5 Amazing Wine & Appetizer Pairings for the Holidays
The holidays, among the twinkling lights and shiny packages is the ever present gathering of friends and family. You will find a gift from our family to yours with our 5 most scrumptious wine and appetizer pairings for your next holiday party.
Wine Friendly Recipes
Food: Bacon-wrapped and Rose Wine
Wine: Liquid Geography Rose
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serving: 3 dozen
Cranberry Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts. The crunch of the water chestnut, saltiness of the bacon mixed with the tart of the cranberry makes for the quintessential holiday appetizer. Serve steaming hot or room temperature.
These bite sized morsels pair perfectly with a Rose from Spain, our selection, Liquid Geography Rose. Furthermore, it is a dry rosé wine made with Mencia grapes from 53-year-old vines in the region of Bierzo in northwest Spain, granting the perfect palette quencher with this tart and savory appetizer.
We always use Inspired by Charm’s recipe for this holiday appetizer. Below are the ingredients you will need and the directions to make this perfect food and wine pairing.
- 1.5 pounds thick-cut bacon slices cut in half
- 2 cans (8 ounces) whole water chestnuts
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chili sauce
- 1 cup fresh cranberries - whole and halved
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Wrap each water chestnut with a half strip of bacon. Insert a toothpick through the center with the seam-side down. Place in a baking dish. Continue wrapping all the water chestnuts, creating a single layer in your baking dish.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the bacon is cooked. Drain off the grease. Be careful when doing this because the pan and grease will be extremely hot.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, brown sugar, chili sauce, and cranberries. (For the cranberries, I like a mix of whole cranberries and cranberries that I’ve sliced in half.)
- Pour the sauce over the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. Return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes. Serve warm.
This wine is a pale pink and not only pairs perfectly with this holiday appetizer, it also looks beautiful when placed side by side. Aromas and flavors of strawberries, red-currant and white pepper show very good clarity and energy. Finishes taut and minerally, with an echo of red berries. And if the flavors were not enough, this wine donates 100% of Liquid Geography's profits in equal parts to: the TJ Martell Foundation in its search for cancer cures, World Central Kitchen an organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters, and Wheeling Forward to help people with disabilities experience life to the fullest. Talk about a wine that gives back to charity!
Serve the Cranberry Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts warm and the Rose chilled. This is a great first course to any holiday wine party or better yet to your next wine pairing party. If you are throwing a Fall or Holiday wine party read our latest blog post on how to host the ultimate wine pairing party, inclusive of a 5 course food and wine pairing menu.
Hanukkah Approved Appetizer
Food: Potato and Parsnip Latkes
Wine: Santa Julia Organica Cabernet Sauvignon (2019)
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Our Jewish brothers and sisters know how to make wine friendly recipes. Afterall, it is Jesus who turned water into wine. Our next wine and appetizer pairing is a Potato and Parsnip Latkes. Latkes are a Hanukkah party favorite. These parsnip infused latkes provide not only a simple and delicious vegetarian party food option but an appetizer that is on the heartier side.
Offer a side of cinnamon applesauce or dill infused sour cream for a little extra touch of holiday indulgence. We suggest pairing this delicious appetizer with Santa Julia Organica Cabernet Sauvignon (2019). A satisfying, juicy cabernet with currant and plum character, light tannins and a delicious, fresh finish. This bottle is meant to be served chilled a little not too cold but not a toasty room temperature either.
We absolutely love the Country Living’s take on the classic Jewish recipe.
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 lb. russet potatoes, peeled
- 3/4 lb. parsnips, peeled
- 1 large onion
- 1/2 c. matzo meal
- 12 tbsp. canola oil, for frying
- Sour cream and applesauce, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 250°F. Place a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Place eggs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Grate potatoes, parsnips, and onion with a food processor or box grater. Add vegetables and matzo meal to eggs and toss to combine.
- Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop 4 (1/4-cup) spoonfuls of potato mixture into skillet; flatten to create even pancakes. Cook, turning once, until browned, 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to a prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed (when getting near the end of the potato mixture, strain and discard any liquid at bottom of the bowl).
