Entertaining is easy with these two appetizers

Now that the basketball season is officially over, Dave and I are excited to have our weekends back, without the obligation of games and a lot of work. On top of that, our move a few months ago to a bigger place outside the City means we’ve got the space to do much more entertaining. We haven’t had anybody over since our awesome housewarming at the end of February, and we’re eager to plan something soon.

When it comes to hosting, I like to keep it simple, but I also like to spend some time in the kitchen creating good food. And you can’t have good food without good wine. Am I right?

Chopping in the kitchenYes, I’m wearing an extra-large NBA Playoffs t-shirt around the house. No-judgment zone, my friends.

Today, I’m going to share with you two easy appetizers I recently concocted as a practice run for a future get-together. And these appetizers are paired with some delicious wine by Noble Vines, a Northern California brand, which you can find on the shelves nearly everywhere.

Both of these appetizers took less than 30 minutes to make and feature only a few ingredients, yet they look fancy and taste great. It just goes to show that entertaining doesn’t have to be too complicated. Not to mention, you can certainly up your game with a little smart wine pairing. And if you do, your friends will be totally impressed.

Brie and pineapple phyllo-cup bites

You absolutely cannot host a party without offering something with cheese in it. Soft brie cheese is probably my favorite of all the cheeses, and pairing it with moist fruit, a little phyllo cup and basil is a winning combination. 

Brie and pineapple phyllo-cup bites

I paired these bites with Noble Vines 446 Chardonnay from 2013, which is made in Monterey, California. This fine white wine has notes of apples, pineapples and apricots with a toasty vanilla spice.

Chardonnay is always my white wine drink of choice, and this one is super pleasing to the palate. This bite and a sip of 446 Chardonnay? Heaven! A definite crowd-pleaser.

Brie and pineapple phyllo-cup bites

Ashley @ A Lady Goes West

Ingredients
  

  • One small wedge of soft brie cheese
  • Three fresh pineapple spears
  • A few leaves of basil
  • Two packs of frozen phyllo cups

Instructions
 

  • Let the phyllo cups defrost for about 10 minutes.
  • Chop the brie into quarter-inch cubes.
  • Chop the pineapple into quarter-inch cubes.
  • Chop the basil leaves into tiny squares.
  • Place the brie and pineapple in the phyllo cups on a lined baking tray.
  • Cook for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Remove the tray from the oven to cool and add a basil square to each cup.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Notes

Pair with a delicious Chardonnay.

Prosciutto-wrapped brussels sprouts

I love a good meat and veggie bite on a toothpick. There’s just something about edible bites on a mini-skewer that screams festive. And hey, anytime I can sneak some healthy veggies into a party food, that’s a small victory for me.

Noble Vines 337 Cabernet paired with Proscuitto-wrapped brussels sproutsNoble Vines 337 Cabernet paired with Proscuitto-wrapped brussels sprouts

I paired these bites with Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon from 2012. This wine, made in Lodi, California, has notes of black cherry, ripe currant, fresh herbs and lightly roasted coffee, which means it’s got a robust flavor. I’m pretty picky when it comes to red wines, and this one is just right. 

The mixture of the bitter brussels sprouts, the salty and sweet prosciutto and the rich wine … pretty perfect. This one is definitely going to be on the menu for our next party.

Prosciutto-wrapped brussels sprouts

Ashley @ A Lady Goes West

Ingredients
  

  • One bag of whole brussels sprouts
  • One bag of thinly sliced prosciutto
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Toothpicks

Instructions
 

  • Wash the brussels sprouts.
  • Cut the brussels sprouts in half length-wise.
  • Coat the brussels sprouts in olive, salt and pepper.
  • Arrange on a baking tray, covered in cooking spray.
  • Cook for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. (Flipping them over half-way through.)
  • Pull the brussels sprouts out to cool.
  • Slice the prosciutto in quarter-inch strips.
  • Wrap the prosciutto slices around the brussels sprouts, securing with a toothpick.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Notes

Pair with a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon.

