I recently had a birthday. To celebrate I invited my friends to make a batch of wine at Vino Novello Winery. It was a great experience – they let us sit around chatting, served copious wine samples, allowed us to bring ample Hors d’oeuvres, and walked us through the wine making process when we made our selection (just enough involvement to be fun without having to do the tedious stuff). Since the place was a 20 minute drive away, we had to pack up all our snacks which included: an assortment of cheese, salami, and crackers, fresh fruit, nuts, and a few stand out items:
(1) blue cheese stuffed dates – simple but delicious.
(2) Crudites served with cilantro hummous* (these were served alongside chips and salsa so that the chips and vegetables could be dipped in either the cilantro hummous or salsa).
*The cilantro hummous was made by throwing the following in a food processor: 1 can chick peas, 1 bunch of cilantro, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 3-4 cloves of garlic
(3) For something sweet (not really traditional with wine but what the hell – it was my birthday and I have a sweet tooth so I made chocolate chip cookie dough dip by throwing the following in the food processor: 1 can of chickpeas, pinch of salt, 1/4 cup honey, 3 tsp vanilaa, 2 tbsp flaxseeds, 2 tbsp peanut butter. Then I mixed in half a cup of mini chocolate chips and served with graham crackers. YUM! Not exactly typical for wine tasting but delicious nonetheless.
No birthday cake but I think in the future I would add a few loaves of french bread and make the salsa chunky enough to serve as a bread topping like a mexican style bruschetta or just make a bit of salsa and traditional bruschetta alongside each other.