March 20, 2015

KORBEL’s Got Game

Everywhere you turn these days, you’ll encounter people obsessing over their basketball brackets and hoping their team is still standing when the national championship game is played April 6.

Whether you are having a few people over to watch a game or are planning an arena-sized gathering, make sure KORBEL California Champagne is part of your starting lineup. From tipoff time to the final buzzer, the following KORBEL and food pairings will deliver nothing but slam dunks.

Who doesn’t love to munch on chicken wings while watching a game? Try these Asian-inspired wings with KORBEL Extra Dry, which pairs well with spicy foods.

Thai Chicken Wings

4 pounds chicken wings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1½ tablespoons minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced


2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon lime juice
1½ teaspoons soy sauce
1 tbsp. sugar
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 500°F. Toss wings with oils, ginger and garlic, and place on a large baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Turn on broiler. Broil wings until crisp, 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Add wings to sauce and toss to coat.

Cheese and crackers are a mainstay at any party. Why not have a little fun with basketball-shaped treats? They go well with KORBEL Brut, which is a wonderful choice for mild cheeses.

Cheesy Basketballs

Sliced cheese (preferably Cheddar, Colby or another yellow variety)
Black food coloring
Water crackers, or another type of round cracker

Use a 1½-inch round cookie cutter to cut circles from sliced cheese. Place circles on crackers. Squeeze food coloring into a small bowl. Use a toothpick to paint food coloring onto cheese rounds, creating seam lines as they would appear on a basketball.

These meatballs pair well with KORBEL Rouge, which is excellent with Italian fare.

Italian Meatballs

1½ pounds ground meat (beef, pork, turkey or a combination)
½ cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons finely grated pecorino cheese
½ cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup minced Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg, beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup olive oil
2-3 cups marinara sauce

Mix first 11 ingredients in a large bowl. Use hands to gently form small balls (about a tablespoon each). Put meatballs on a large plate, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs until all sides are well-browned, about 6 minutes. (Depending on the size of the skillet, you may need to cook in batches.) Transfer meatballs onto a plate.

Drain oil from the skillet. Return meatballs to the skillet and cover in marinara sauce. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve on a platter with skewers and a bowl of marinara sauce for dipping.

Serving size: About 50 meatballs.