December 7, 2014

Holiday Entertaining With KORBEL

The holiday season is in full swing, and many of us feel pressed for time and pulled in many directions. Holiday entertaining needn't add to that stress. Here are some no-fuss recipes and ideas to host a frazzle-free gathering.

Cheese and Champagne Pairings

Forgo cheese and crackers in favor of a cheese-tasting platter. Choose between three to five cheeses so as to not overwhelm your guests' palates. (Plan for each guest to eat 1 to 2 ounces of each cheese.) Serve the cheeses at room temperature, and arrange them from mildest to strongest. (You may want to pre-slice the cheese or use one knife per cheese so that the flavors do not blend.) Accompany with plain crackers or baguette slices to let the flavors of the cheese shine through.

Encourage guests to sample the cheeses with different KORBEL California Champagne varietals. Aged cheeses, such as blue cheese and Gouda, pair beautifully with KORBEL Sweet Rosé, while milder cheeses are wonderful with KORBEL Brut.

Bacon-Wrapped Apricots

24 dried apricots
8 slices bacon, cut into thirds to make 24 pieces
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Heat oven to 375°F. Wrap each apricot with a piece of bacon. Place seam side down onto baking sheet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes per side. Remove from oven and brush maple syrup on each piece. Serve with toothpicks.

White Bean-and-Red Pepper Dip

1 15-oz. can cannellini, drained
1 7-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
1 large garlic clove
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place first six ingredients in a food processor and pulse. Slowly add olive oil into food chute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with cut-up vegetables and pita wedges.

Sparkling Poinsettia Punch

750 ml KORBEL Brut (chilled)
3 cups cranberry-apple juice (chilled)
¼ cup white grape juice concentrate (thawed)
¼ cup orange liqueur

Stir together all ingredients in a 2-quart pitcher. Serve in champagne flutes.