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What Are the Best Appetisers to Serve at a Wine Tasting Party?

  • Appetisers and nibbles are a great way to accompany the wine.
  • You don't want anything too spicy or overpowering as you want to keep the palate fresh or in line with the wine you're serving.

If you are hosting a wine tasting party or attending a wine evening with close friends, it is important to know what appetisers to serve alongside wine. Knowing which food to serve at a wine tasting can be difficult as you want to offer flavours and tastes which complement one another, not overpower.

Appetisers to serve at a wine tasting party

  • A selection of cheeses served alongside a good variety of biscuits, grapes, chutney and pickled onions. This is always a ‘classic choice’ for wine tasting parties and goes down well with guests! You could have cheese from a certain country if you are hosting a themed wine tasting party. In our ‘Blind Wine Tasting Party Games’ guide, we suggest that you ask guests to bring a cheese that best describes them. This can be a fantastic way to open the evening and get the wine flowing!
  • Tapas dishes are ideal for a wine tasting party. The small Spanish dishes offer great variety, and you will be sure to cater for everyone’s taste buds.

Tapas recipe idea – slice a small onion and two small potatoes thinly and fry until golden brown colour. Then pour in four beaten eggs, mixed herbs and a handful of cheese and cook like an omelette. Flip it over and cook on the other side. This makes for a fantastic finger food snack, or cut the omelette into small triangles and use cocktail sticks to serve.

  • Italian dishes – serve your guests a delightful array of mini size Italian dishes; meatballs, pasta and pizza! You can serve bruschetta with several toppings such as tomatoes, shallots, mushrooms, cheese, garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. It is quick and easy to prepare and tastes incredible.
  • Bread and dips – mezze boards are the perfect appetiser with wine. The combination of flavoured dips, fresh bread and wine is divine.
  • Chinese – serve a tasty platter of Chinese food for your guests to enjoy, from crispy spring rolls to chicken satay sticks.
  • Vegetables – grilled vegetables are easy for appetisers. Slice your vegetables, add any herbs or dressings and grill for 5 minutes (approximately). These are really simple to make and can be served on wooden/metal skewers. You can add halloumi cheese as well if you’re feeling adventurous!


What wine goes well with certain appetisers?

This is a general guide on serving wines with appetisers. This does not apply to all wines:

  • White wine pairs well with light appetisers such as sushi or vegetable kebabs.
  • Red wines pair well with meat appetisers typically found in some of the tapas dishes.
  • Dessert wines are generally served with appetisers with a strong flavour. The sweet taste is thus neutralised.
  • Fresh fruit, bread and cheese pairs well with most wines.

Wine suggestions

AppetiserWine suggestion
Antipasto Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc
Caviar Sparkling Wine
Cold meats Riesling, Barbera, Vignoles, Seyval Blanc
Nuts or olives Sparkling Wine
Pasta Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Riesling
Vegetables Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Barbera, Dry Riesling
Quiche Chardonnay, Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Viognier
Smoked fish Pinot Blanc, Sparkling Wine, Riesling, Gewürztraminer


Top tips

  • Hors d’oevres – offer your guests a selection of different appetisers. This way, guests can find tastes that suit their wine perfectly. Remember to find out if any of your guests have special dietary needs.
  • Find quick and easy appetiser recipes from the Food Network here
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out your cheese in particular shapes. This works especially well if you are hosting a themed wine tasting party.
  • Cocktail sticks are ideal for eating appetisers.
  • Breadsticks and bread rolls are ideal for wine tasting parties. These snacks allow you to sample more wines without feeling too full or intoxicated! You could also have small bowls of nuts and dried fruit around the room.
  • A cheese fondue always makes for an indulgent treat! You can enjoy this alongside crusty bread, apples, potatoes and much more.
  • Plan; preparation is always important, so make sure you have all the food you require or inform your guests (a few weeks before the event) what they need to bring.
  • Provide soft drinks and water as well.

If you are hosting your own wine tasting party, please see our ‘Wine Tasting Party at Home Guide’ for information and advice. If you have any questions or queries regarding anything mentioned above or any of our products, call us on 01903 786148. We hope you find our wine tasting party appetisers useful!