This wine tasting happy hour is perfect for an afternoon with the girls. Easy appetizers and tasty sips make this easy, delicious, and fun!
I love my job and some days I love it even more, like when I get to invite a few girl friends over for a wine tasting happy hour! I recently worked with Sonoma-Cutrer vineyards to do just that, and we had a blast with food pairing and girl talk!
It’s no secret that I enjoy wine, and especially trying new ones. My husband and I always joke that Disney Land isn’t the happy place on Earth, but a wine tasting at a vineyard is! You make instant friends with the other tasters who are there, and everyone is in a good mood.
In a sense, I recreated that feeling at home by sampling 3 varieties of Sonoma-Cutrer wine with 3 girl friends. We tried Russian River Ranches Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, and Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. I set out a casual, but tasty spread of appetizer dishes, and we four girls sipped and sampled over the course of the afternoon.
Get the Quick & Easy Appetizer recipes here
Wine Tasting Happy Hour
- First up we tried the Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. It was mellow with aromas of apple, pear, peach, spice, and vanilla. The flavors that come through are apple, pear, and lemon. It actually smells like the holidays to me, without being overly “spiced.” The finish was nice and smooth and went well with the food.
- Next we tried the Russian River Ranches Chardonnay which seemed slightly sweeter by comparison, but not “sweet” by any means. This time the aromas of green apple, lime, pineapple, and caramel are accompanied by the flavors of lime, lemon drop, grapefruit, peach, and spice. Again, the various flavors of the appetizers were complemented by the wine.
- Finally we moved on to the Pinot Noir, one of my favorite red varietals. Begin by swirling and sniffing to detect aromas of blackberry, raspberry, and black cherry. Then sip and savor the wine while the nose is still fresh to get the flavors of cherry and wild strawberry with an earthy tone. The finish is smooth and silky.
- To satiate us while sipping wine in the afternoon, I made 3 easy appetizers that are full of flavor. A Feta and tomato “dip”, a cream cheese and wasabi spread, and mini ham & brie biscuits with chutney. Each has a unique flavor and is almost like an “around the world” tasting with ingredients from the Mediterranean, the Far East, and India. Follow the link for recipes.
- We finished with dark chocolate almond and pretzel bark. Chocolate and red wine are always a nice pairing, and the bark is satisfying and indulgent without leaving you overly full.
I’ve shared detailed recipes in the appetizer post linked above, so check those out and get ready to host your own wine tasting happy hour! Cheers!