Thursday, May 5, 2011

Delish Small Bites and Wine Pairing Suggestions

You just have to love the idea of having a variety of small bites to try at a cocktail party. To me it is just one of life's little luxuries when paired with the right wine.

I do add the minced garlic in the tomato mixture. This tastes better if it marinates for a few hours; the flavors just unite! This pairs well with Zinfandel. I paired this with Frank Family Vineyards 2007 Zinfandel.

I love this book by Eric Treuille & Victoria Blashford -Snell; it is a blueprint on how to make wonderful small bites.

Trois Petits Cochons
Pate` aux Champignons
Pate` with Mushrooms

I really can't say enough about the smooth pate`s by The Three Little Pigs or Trois Petits Cochons. I just love the pate` with mushrooms and the Mousee Truffle served on good crackers. They are so creamy and full of decadent flavor. I love pairing this pate` with Brut sparkling wine.


St. Andre`

This is a wonderful and buttery soft French triple cheese. Explorateur is wonderful when spread on crackers or a thin slice of French bread paired with sparkling wine. Another cheese that is soft and buttery and pairs well with sparkling wine is St. Andre`

Sparkling Wine

J Cuvee 20 Sparkling Wine

Always remember that puff pastry is your friend. You can fill it with almost any topping and roll or shape it in so many ways to create wonderful appetizers.

Puff Pastry Appetizers

Lorrie’s Salmon Salad
  • (3) 7.1 ounce packages of Chicken of the Sea Pink salmon
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chopped seasoning (onions, celery and Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of dried chives (additional chives for garnish, optional)
  • ½ cup of finely chopped pickles
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3 shakes of ground ginger
  • 1 light sprinkle of Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • 1 pinch or to taste of cayenne pepper
  • Enough mayonnaise to moisten (I use Blue Plate Mayonnaise)

    Combine all ingredients with mayonnaise and adjust seasonings and mayonnaise if needed. I like the Sociable crackers by Nabisco with the salmon salad.

    Wine Pairing Suggestion: Mirabelle Brut Rose by Schramsberg Vineyards

    Lorrie's Super Bruschetta

    1 head of roasted garlic (recipe will follow)
    (1) 8 oz package of cream cheese
    ½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese
    1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
    ¼ teaspoon of Creole seasoning
    2 tablespoons of melted I can't believe it's not butter
    ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
    20 diagonally sliced pieces of French bread
    (1) 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers
    ½ lb. of thinly sliced beef pastrami
    (1) 8 oz. block of Fontina cheese
    dried chives for garnish

    To roast garlic:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the top off the head of garlic, just enough to see the garlic toes exposed. Put in a square of aluminum foil. Put olive oil on top and add about a teaspoon of water on the bottom of the foil, close up and bake for an hour. After the garlic has cooled, squeeze the roasted garlic toes in a small bowl. This can be done ahead of time to save in prep time.
    In addition, the cream cheese mixture can be made ahead as well.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix melted margarine and olive oil together in a cup. Brush the bread with the olive oil mixture and bake for about 5-7 minutes.
    In a food processor, combine cream cheese, roasted garlic, cheddar cheese, cayenne pepper and Creole seasoning and pulse until blended. 
    Remove the bread slices from oven and spread a teaspoon of cream cheese mixture on each slice of bread. Then add a piece of roasted red pepper. Then add a small piece of pastrami, then a thin slice of Fontina cheese, and a drop of oil on each slice of bread. Sprinkle with chives. Bake in oven until the cheese is melted. About 5 minutes.
    Wine Suggestion:   2008 Rodney Strong Alexander Valley, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon


  1. Trois Petits Cochons Pate, Explorateur & St. Andre` cheeses paired with sparkling wine sounds like a savory party on the palate! Thanks for including the J Cuvee 20 in your beautiful pairing suggestion, our Executive Chef, Mark E. Caldwell loves it!

  2. Thanks so much for the great reply!