I recently told you about my exciting gift of wine! I had in my possession six bottles of wine and six recipes with which to pair them. The best way I could think to tackle this challenge of pairing wines with recipes created especially for them was to host a dinner party with my friends. Armed with notepads and whetted appetites we began our culinary adventure with Smoking Loon Red Loonatic 2009 Sweet Red Wine. This wine was to be paired with an appetizer of bacon, dates, and bleu cheese. It actually came with a recipe that included three variations. Since this was going to be a six-course meal comprised of small plates I also had on the table a cheese platter that included elements from each course to nibble between servings (and pourings!)
I topped my bite-sized bacon plates with bleu cheese-stuffed date halves. The appetizer itself was a lively pairing of flavors and it really brought out the sweetness in the wine. This wine was Jennifer’s favorite of the evening. She does not have much of a taste for wine, but drank her entire glass and even put little hearts next to it in her notes! The overall opinion of Red Loonatic was that it was a simple, yet effective, wine and a great starter. It was a perfect pairing with the bacon, dates, and bleu cheese as well as the cheese platter. Jonathan writes, “the pairing leveled out the acidity and improved the sweetness.”
This is a wine I would pour for myself to drink un-accompanied by food, but I would also pair this with just about any appetizer, and is now my go-to glass when introducing new palates to the delicious world of wine.
Smoking Loon Red Loonatic would also be great for that upcoming romantic evening. Sweet and gentle with notes of red fruits (the color of the season) and able to hold her own, as well as perfectly compliment, the smoky manliness of bacon.
Bacon Plates topped with Bleu Dates
Makes 8 Appetizer Servings
8 Slices Thick-Cut Bacon
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Teaspoon Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
16 Dates, pitted and cut in half lengthwise
1 Ounce Bleu Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Cut bacon slices into 2-inch pieces and lay on a rimmed cookie sheet
3. Stir together mustard, honey, and ginger
4. Lightly brush mustard onto bacon pieces
5. Bake in oven until bacon is crisp, about 15 minutes
6. Place bacon on paper towels to remove some of the grease
7. While the bacon is cooking, stuff date halves with bleu cheese
8. Top each piece of bacon with a bleu cheese-stuffed date
9. Serve warm with Smoking Loon Sweet Red Wine
This is not a sponsored post. I received these wines for free, but I am not being compensated for using them or writing about them. I am not affiliated with Don & Sons or Balzac Communications. All opinions expressed on Daisy At Home are my own and were not formed by any person, company, or being other than my own tastebuds and brain.