Not all vines are created equal

I really enjoyed sampling the wines from Noble Vines to create these easy appetizers, and I’d love to tell you a little bit more about the company behind the product. Noble Vines was founded in 2004 and uses grapes from sustainably run, family-owned vineyards in Lodi and Monterey, California. The company offers six varietals of affordable luxury wines, which all retail for around $13-15. (A perfect price-point for wine that you’ll be serving to guests at a party, if you ask me.)

Noble Vines Chardonnay 446 via A Lady Goes West

If you’re in the market for some vino, may I suggest picking up a bottle of Noble Vines. It’s good stuff people. And I would know, because I like my wine.

For more information on Noble Vines, check out Noble Vines on Facebook. And thanks to the great team at NV for stocking my wine rack and giving me an excuse to get in the kitchen. (I’ll also thank you on behalf of Dave, who was happy to help me drink, eat and test it all out. It was tough work.)

Please note: This post is sponsored by Noble Vines. While I was compensated and provided product, all the views, words and recipes are completely my own. And I love wine. That’s no secret. So there you go.

Have a fabulous day, my friends! And cheers to you (in total moderation, of course)!

Questions of the day

Are you a wine drinker?

What’s your favorite appetizer to eat at parties?

When was the last time you entertained?

Ashley signature

 

 

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52 Comments

    1. Hi Megan! That’s too bad about wine. Have you tried sulfite-free wine? I’ve heard that can help with the headache issue. However, beer is good too! Happy Thursday, lady! πŸ™‚

    1. Totally, Susie! I should create one huge bite with all of these things together. Nice idea!! πŸ™‚ But then which wine do we drink??

  1. Those appetizers are right up my alley. Thanks for sharing. I love to eat little caprese skewers. Cherry tomatoes, little bit of fresh mozzarella di bufala, basil leaf, all on a toothpick sprinkled with some olive oil & balsamic vinegar – YUM! We just entertained Saturday night. We do an amazing pizza night, if I do say so myself. πŸ™‚ I put a pizza stone in the oven at 500 degrees and preheat it for about an hour. I make homemade dough, and we go to town sliding pizzas in and out of the oven on the pizza peels. So much fun and so good! We like to do it on the grill too.

    1. Hi Melissa! Well I want to come to one of your pizza parties. I’ve never tried to make dough, but love making pizzas at home. How fun!! And yes, caprese bites are a favorite of mine as well. How does grilling pizza work for you? I’d love to hear your tricks, because that’s another thing we’d like to try. πŸ™‚

  2. I’ll definitely have to check out Noble Vines. I’m a red wine drinker and your description of the Cab sounds amazing!

    Thanks for the recipes! I haven’t met a Brussels Sprout I don’t love, so I definitely will be trying that one.

    Have a great day!

    1. Hi Courtney! For sure, check out the NV products and let me know what you think. I’d imagine you’ll be pleased! I have had brussels sprouts every day this week. πŸ™‚ Big fan! Happy Thursday, lady!!

    1. Hi Lauren, I go through phases of which I prefer more — red or white. I’m not sure what this summer will hold for me, but probably more white. Happy Thursday, lady! πŸ™‚

    1. Ah-ha! Buy in bulk! That’s the way to go, Katie. So does that mean Noble Vines red wine is part of your nightly drink you have after dinner? πŸ™‚

  3. Girl I want to come to your parties! These look So good! One time a friend made proscuitto-wrapped melon and it was amazing. I’ve also tried proscuitto-wrapped dates (pretty much proscuitto/bacon and anything is a winner for me!) So lucky you got to test out some wine..I could use some help in that area lately!

    1. Hi Gretchen! Yes, prosciutto is good wrapped around basically anything. I’ve always had it with fruit, so it was cool to try it with a veggie. Come on over my way and I’ll pour you a glass of vino! I’ve got a ton. πŸ™‚ Have a good day, my friend!

