My husband and I belong to a dinner club with two other couples. We meet monthly, rotating homes and then every fourth month we got out for a night on the town. This month was my turn to host and I wanted to try something different, so after much research, my husband and I came up with our theme: A Wine Pairing Tapas Tour Around the World.
We, obviously, couldn’t prepare a dish from every country, as that would have been way too much food; so we tried to have at least one dish from each continent. The research I conducted to create the menu and then pair wines with each dish was fascinating. I learned about acidity and tannins, grapes and their unique flavors, spices and different regions around the globe.
With an outline of menu items in hand, my next task was to find recipes and make sure I would be able to locate the needed ingredients for each dish. I had to run to three different grocery stores in order to acquire the necessary items. Then I began making the food and designing how every tapas plate would look. A little parsley there, a lemon slice here, a sprinkle of fresh parmesan. It was all coming together.
Our night began with a Mediterranean Cheese & Olive plate served with parmesan crisps and wafer crackers. Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon - Bordeaux
We then enjoyed a platter of Hummus, original and spicy red pepper, with fresh vegetables from Morocco. Wine Pairing: Chardonnay
Traveling to Germany we noshed on Bratwurst & Cheese Skewers served on a bed of Kraut with a horseradish dipping sauce. Wine Pairing: Riesling Kabinett
France was next with Escargot in a garlic butter sauce. Wine Pairing: Champagne
In Japan we dined on three different types of Sushi: a Spicy Pacific Salad Roll, Rainbow Roll and a Dragon Veggie Roll. Wine Pairing: Sake
Our next stop was in Italy to enjoy Baked Gnocci served in a garlic cream sauce with parmesan crisps and topped with fresh basil and parmesan. Wine Pairing: Tormaresca Italian Chardonnay - Pinot Grigio - Sauvignon Blanc
In Brazil we had Prosciutto Rounds, which are layered rounds of mozzarella cheese, tomato and fresh basil wrapped in prosciutto ham. Wine Pairing: Tempranillo - Cabernet Sauvignon
Our next stop was in Cuba and it turned out to be one of our favorite dishes of the night. We ate Croquetas de Jamon, which are ham croquettes served with fresh mango slices and topped with a Mango Ginger Habanero sauce. Wine Pairing: Tempranillo
In Mexico we had Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers. This was another group favorite. They are fresh jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, parmesan and spicy pork sausage, baked to perfection and topped with a dab of ranch. Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir
From there we went to Canada for some Planted Peppered Salmon Squares. Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir - Pinot Grigio
Then we headed back home to the United States for some Bang Bang Shrimp, served on a bed of lettuce. Wine Pairing: Riesling
Our next stop was in China for some Chicken Egg Rolls served with sweet and sour sauce and hot mustard. Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc
In India we noshed on Curry Chicken served chilled and stuffed in a lemon shell. Wine Pairing: Reisling Kabinett
Spain brought us the Mar y Tierra, which is lump crab, ham and avocado served chilled and stuffed in an avocado shell. This was the least favorite of the night. Wine Pairing: Dry Reisling - Tempranillo
Last, but not least, we headed back to the USA for Bar-b-Qued Pork Medallions. Wine Pairing: Chardonnay - Sauvignon Blanc
Needless to say, it was a unique night of fun and exploration with great friends. J