I must admit that serving appetizers with wine is my favorite way to entertain. I am an oenophile (wine lover) at heart. Cooking and pairing wine with food gives me a sense of culinary accomplishment. It also provides a pleasurable experience for my guests. Being a wine and food writer gives me opportunities to get samples of wine, food items and other gourmet goods to review. The samples also allow me to create recipes and pairings to share with my readers.
I really love picking my brain thing of what would be the best ingredients to make a glaze for a pork roast or what shrimp and corn dish to pair with Chardonnay. A home cook can feel like a chef by just realizing the power of creativity; which by the way is free! By the way, I really am working on a glaze for a pork loin and I want to pair it with J 2009 "California" Pinot Gris. The hints of tangerine and orange blossoms will pair well with pork that has those same flavors with an addition of a few other flavors to give it that right "kick."
One of my favorite no cook pairings is sparkling wine and cheese. I love to pair Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog goat cheese with sparkling wine. I let it come to room temperature and spread it on a thin slice of French bread. St. Andre cheese, which is a triple cream French cheese is another favorite pairing with sparkling wine. It is almost like butter. I like to spread it on a crisp cracker and savor it with a glass of sparkling wine.
http://www.3pigs.com/, especially the pate`with mushrooms and the Mousse Truffle` pate`; both pair well with Brut, Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noir sparkling wines.
Another pairing that is almost no-cook pairing is popcorn and sparkling wine; just pop and maybe add some desired flavorings on the popcorn and sip bubbly. French fries are another great and off the beaten path pairing with sparkling wine in addition to potato chips.