sophisticated salty fish eggs. Keep the pairing classic with a traditional method sparkling wine or a crisp still white.
Ferrari Brut Trentodoc ($30)
Consistently elegant, this 100% Chardonnay traditional-method Italian bubbly from the mountains of Trentino is exuberant and balanced. Your guests will think you spent much more than you did! Fun fact: Ferrari Trento is the official toast of Formula 1.
Rare Champagne 2013 ($260)
Are you in the mood to splurge and show off? Rare Champagne is always a showstopper; only eleven vintages have been released in the last four decades. A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Rare shows the magic that happens when bubbles are crafted to age.
Quintessa Illumination Sauvignon Blanc ($67)
How to pair wines with crab cakes
These crispy and tender bites are always crowd-pleasers, and they pair like a dream with sparkling wines and nuanced whites.
Loveblock Pinot Gris ($28)
Vibrant fruit and not-too-zippy acidity make this crisp Pinot Gris from Marlborough a winner with seafood. It’s also a delicious reminder that New Zealand doesn’t only make Sauvignon Blanc.
Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs ($44)
Pop the cork and drop a little knowledge. This classic bubbly has earned its place in history: In 1972, President Nixon served Schramsberg at the Toast to Peace in Beijing. It’s delightfully dry, with generous flavors of grapefruit, golden apple, white peach, and a sultry kiss of ginger.
Pasqua “Hey French” White Blend ($62)
More than just a cheeky name, Hey French You Could Have Made This But You Didn’t is a clever blend of several vintages of Garganega, Pinot Bianco, and Sauvignon Blanc from Italy’s Veneto region, which is known for Prosecco. It’s rich but still refreshing with savory notes and mouthwatering acidity.
How to pair wines with deviled eggs
Is it even a party if there are no deviled eggs? Medium-bodied white wines with bright acidity complement this rich and creamy nosh.
Landmark Overlook Chardonnay ($27)
The spirit of Sonoma County shines through in every sip of this sunny and refreshing Chardonnay crafted from 42 separate blocks of grapes. Brimming with flavor but not over-the-top, it has juicy flavors of ripe apple, poached pear, and pineapple, with a sassy kick of vanilla and baking spice.
Montecillo Rioja Blanco Fermentado en Barrica ($25)
This barrel-aged blend of Viura, White Tempranillo, and Sauvignon Blanc shakes things up in Spain’s red-heavy Rioja region. Delicate but not wimpy, there’s a lip-smacking creaminess that elevates the vivacious fruit.
Tabarrini Adarmando Bianco ($35)
Winemaker Giampaolo Tabarrini named this exquisite Trebbiano Spoletino from the hills of Montefalco after his grandfather. A wine that can age for decades, it magically maintains verve while gaining complexity over time.
How to pair wines with pigs in a blanket
Ok, maybe you want to be fancy and call them cocktail franks en croute. Call them what you like, but don’t you dare run out: Every guest needs more than their fair share of tiny hot dogs wrapped in puff pastry. Medium-bodied reds and heartier rosés make the grade with these adorable tube steaks.
Ehlers Estate Sylviane Rosé ($38)
The bold pink hue hints at the robust style of this Napa rosé. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot meld together to create a fuller-bodied rosé with zippy acidity.
Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria ($25)
Add a bit of Sicilian style to the party with this blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato. The name Cerasuolo is inspired by the word for cherry in the Sicilian dialect, and that flavor soars in this red (almost rosé) wine, along with pops of pepper.
Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir ($45)
Yes, Pinot Noir has earned a reputation for being fancy, but it’s also a compelling match with simpler foods. The Sokol Blosser family is one of Oregon’s trailblazers, and this pretty Pinot, with bright fruit and savory notes, shows their expertise in balancing elegance with approachability.
How to pair wines with baby lamb chops
No one looks particularly chic nibbling on a lamb chop at a cocktail party, but they certainly look happy. Chop in one hand, a glass of red wine in the other = bliss. Go for a medium-bodied and juicy red.
Carpineto Chianti Classico ($20)
Close your eyes and feel transported to a Tuscan villa with this velvety and robust blend of Sangiovese and Canaiolo. Expect flavors of cherries and red berries from this juicy wine.
Double Diamond Proprietary Red Wine ($90)
This well-pedigreed Napa red is produced by Schrader, who is well-known for their much pricier Cabernet Sauvignon. The debut 2021 vintage blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Ripe fruit and silky tannins deliver a mighty fine drinking experience.
Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas ($28)
One of the original so-called “Rhône Rangers”, Tablas Creek is a Paso Robles pioneer. Their crowd-pleasing Patelin combines the Rhône varieties Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Counoise, and Terret Noir to create a blend with sultry dark fruit flavors and pops of spice.
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