Appetizers for Your Wine Tasting Party - Which Are the Best Ones?

Expert Author Doug Arnold
Holding a wine tasting party is a great idea if you are interested in getting together with friends or family, especially ones you haven't seen for a while. If done properly, it provides an atmosphere that is relaxing and allows everyone to catch up with everyone else and simply socialize. Because you generally don't have to worry about making a dinner, a wine tasting party tends to be easier to throw than a big dinner party, but that doesn't mean that it isn't as classy!
Although the point of a wine tasting party is to have a great selection of wines, it is equally important to have a good selection of appetizers for your wine tasting party. Some people will refer to them as hors d'oeuvre, which is a French word meaning "apart from the main work". Whatever term you are familiar with, a good selection of appetizers will not only enhance the flavour of the wines, but will also add to the enjoyment of your guests. If served properly, your guests may be too distracted by the appetizers to drink a lot of wine, and hence will be safe to drive home.
This article will discuss a few of the more common appetizers that will add to the evening, but are also fairly simple for you to prepare in advance.
Prosciutto-wrapped Bread Sticks - a fairly common appetizer seen at many wine tasting parties. Prosciutto is like a salty form of ham that is wrapped parmesan cheese and dough and then baked. This tends to be rather salty and will result in a dry mouth for your guests. Don't despair, as this will encourage your guests to keep the wine in their mouths for longer before swallowing it, which will enhance the experience for your guests.
Cheese plate - having the right cheese and wine combination is very delicious. For a great idea, why not choose your cheese from the same region as the wine you are tasting? However, if this isn't possible, lighter wines are best paired with mild-flavoured cheeses, and full-bodied wines go with the more pungent cheeses.
Bruschetta - This is a great dish that is grilled bread, olive oil, tomatoes and red peppers, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Green onions are a variation, but you can add almost anything you like, such as mushrooms, cured meats and various cheeses Because of the spiciness, it gets your taste buds warmed up and ready for the wine!
Fruit platter - any type of wine seems to go well with fresh fruit. However, you should be aware of a few things. Avoid extremely sweet fruits, as these might change the taste of whichever wine you are tasting.
Tapenade - this is popular appetizer that is a pureed snack made from olives that contains black olives, anchovies, garlic and olive oil. Spread on top of a cracker or small piece of bread, it is an easy one to prepare and serve
Despite the thousands of possible appetizers, you'll find that the freshest but simplest foods will enhance the flavour of wines. Therefore, foods like breads, cheeses and fresh fruits are usually on the top of the most popular appetizers. However, in addition to curing a bit of hunger for your guests, they might also spend a lot of time talking while eating that they may not have a lot of wine, and therefore will be safe to drive.

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