We love any excuse to pair our wines with fabulous food and February 14 is no exception, so we’ve put together sweet and savory appetizers for each of our profiles. Serve these any time or for a special Galentine’s or Valentine’s celebration.
Steamed Artichoke with Roasted Garlic Aioli
It doesn’t seem like this appetizer has any sweet in it, but as the garlic cooks, it caramelizes and artichokes contain a natural chemical called cynarin – it’s the thing that makes them (and everything else you eat with them) taste oddly sweet. So while many people pair artichokes with chardonnay – a classic California appetizer – the cynarin can make the chardonnay taste syrupy and feel lacking in structure. For artichokes, the our crispness, high acidity and dry finish of our Profile One is the perfect match.
If you’ve never steamed artichokes before, it’s a breeze, but give yourself lots of lead time. They can take what seems like forever to cook. Try this simple Martha Steward recipe for the artichokes and The Cookie Rookie’s quick creamy roasted garlic aioli. Or to make things even easier try this version from Whole Foods.
Mixed Cheeses with Drizzled Honey
The ultimate in simple appetizers. Choose mild, buttery, creamy cheeses – we love pairing our Profile Two with brie, camembert, mild blue and emmetal – to compliment this slightly oaky wine with its sun-ripened fruit notes. This is the kind of appetizer that can turn into dinner, it tastes so good.
Grilled Halloumi Cheese with Crackers and Tart Cherry Jam
We know we said grilled cheese, but we don’t mean the sandwich, we mean taking a block of cheese and throwing it on the grill like it’s a steak. Could there be anything more divine? Halloumi cheese stands up well to the grill and gets a lovely toasty outside, while the inside melts just a little. Follow this easy recipe from Kitchen Treaty on grilling cheese and pair with this simple tart cherry jam recipe from Norman’s Farm Market. Or to make life easier, grab a jar of these organic cherry preserves.
Sausage Mushroom Caps with Honey
Bring out the umami and earthy flavors of our crowd-pleasing Profile Four with
these sausage mushroom appetizers from Taste of Home. This wine is like Goldilocks – everything is just right: medium to high acidity, low to medium tannins and a light to medium body which makes for an easy drinking wine that pairs with just about anything. The mushrooms heighten the earthy notes and the sweet brings out the dark fruits and baking spices in this wine.
Profile Four | Five
Pear and Blue Cheese Pizza with Walnuts and Arugula
In this simple pizza by Savour Ontario, the pears compliment the earthy, dark fruit notes and hints of vanilla in this wine while its medium tannins and acidity hold up to the stronger notes of the blue cheese; and the sharp peppery spice of the arugula brings out its hints of baking spice.
Meatballs with Balsamic Vinegar, Profile Five Wine Reduction, Garlic and Honey
These Sugar and Soul meatballs make a great appetizer – easy to serve, easy to eat and easy to love. Our big, bold, full bodied red loves its meat and savory dishes, and with its full tannins and medium acidity, it can stand up to the rich fattiness of the ground meat and the savory herbs. The garlic and the dash of sweet honey bring out its fruit forward and oaky spiciness. Of course we suggest using our Profile Five instead of the merlot called for in this recipe.
Sourdough Country Bread with Honey Drizzled Gorgonzola, Pear and Walnuts
This appetizer is so simple it needs no recipe. Slice your rustic sourdough baguette on the slight diagonal, layer with gorgonzola and thinly sliced pear and top with walnut halves or chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey. Our Profile Six is our velvety smooth, slightly sweet red with medium tannins and acidity which balances out the rich creaminess of the gorgonzola. The nutty earthy walnuts and honey, along with the bright pears bring out its fruit driven notes.
Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Figs and Brie
Figs. Brie. Prosciutto. Need we say more? It’s the perfect sweet and savory pairing for our gorgeous rosé of pinot noir. Find a hearty baguette, some triple cream brie – we love Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt Tam Triple Cream, some fresh figs and prosciutto. Lightly toast your sliced baguettes, spread a generous layer of brie and top with sliced or quartered figs and prosciutto. The earthy, delicate sweet of the figs plays well with the delicate complexity of this wine, as does the light creaminess of the brie. The salty, lean prosciutto is balanced by the acidity, dryness and light body of our divine rosé.
As always, we’d love to hear about your experience trying our pairings. Email us at email@example.com or DM us on Instagram @drinkboxt and tell us what you think.
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