  4. I’m not a big wine drinker, more so in the winter. In the summer I like a little fizz, so vodka sodas with a splash of lime juice is my go to! Favorite appetizer is definitely brussel sprouts! I’m a vegetarian so anything that doesn’t have meat is totally right up my alley. I had a BBQ at my apartment two weekends ago and it was so much fun. I really enjoyed the evening and hope to do it again sometime soon!

    1. Hi Jamie! Barbecues during the summer are the best. We may have one too! And I like a little fizz in my drinks as well at times. Sometimes I may wine spritzers, if the mood is right, by adding a little club soda to white wine. Hope you get to have another party soon! πŸ™‚

  5. Those appetizers look soooo delicious! I’m sure the wines paired wonderfully.
    I’m kind of crazy with entertaining. Not like I’m Martha Stewart, but I seriously love having people over. We almost have people over every single weekend. Sometimes we need a break but my favorite thing in life is having friends/family over, enjoying good drinks, and food.
    I loveeeeeeeee wine. I tend to drink it more in the summer. I just tried a Mulderbosch rose’ of Cab from South Africa last Friday and it was delicious. Not too sweet at all and a delicious berry aroma.

    1. Hi Kelli! That’s awesome that you are a frequent entertainer. I’d like to do more of it now that we have the space. Of course, as a Sonoma gal, you MUST love your wine. πŸ™‚ Thanks for saying hi, lady! Cheers to you!!

  6. I love anything with the word ‘brie’ in it ;). My favorite appetizer would have to be something smoked salmon related. I love those cheese/lox/grape plates, I probably go a little crazy when I see something like that. But anyone who comes to your house for a party is going to be in for such a treat :).

    1. Hi Niki! Smoked salmon is also one of my favorites. I could eat it plain, on crackers, or on a salad or whatever. Yay for fun eats! Can’t wait to plan my next party. Have a lovely day! πŸ™‚

  7. I prefer red wine in winter and chilled white in summer. Those apps love really good! I haven’t entertained since out house warming party last fall. I would like to have people over soon though because I love an excuse to cook/bake!

    1. Hi Sheena! Now’s a good time. Plan your next party heheh! πŸ™‚ And baking is something I ONLY do when having a party. Red velvet brownies are my favorite baked good for sure. Happy Thursday!

  8. I do love a glass of wine in the evenings. I usually go for a Cab Sauv or a Shiraz. I have never been much of a white wine drinker, but perhaps it is because I do not know as much about them.
    Those appetizers sound amazing!

    1. Hi Heather! I go back and forth between wines, but usually choose Chardonnay as my favorite. It’s light and refreshing and this one by Noble Vines is very good. Cheers to you, lady! πŸ™‚

    1. You and me both, Courtney! Why can’t all of my meals include phyllo cups and white wine? I need to change that! πŸ™‚ hahah Happy Thursday!

  9. oh my gosh! I always feel like phyllo cups appetizer and also try it with a wine pairing! And so fun to eat! I love this recipe and I can’t wait to make it myself. and also try it with a wine pairing!

    1. Thanks, Kelly! I think you and Pat would be fans of this wine for sure! Maybe even the roomie? heheh! Happy Thursday, Doc! Thanks for saying hi!

  10. I’m come over and help you drink some wine anytime, lady. I always get flustered trying to make like 5 complicated appetizers when I have people over-thanks for reminding me to keep things simple. I may just make those brussels for dinner one night!

    1. Hi Lauren! Simple is the way to go! I never make anything that has too many ingredients hehehe. And hey, I’ve got a lot of wine. When ya coming?

    1. Hi Sarah! I tend to hover around the cheese at parties too. Hmmm. Guess that’s a foodie thing ahhah! Thanks for stopping by to say hi! When am I getting my invite to your place for some grub?

  11. Wow this looks delicious! I have never been much of a cook, but I think I will have to give these a try when I get home from traveling! Beautiful photos πŸ™‚

    Chelsea

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