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Nov 1, 2012 04:15 PM

Appetizers for Wine Tasting Party

I'm having a wine tasting party for about 15-20 people. Very laid back and we are novice winos. I'm planning on doing an olive tapenade but need some help coming up with other appetizers that are cheap and easy.

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  1. Assuming you'll have an assortment of wines, whatever you select as appetizers you'll want an assortment of sweet, savory, spicy to compliment the various wines on your list. There was a lot of discussion on the subject in this thread:

    1. Try a shallot-cherry confit, served with baguette slices & some cheese, Manchego is my go to, but other hard, Spanish cheese are good too.

      Try using an assortment of cheese like a soft goat, crumbled blue, some hard or semi hard cheese like Parm, aged fontina, Gouda, aged Jack or cheddar.

      1. For my wine tastings I will typically have about 40 pieces of fried chicken for 15 guests; along with salumi, cheeses, pate and lots of bread and water. Fried chicken is fairly versatile and I like to have full tummies for hours of wine drinking.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chinon00

          huh. Not commenting on feasibility or desirability of idea, but have probably been to over 100 wine tsatings in my life and never once saw nor heard any hint of fried chicken.

          1. re: FrankJBN

            Then maybe you aren't hitting the right parties...

            1. re: FrankJBN

              Let me explain. Basically we have a casual meal before the actual tasting starts. Besides the fried chicken we'll have cheeses etc that last into the actual tasting.

              1. re: FrankJBN

                Fried chicken is a perfect pre-tasting meal. Lots of protein and fat. I have done friend chicken and sweet potato fries first. Then palate cleansers for the tastings.

            2. Gougeres. My favorite, quick recipe is from Jacques Pepin:

              4 Replies
              1. re: Anita P.

                I'll second gouger├Ęs, but one tablespoon of choux paste will make a very small pastry. I would use 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons, and pipe them using a pastry bag as that will be much faster.

                1. re: Anita P.

                  +1 my first recommendation - they can also be done ahead, frozen and reheated if you're pressed for time with other appetizers, though the batter itself can keep for a day or two before being baked off the night of the party.

                  1. re: Anita P.

                    Another JP thing was to press a walnut half into the cut side of a halved dried fig, which makes it look for all the world like a walnut in its shell. He then poached them in a mixture of honey and wine, if memory serves, but I think you could create finger food by glazing with a syrup made of the above liquids, then briefly heating in the oven. Serve room temp.

                    Spiced nuts of your choice are another option for your spread.

                    1. I love hot cheese olives, only made them once but not too expensive, they make a lot and they freeze unbaked very well, they do require a bit of prep, but I think they are great!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: geminigirl

                        As well some of the olives stuffed with almonds are relatively inexpensive and are very good. Why don't you have an assorted olive platter with one other appetizer like the gougere mentionned?