Tapas and Wine Tasting Party Article - Allrecipes.com
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Tapas and Wine Tasting Party

Not flying to Spain anytime soon? Let's make up for that with wine and homemade tapas.

Tapas are all about big flavors on little plates, accompanied by a good selection of Spanish wines. For a refreshing finish, dish up fruit sorbet garnished with mint leaves.

The Menu

Clams and Chourico: Fresh clams and Spanish sausage go for a steamy beer-soaked bath. (Notes: Use Spanish, not Mexican, chourico for this recipe. You may have to hunt it down at a specialty store, but the authentic flavor will be worth it.)

Fig and Olive Tapenade: Figs and olives mix it up in this sweet and savory tapenade. (Note: For best results, be sure to make this the night before so the flavors can blossom.)

Grilled Marinated Shrimp: Shrimp grilled with garlic and lemon is a classic tapa. (Note: This recipe calls for 2 teaspoons dried oregano. Want to use fresh instead? Substitute 2 tablespoons fresh oregano for 2 teaspoons dried.)

Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Tortilla): A favorite with the tapas crowd, this potato omelet can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature.

Party Ideas & Tips

Getting together for tapas and wine is like hopping a plane to Spain without the airfare pain.

  • The food. You don't hurry through an evening of tapas and wine, so bring out just a couple of choices at a time so your friends have a chance to experience the individual flavors. Serve these Spanish appetizers on little plates--saucers will do nicely. You can use large, flat-bottomed Asian-style soup spoons to set out individual portions of seafood or other tidbits swimming in sauce. A good mix of tapas includes savory and sweet, so balance cooked tapas with easy dishes like slivers of honeydew melon wrapped with thinly sliced Serrano ham, salted Marcona almonds, marinated olives, bites of Manchego cheese topped with quince paste, stuffed dates, and pickled vegetables.
  • The wine. Spanish cava--the sparkling wine of the Penedes region of Spain--is a refreshing sip that pairs really well with salty and fried tapas. Add a chilled dry sherry to the lineup, too. (Watch out, though--the alcohol in sherry can sneak up on you in a hurry!) Seafood tapas are terrific with a crisp cold Albarino from the cool-climate Spanish region of Rias Baixis. You'll also want to pour a reserva Rioja--a classic Spanish wine made primarily from Tempranillo grapes. If it's a warm evening, and you want to split the difference between red and white, pop open a bottle of superb Spanish rosé wine.
  • The vibe. Keep it casual because lots of relaxed conversation is a big part of the tapas experience. All you need are stacks of little plates, napkins, and plenty of wine glasses. Spin the party music, but dial it down so people can actually talk to each other.

    Ready to take on some tapas?

      Sep. 19, 2009 1:02 pm
      Thanks for this article! I'm hoping to have a tapas party this autumn but was at a loss regarding ideal wines.
      Sep. 29, 2009 12:04 pm
      Just to clarify it's called Chorizo.
      Nov. 7, 2009 6:13 am
      Thanks Jorge! I was wondering what Chourico was!! Hahaha
      Dec. 19, 2009 9:38 am
      Chourico is the Portuguese version of the Spanish or Mexican chorizo. It has a heartier spiced flavor than chorizo.
      Feb. 14, 2010 2:17 pm
      Planning a tapas and wine party. Have lots of good tapas planned. Empanadas, seared tuna, roasted cauliflower, marinated vegetables, pork loin slices. Olives, spicy almonds and artichoke tarts to start. Of course, Sangria and white Spanish wine with the tuna. Thanks for the extra inspiration. I love going to Tapas restaurants but this will be less expensive and I love entertaining.
      Feb. 16, 2010 4:53 pm
      Great time of year for this! Nice way to see the neighbors before Spring gets here!
      Apr. 26, 2010 8:08 am
      this is great! i am going to save this for when i move to a city that appreciates this type of party. these folks here, don't usually drink wine and eat small protions. i hate that.
      May 7, 2010 8:03 pm
      Throwing a tapas graduation party for our college grad! Can't wait to experiment with some different tapas recipies. It ia a perfect party idea!
      Sep. 17, 2010 8:15 am
      Spanish chorizo and Portuguese chouriço get their distinctive smokiness and deep red color from dried smoked red peppers
      Jul. 21, 2011 9:52 am
      This is such a great idea!!! I am definately going to do this in the Fall... Thank you for sharing!!!!
      Dec. 22, 2011 5:05 am
      What's best? Semi-sweets, (which is what I like) or Red's? Or just get both?
      Dec. 30, 2011 7:48 am
      When I am in Europe , I like to serve in Spain before dinner some tapas like my Spanish Potato Tortilla , some delicious Mediterranean olives, some chorizo slices on top of small bruschetta bread , or on plain crackers . I also like to serve some good aged Manchego Cheese ,and delicious Spanish jamon - serrano and of course good Spanish red wine. When I am in Italy I like to serve an authentic Italian antipasto with some delicious Parma Prosciutto, grissini ( bread sticks ) , eggplant salad, or caponata salad, some celery sticks & carrots sticks, some fresh fennel , I also like to serve some real Italian salami like Citterio , perhaps some bruschetta with real fresh tomato and basil, or some Italian anchovies , and real aged Italian cheese like provolone served with red wine. When I am in Norway or in USA I like to serve some small Norwegian open - sandwiches like smoked salmon,hard eggs with caviar...some marinated herrings and dills...or some Norwegian shrimps salad...and COFFEE i
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