With the holidays just around the corner you might find yourself wondering what to serve at your next holiday party. Well look no further because I’ve teamed up with the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation to help you plan the PERFECT cocktail party. Whether you’re attending a party and you just want to bring something for your host, or you’re planning a little something of your own below I’ve compiled some no-fail recipes and expert wine pairings to get you inspired to throw an epic festive occasion.
Here in Nova Scotia we pride ourselves on being amazing hosts! We go above and beyond to make sure everything is just right. When everything is so well planned in advance, all that’s left to do is put together the perfect playlist, and set the lights just so.
We’re more than happy to go above and beyond because there’s nothing better than bringing everyone together.
What I love about the NSLC is that they take a lot of guess work out of hosting! From expertly created recipes to perfect wine pairings the hard work is done you, basically just need to assemble your guest list!
Recently I hosted a super fun holiday inspired get together with my friends, and while we left with full bellies our hearts were even more full. I love any time I get to spend with these incredibly inspiring and talented individuals. Catch my video recap and featured wines and recipes below:
From savory wild mushroom arancini (risotto bites) to fresh Atlantic smoked salmon hand rolls (a great gluten-free option), to rich herb & cheese balls (that are the perfect bite size amount for crackers or veggies) I was a busy bee in the kitchen the day of the party, but I definitely took comfort in knowing there was a lot of choices for everyone.
All of the NSLC recipes were very easy to follow, and great to prepare ahead of time. I felt so confident knowing that all the food was expertly paired with the wine. It really eliminated the guess work.
FEATURED NSLC RECIPES
As I mentioned above the NSLC has some really amazing recipes that are perfectly paired with their wines, so you really don’t need to do much in the way of planning. I simply decided on the wines I wanted to try (local bubbles of course), and then pulled some recipes to go with them. Here’s what we tried.
Mixed Herb & Cheese Balls
Who doesn’t love to serve a good cheese ball, but sometimes I find the cheese ball can be overwhelming. like you never want to be the first one to dive in, OR it’s a A LOT of cheese if you don’t like whatever it’s coated in. I loved these little cheese balls that were a mix of different cheeses, and also the paprika and parsley just made them look SO festive.
My guests loved that they were the perfect size for crackers and that there was so much choice! They were really easy to make too defintiely something I would make again.
Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese
A lot of my friends are dancers, (i.e they have big appetites) so I knew I wanted to add another recipe to the roster. In addition to the suggested recipes seen here I found this recipe on the NSLC website, and I wanted to try it out. I mean with bacon and goat cheese how could you go wrong right?
These were a huge hit! And again very easy to prepare (especially ahead of time). It was easy to make a lot of these with very little ingredients.
Get the recipe here.
Wild Mushroom Arancini
The Wild Mushroom Arancini were a huge hit! I mean how can you go wrong with risotto in bite size form right? Perfectly crunchy on the outside and ooey gooey on the inside these paired so well with the refreshing bubbly wines.
Get the full recipe here.
Spicy Smoked Salmon Hand Rolls
I’m actually a PRO when it comes to making sushi, but I know that not everyone is or likely has all the tools available to them! These Spicy Smoked Salmon Hand Rolls were not only SUPER easy to make, but they might have been my guests’ favorite dish of the night. A number of them mentioned that they would definitely make this recipe. And while we might not immediately think of sushi for holiday parties there is something to be said about it’s fresh (and easy to prepare) nature. I loved how the hand rolls looked once plated! They were so colorful and bright, and paired PERFECTLY with the Blomidon Wine.
I was really happy that this recipe was naturally gluten free, so it one less thing I needed to worry about.
Because I always want to make sure I’m accommodating ALL my guests I take everyone’s food preferences and allergies into consideration for all the recipes I prepare. I mean I’m getting my friends together to have a good time not make anyone sick. Having a naturally gluten free recipe was definitively a win.
Get the full recipe here.
FEATURED WINE PAIRINGS
What’s a party without some bubbly? What you might not know blog reader, but Nova Scotia is actually known for creating some of the best Sparkling Wines in the world!
With a cooler climate, a mineral based soil, a longer prime harvest season the conditions for growing grapes for wine are more than ideal in Nova Scotia.
Many might be surprised to know that we are quickly garnering attention from all over the world and our local vineyards have won international awards (even up against traditonal places like Champagne) for our sparking wines.
Two of the wines my guests and I tried were the Blomidon Cuvee L’Acadie Brut & the L’Acadie Prestige Brut Estate sparkling wines both of which were very food friendly. My guests loved both wines, and felt they would do well with a wide auidence of guests.
While my friends were invited to attend my get-together they were also there to work (LOL just kidding) I just wanted some feedback about the things they tried so I could suggest them to you dearest blog reader! And here’s what they had to say.
I have to admit they took their roles as taste testers pretty seriously, I was pretty impressed. Here’s with what they had to say.
Reactions to the Blomidon Cuvée L’Acadie Brut
“Delicious dry sophistication, but not too dry definitely a good crowd pleaser”.
“Smooth easy-drinking familar enough that a lot of guests would enjoy this wine”.
“Great with the seafood and creamy dishes”. My guests definitely thought this wine paired really well with the sushi rolls which they were not aware was suggested on my recipe cards, so A+ to my guests for being so on the ball!
The take away from the Blomidon wine is that is basically complimented all the foods, so it’s a great wine if a) you have no idea what to serve with your food or b) you have no idea what your guests like to drink. It was definitely well received, and while it was their first time trying this time everyone felt like it was a wine they would purchase.
Reactions to the L’Acadie Prestige Brut Estate
“dances on the tongue” – yep you can’t make this stuff up folks
“Great bubbles, it’s almost as if there are micro bubbles” – I have to agree with this one. L’Acadie works SO hard to create their naturally fizzy bubbles, and you can really tell the difference quality makes.
“Great with the salty dishes“. – This is also true little did my guests know but I visited the L’Acadie Winery this summer and the creator of the wines said that their wines work well with anything salty because of mineral composition in the soil. He even mentioned that he serves chips when he’s doing wine tastings at events because it’s the perfect combination. I mean bubbles and chips? Sign me up. Needless to say they hit the nail on the head with that one. A++
My guests felt that the risotto croquettes paired the best with this wine, and while they enjoyed the Blomidon wine this one was definitely their favorite. This wine hands down had a superior flavor palette (and a higher price tag) and the bubbles were on a whole other level. While the L’Acadie Brut was pricer my guests thought it was definitely worth it especially during the holidays or when throwing a party.
Don’t forget to serve your bubbly wines chilled!
No one loves warm bubbles. If you’re looking for a pro tip to chill your wines in no time flat— click here.
And if you want to DIY some wine charms here’s a great little tutorial.
Thanks so much to everyone who made this night possible. I feel so blessed to be surround by such talented and inspiring people.
Happy Holidays Blog Reader
This post was sponsored by NSLC; however all opinions expressed are my own.