March Wine Time, Appetizer Recipes


Call up a couple of friends that share your love of wine and invite them over. Tell them that you have been waiting to open these bottles and that you couldn’t think of anyone that you’d rather share them with. Fine wine, like life, is meant to be enjoyed.” Loosely quoted from Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator, April 30, 2012.

Our friends Dan, Teri, Tom and Kathy joined us for our monthly Wine Time gathering.


This month found us tasting a Ridge Winery Chardonnay from the Santa Cruz Mountains in California and a Le Vieux Donjon red from the southern Rhone Valley in France.


As always, our Wine Time gathering brings with it a sampling of new appetizers and snack ideas.  Let’s take a look.



Kathy brought these great  Zucchini Tomato Bites.  They travel well, as she arrived with them on a baking sheet, assembled and oven ready.  Popping with color, zesty and fresh in flavor and savory with Gorgonzola and Parmesan, these certainly didn’t last long.  And did they pair well with the vibrant finesse of this big California Chardonnay…YES.


A toast to Kathy for that one.



For the Red Wine, I decided on a low-brow appetizer to pair with a high-brow wine. An assortment of grilled cheese sandwich bites. The group favorite was a combination Buffalo wing sauce, chicken, Maytag blue cheese and pepper jack cheese. Thank you Ina Garten for that one.  Just take cooked chicken breast, shred and mix with Buffalo Wing Hot sauce. To assemble, place chicken on bread, top with crumbled blue cheese and a slice of pepper jack cheese. YUM!  Big time. Grilled cheese combinations that I threw together that require no instructions are:

  • Caramelized Onion and Monterey Jack
  • Arugula with Jarlsberg
  • Mozzarella with basil and sliced tomatoes  (Kathy why didn’t you tell me I probably should have sprinkled with balsamic vinegar?…next time)



Cooking several sandwiches side by side on a griddle easily serves a small crowd.  When they’re golden, just cut them into fourths and arrange on a serving tray and you’ve got yourself some easy little appetizer bites.  And aren’t the combinations endless?  A toast to that.  And did they pair well with the big red French wine?  Probably not but who cares.


Also on the table were crackers and cheese, dry-cured Italian sausage with marshmallow creme sauce and our traditions, Cheetos and Little Smoky sausages with mustard and BBQ sauce for dipping.


Zucchini Tomato Bites
Recipe type: Appetizer
  • 5 small zucchini cut into ½ inch slices
  • 4 oz Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Basil leaves
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  1. Assemble and bake at 400 degrees for 5 - 7 minutes until cheese melts.


And I’ll leave you with an American still life shot that’s full of character and charm,  just like the person who created it.  Dan’s appetizer plate.



Wine Time…It’s What’s for Sharing with Friends.

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  1. says

    I love the opening quote – I would be so flattered to get an invitation like that. And those appetizer look delicious. I’m so ready to come out of winter hibernation and have a fun gathering like this. Your photos are just beautiful, especially the toasting shots with the fun light.

    • Lea Ann says

      I wish we all lived on the same block. Would we not have a blast being each other’s guinea pigs? :) And again Congrats on the spice shop win. We’ll get it shipped out next week.

  2. says

    Looks like I missed another good time and I think we may have been available too. As low brow as they may be, it’s hard to beat a grilled cheese, especially when you kick them up several notches as you did.

  3. says

    Lea Ann- love the idea of an app/wine gathering. I’ve been playing with some gourmet grilled cheese recipes so I’m very inspired by your post!

  4. dan says

    No better way to spend a couple hours than having Lea Ann force some of her experiments on us and washing it down w/ top shelf wine. The grilled cheese goodies were actually high-brow in disguise…we almost got in a fight over the last ones.

    • Lea Ann says

      I was actually concerned that we might have our first Wine time fist fight. :) I’m already thinking about a low-brow experiment for next month. yum


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