Sometimes we forget about antipasto except when we throw parties. However, during the summer it is a common lunch routine in Italy and other European countries. With summer heating up and the desire for hot foods is on vacation, why not integrate more antipasto into your meals? Pack a picnic or set the patio table, it's time to dine outdoors with some of your forgotten favorites. Most people associate hors d'oeuvres with white wine, but lightness alone does not make a wine interestingly versatile.
A nice crisp Chardonnay has just enough acidity to cut through creamy goat cheese. Try creating an artichoke and goat cheese spread topped on a garlic crostini. Sip along side an olive medley with tarragon and feta crumbles or Parmisean-Reggiano. Chardonnay is also harmonious with pesto, basil, fresh veggies and tomato bruschetta.
Another tasty option for cutting through the oils of bruschetta and the creamy fat of cheese is Rosé! Which offers a medium body with flavors of fresh red fruit, wild herbs, and mild spice with a long finish. The dryness of Rosé will bring out the flavorful components of the foods you pair it with. Try this wine with eggplant antipastos, marinated fresh mozzarella balls and cured hams. Prosciutto is one of our favorite pairings! Rosé is one of the most versatile wines with antipasto and also shines during a salad course of fresh greens with an acidic citrus dressing.
In the spirit of summer beach days, we recommend a lovely Syrah that delivers complex layers of red and dark berry aromas and flavors of cherries, spice, and mocha. There is a good balance of acidity and tannins that deliver a medium to long finish. Pair this wine with a sharp cheddar, provolone, or Roquefort cheese. Olives stuffed with these sharp cheeses and enhanced with sage and oregano can be a great antipasto pairing. Syrah also goes well with spicy sausage, ham and pepperoni. Try grilled bacon wrapped asparagus or Brussels sprouts with blue cheese.
This post has been contributed by Katrina Coulourides, our Artistic Director and Graphic Designer and Monice Yu, our Wine Buyer.