Posted by on May 3, 2018 in Entertaining, Recipes | 2 comments

There’s no better way to celebrate ladies night than with a bottle of wine and some tasty snacks. Lauren,  from Climbing Grier Mountain, shows us how to put together the perfect wine tasting party with Harry & David wines and gourmet appetizers. So, go ahead and call a few friends over, open a bottle, and unwind!
 

Wine, cheese, and catching up with friends. What more could a girl want?

How about having all three of those things in the comfort of your own home? Hosting friends offers an opportunity to connect and catch up. Everyone is either running to the next event or family activity and rarely do we have time to sit and just be.

One of the best ways to gather the gaggle and connect is to host a Wine Tasting Party! Now, I am a firm believer that simplicity is key when it comes to providing food and drink. That’s why Harry & David makes entertaining a breeze.

host a wine tasting party

I decided to order their Antipasto Wine Pairing Collection Gift Box. It’s the perfect collection of Southern Oregon wine, artisanal cheeses, and assortment of ingredients to make a quick appetizer like premium salami, French baguette, and olives. Think of it as an instant wine tasting party in a box!

how to host a wine tasting party

The first thing I do when I have friends over is make sure everyone has something to nibble on. I decided to make these Whipped Goat Cheese Crostini with Harry & David Sweet Cherry Pepper Bruschetta Spread. You can make the whipped goat cheese ahead of time and then simply add the sweet cherry peppers on top when you are ready to serve. I adore this bruschetta spread because it’s a versatile topping! Use it on chicken or as a soup starter. Seriously, so delish! Scroll down for full recipe.

wine tasting party bruschetta recipe

Next, set out your pairings. Place each cheese – gruyere, blue cheese, and cheddar on a sampling plate along with a few crackers and other palate clearing fare. Then place a few wine glasses beside the plate for tasting. In the Antipasto Wine Pairing Collection Gift Box you will receive three Southern Oregon wine varietals.

Cheese Pairings for a Wine Tasting Party

Harry & David 2016 Chardonnay

wine tasting party chardonnay

This chardonnay is aged in a stainless steel and French oak. With notes of honey and melon it pairs beautifully with Gruyère cheese.

Harry & David 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon

wine tasting party cabernet sauvignon

This bold varietal is aged in French and American oak. Fruity, yet has a smooth full-bodied taste with some spice. The blue cheese is a wonderful companion to this wine.

Harry & David 2014 Ross Lane Red Blend

wine tasting party red wine

This lush blend is very approachable. With hints of vanilla, subtle spice, and cedar notes this wine pairs well with cheddar.

Let the wine and cheese pairing begin! Sip, nibble and chat away as you move down the list. Ask your friends which pairing is their favorite and enjoy being in the moment! Cheers!

 

Whipped Goat Cheese Crostini with Sweet Cherry Peppers

wine tasting party appetizer

Makes 16 crostini

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz plain goat cheese, room temperature
  • 2 oz plain cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • Olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup Harry & David Sweet Cherry Pepper Bruschetta Spread
  • Fresh chopped basil, for garnish
  • 16 crostini, toasted

Instructions

  1. In a food processor place the goat cheese, cream cheese, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper. Pulse to combine adding olive oil as needed until you have a smooth consistency.
  2. Next, spread some of the whipped goat cheese onto each crostini. Take some of the Harry & David Sweet Cherry Pepper Bruschetta Spread and place a dollop on top of the whipped goat cheese followed by the fresh basil.
  3. Repeat until all the crostini has been assembled. Enjoy!