Recently, at Wegman's, I spotted a mini cheese platter that was marketed towards pairing with wine (sorry the photo isn't the best quality - I took it with my phone):
Wegman's Wine Pairing Platter
The platter - a sliver of brie, blue cheese, a hard cheese, nuts, dried apricots, and dried cranberries - was $6. This platter is perfect for the happy couple on the go for a picnic! But I said... why not make our own wine tasting platter? 1) It feeds more people (getting more for your $$$), 2) "Johnny Depp" and I do it all the time (in substitute for dinner), and 3) it's fun!
So the search was on. I had already selected 2 wines with a dear friend of mine. Both of the wines were white. So we created our own wine tasting meal:
1 French baguette (freshly baked!) - $3
1 block of creamy blue cheese - $4
1 block of havarti - $4
1 bag of dried apricots - $3
1 bag of dried cherries - $3
1 jar of honey - $2
1 can of unsalted almonds - $6 (I actually already had these on hand)
Total Cost: $25
My Wine Pairing Platter - focus on bread here :)
I know what you're thinking - this cost waaaaay more than that $6 platter. But let me tell you this - I have leftovers from the whole thing (minus the bread... that we ate). And the dried cherries with the havarti were AMAZING. The dried apricots stood well on their own or mixed with havarti. After all, apricot and peach were two dominate flavors of our white wines. The blue cheese with a dab of honey fit everyone's palatte preferences and matched incredibly well with our Albarino (which I will bring to you on Wednesday).
The Touch of Honey - for an even more exciting pairing, try lavender honey
The point of this story is such: you can make any night a "wine night." Grab a bottle, some friends, random foods that will pair well with your selected wines (I just gave you a whole list of some basics), and wala! You've just made wine a part of your evenings. Tell me you don't have fun, and I'll never post this nonsense again. :) Cheers!