Who doesn’t love a cocktail party? Some mellow jazz, some innovative drinks, and delicious small bites are such an enjoyable way to spend an evening.
Plus, it means the drinking can start at 5 pm, which automatically makes me a fan.
The only issues are the cost of the booze and the time it takes to prepare the food.
When I was gifted a sample of Cremant d’Alsace, I thought I would see how it could compare to champagne. Produced in the Alsace region of France, the Lucien Albrecht has delicate bubbles and a very minerally taste – clean and almost metallic, like an Olympia oyster or. The blanc de blanc is crisp and dry, and, at $20, a complete steal.
I think it tastes more like champagne than prosecco does, and it has far more complexity than most American sparkling wines, which I find too alcoholic and harsh tasting. This calls for a snack that offers sweetness and creaminess – and, of course, some elegance. Adapted from Melisse in California, these canapes are the perfect accompaniment to this sparkler:
Goat Cheese and Truffle Honey Wrapped Grapes
1 bunch of grapes
4 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. goat cheese
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup truffle infused honey
1. Mix the goat cheese and cream cheese together in a bowl.
2. Form the cheese mixture around each grape, making sure to cover the grape entirely. You don’t want too thick a layer of cheese, just enough to make it look like a tiny snowball.
3. Arrange the grapes on a platter.
4. Put a sliced almond on each grape. Then, put the grapes in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
6. Just before serving, drizzle each grape generously with truffle honey or salt.
The result is astonishingly delicious. Creamy, slightly tangy cheese that hides a juicy burst of sweetness. The truffle flavor is so important, adding a savory depth that really compliments not only the rest of the snack but the fantastic Cremant d’Alsace.
Just another reason to be glad that it’s 5 pm somewhere in the world.