January 3, 2011

Pairing Party Monday: Caprese Skewers

We're kicking off 2011 with out first "Pairing Party Monday!" We've teamed up with Novice Nosher's Lisa Matthias again to share with you a super-easy, yet delectable Caprese Skewer hors d'oeuvre that won't eat up your prep time or take a bite out of your budget.

Caprese Skewers

• 1 package/carton cherry tomatoes
• 1 package mozzarella (try a pre-rolled, pre-sliced package or mozzarella balls)
• Fresh basil leaves
• Good quality extra virgin olive oil
• Balsamic vinegar
• Skewers or toothpicks (depending on how many you’re making)
• Salt and pepper (if desired)

Take 1 skewer and slide 1 cherry tomato, 1 slice of mozzarella and 1 basil leaf through. If using skewers, repeat this once or twice, depending on the size of the skewer. If using toothpicks, only 1 set will fit. Repeat with remaining skewers and ingredients until you reach desired amount. Arrange on a platter, drizzle generously with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If desired, sprinkle the salt and pepper lightly over the skewers.
NOVICE NOSHER TIP: If you're making more than one item at a time, try to tackle the no-cook dishes first. With these caprese skewers, make them ahead of party time and refrigerate. Don't drizzle the olive oil and balsalmic on them until just before serving.

Winobee Says: From the ingredients down to the colors, everything about Caprese belts "Italian." So why not try pairing this cultural dish with a wine from its motherland, Chianti! The little red wine produced in Tuscany has historically has been associated with "cheapness," but has more recently upgraded from a squat bottle with straw encasing to a traditional shaped glass of goodness that makes it way into our hearts. Try Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro which captures classic Chianti with a distinct style all its own

Tasting Notes: You'll uncover the nose opens slowly with cherry, tobacco and pepper aromas. This fuller bodied wine, also has an earthy core to it and a lingering dark berry flavor and nutmeg on the palate -simply smooth and magnificent, but its style continues to open up the more you let it breathe - so decant and let it sit for a tad. In doing so,
Cost: $30/bottle
Where to Buy: WineAccess.com

For more fun food recipes, visit The Novice Nosher!