Nothing kicks off a great weekend quite like Wine Club!
Friday I hosted my friends for a night of sipping Nobile di Montepulciano, a red wine originating in the small Tuscan city with the same namesake. I first tasted this wine when I was visiting Italy in April, so this was a perfect opportunity to introduce a new vino to the group. It was fun preparing an Italian meal to carry out the theme of the wine.
I love going to an Italian restaurant and enjoying a fabulous cheese board consisting of a carefully selected variety of cheeses with all the best accoutrements. I wanted to build a board much like those I’ve been delighted by in the past, so Pastoral Artisan Cheese Shop helped me choose a goat’s milk, cow’s milk, and a sheep’s milk cheese to create exactly what I had in mind. I served the formaggio with an assortment of crackers, nuts, fruit, jam and honey I brought back from Italy.
In addition to the cheese boards, we nibbled on Rosemary White Bean Dip with toasted baguette. I was worried the dip wouldn’t have enough flavor, but thankfully that didn’t turn out to be true. The garlic, fresh rosemary, and lemon juice made this dip absolutely delicious, and I already can’t wait to make it again.
For the meal, I made Chopped Italian Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette “House Dressing”, along with Spaghetti in Garlic Sauce with Cherry Tomatoes and Lemon Marinated Chicken.
The salad was refreshing on such a hot night, and was just what you’d want along side a plate of pasta. I omitted cheese and tomato because both items were heavily present in the rest of the meal, but typically these are “must haves” in an Italian salad. Art Smith’s recipe for Balsamic Vinaigrette was easy to make, and worth the effort because homemade dressings are so much better than store-bought. I made extra to keep in my fridge for future salads.