- Serve with sour cream and applesauce alongside.
Holiday Comfort Food Southern Style
Food: Pimiento Cheese Dip
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
A southern holiday staple, this luscious dip filled with three kinds of cheese and spicy pimiento peppers is served with veggies, pita or sturdy chips. Also great on buttery crackers with accoutrement of thin radish slices or bacon chunks.
Pair this rich dip with the lighter body but deep flavor U-Turn Uco Valley Malbec (2015). Sourced from Mendoza's high altitude Uco Valley, this blend is meant to showcase the cool climate style of Malbec. Intense floral aromatics, dark fruit flavors, rich texture and a bright, fresh finish. Many might feel an urge to pair this cheese appetizer with a white wine but trust us, once you combine these flavors you understand how we feel.
The pimiento cheese dip recipe that we use during the holiday season and sometimes make during the cool Spring wine nights we host, comes from Woman’s Day.
- 1 package reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/2 c. low-fat sour cream
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- kosher salt
- 1 jar pimientos or roasted red peppers
- 6 oz. sharp orange Cheddar
- 6 oz. pepper Jack cheese
- 2 scallions
- Potato chips
- Pita chips
- Celery sticks
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Fold in the pimientos, Cheddar, Jack cheese, and scallions.
- Transfer the mixture to a shallow 2-cup baking dish and bake until bubbling and light golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve with chips and celery, if desired.
The Ambitious Cook’s Holiday Appetizer
Food: Herbed Cheese Filled Gougeres Croquembouche
Wine: Allamand H (2013)
Decidedly easier to eat than to pronounce, these puff pastries are normally found in an artistically spirited tower filled with a sweet pastry cream laced with caramel. This savory twist adds rich gruyere to the pastry, trades the filling for herbed cheese and spikes the caramel drizzle with coarse black pepper.
Keep up the glamour of this dish with a surprisingly lavish bottle of Allamand H (2013). One of the trendiest and most exclusive bottles of the Uco Valley, this wine is a gorgeous black garnet in color. Mature aromas of spring garden, tar, mixed berry coulis, and dark chocolate dipped smoked meats with a lightly tannic, lively, dry-yet-fruity full body and a thought-provoking, long fine leather, terra cotta, plump dried fruits, and cherry cola finish with firm, grippy tannins and moderate oak flavor. An elegant and mature South American cab blend that will drink well for years to come.
Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Kate Buckens
This holiday appetizer is one of our favorites and fanciest. If you are up for trying your hand at this masterpiece, you will find all the details at Bon Appetit. They give the fullest expression of what is needed to recreate this savory show stopper. This one is sure to make an impression on your guests at your next holiday wine party.
A Classic Holiday Appetizer
Food: Shrimp Cocktail
Wine: Nortico Alvarinho
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 5
Serving: Make as much as you need
The all time classic shrimp cocktail has made its way onto this list. We cannot help but love this dish. It is simple, easy and absolutely delicious to eat and enjoy with a bright and fun white wine. Furthermore, we just gave you an extremely hard dish to try, we had to follow up with something that everyone can do no matter the ‘foodie’ level.
We recommend you pair this classic appetizer with the white wine, Nortico Alvarinho from Portugal. This is a young, fresh white wine with the characteristic bright acidity and aromas of peach and grapefruit. Nortico is light and delicate, lovely on its own to sip on as you wait for your guests to arrive. A terrific seafood wine, it also pairs particularly well with salty, fattier dishes like linguini with clams or broiled oysters.
This simple light dish tosses fresh shrimp in with the best homemade cocktail sauce you have ever had. The nice thing is that you can make the shrimp cocktail sauce in advance, buy delicious, frozen shrimps and in a few minutes you have a party favorite appetizer.
- Fresh lemon juice
- Worcestershire sauce
- Prepared horseradish
- Minced garlic
- Hot sauce (optional)
- In a small bowl mix together the ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and minced garlic.
- Mix in prepared horseradish, tasting and adding more if desired. If you like, add a dash or two of hot sauce for an extra spicy kick.
- Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.