There’s no getting around it – this year is different from any other. You’re not having your typical New Year’s Eve blowout. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate! These 19 party snacks and wine pairings are for those who love spicy, sweet, or savory!
If you’re having a small gathering with the people in your bubble, it’s still a party. You still get to ring in the new year with people you care about and, most importantly, you can still enjoy all of your favorite party snacks.
Make your New Year’s Eve gathering extra special with small bites and wine to match. Here’s how to pair wine with all of the best party snacks.
One Wine to Rule Them All?
When you’re nibbling on finger food, it can seem impossible to choose a single bottle of vino. How can one wine be the perfect pairing for all of those different flavors?
We’re not saying you need to open a new bottle for each dip on the snack tray.
Ultimately, the goal is choose a wine that works with most of the snacks on the table, or most of the snacks you like best.
If your snacks have a theme – like chips, gauc, and mini taquitos, for instance – remember that what grows together, goes together. Choose a wine from the same region as your food.
When you’re hosting, it’s a good idea to have at least two bottles on hand: a red and white. On New Year’s Eve, you’ll also want to have at least one kind of sparkling wine at the ready.
Spoiler alert: When in doubt, sparkling wine is a solid choice for many of your favorite party snacks.
If you prefer honey barbecue wings, go with a fruit-forward red like Pinot Noir. Smoky and sweet wings pair well with a peppery, jammy wine like Zinfandel or Grenache.
2. Mozzarella Sticks
When it comes to crispy fried foods like mozzarella sticks, sparkling wine is a great choice. The bubbles help to cut through the fat.
If you like to dip mozzarella sticks in marinara sauce, you may want a tomato-friendly red wine like Chianti.
A wine that is great for cutting through the fat from the mozzarella sticks go with a glass of Stigma Sparkling Wine. This aromatic sparkling wine has flavor notes of white peach, lychee, citrus blossom, and honey.
3. Bacon-Wrapped Dates
Decadent bacon-wrapped dates or rumaki pair well with a sparkling wine like Cava. These popular tapas also pair well with a Spanish red wine like Garnacha (or Grenache).
4. Pigs in a Blanket
For pigs in a blanket, you can go with a white wine like Riesling, a red wine like Pinot Noir, or rosé. Rosé is especially a good call if you like to dip your piggies in mustard.
Enjoy pigs in a blanket with a glass of Sunshower Riesling! This semi-sweet wine white has flavor notes of tangerine, pear, lychee, and jasmine. The flavors are balanced by the ripe acidity from the wine.
5. Slow Cooker Meatballs
Slow cooker meatballs are an easy appetizer to make and a popular choice among guests. If you serve your meatballs with tomato sauce, go with an Italian red wine like Sangiovese. If your meatballs are in a jammy bbq sauce, go with a Zinfandel.
6. Sausage Rolls
While you might think sausage pairs best with a red wine, sausage rolls actually taste amazing alongside a German Riesling. If you prefer red wine, you can go with Zinfandel or Malbec.
The Obscura Zinfandel is a full-bodied red wine that will go perfectly with sausage rolls. The flavor notes of raspberry, strawberry, plum, and black pepper will cut through meaty flavors from the roll.
7. Crab Cakes
Crab cakes pair well with sparkling wine or a light-bodied white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis. These wines pair well with any kind of fried seafood, like coconut shrimp or tempura.
Spicy potato samosas pair well with a light-bodied white wine like Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, or a red wine that can handle spice like Malbec or Tempranillo.
Your Epic Cheese Plate
A great cheese plate or charcuterie board usually has a variety of flavors and textures, so it can seem tricky to find the right wine. However, an off-dry sparkling wine is a safe bet for just about any cheese.
9. Soft Cheeses
A fresh cheese like mozzarella pairs well with a sparkling wine or light-bodied wine like Riesling. Tangy goat cheese also pairs well with sparkling wine, or Sauvignon Blanc.
Mild cheeses like brie or camembert pair well with rosé or a light-bodied fruity red wine like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. For baked brie with jam, you can go with one of these, or a more robust fruit-forward red like Merlot.
Bright Cellars' Watchkeeper Sauvignon Blanc is our favorite soft cheese pairing! Sauvignon Blanc is known for its ability to pair perfectly with goat cheese. You'll taste notes of lemon, grapefruit, green apple, and lemongrass.
10. Aged Cheeses
Hard cheese like cheddar and aged cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano or Manchego pair well with a bold red wine like Cabernet or Chianti.
11. Funky cheeses
Bleu cheese and other “stinky” cheeses pair well with a sweet wine like port.
Marinated green olives pair well with a light-bodied white wine like Sauvignon Blanc, thanks to it’s herbaceous note. Kalamata olives pair well with Pinot Noir.
Olives stuffed with cheese pair well with a bold red wine like Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tomato bruschetta pairs well with an Italian wine like Pinot Grigio or Chianti.
Chips & Dip
14. Potato Chips
Regular chips pair well with sparkling wine because bubbly generally pairs well with salt and fat. BBQ chips or harvest cheddar chips pair well with the earthy flavors in Pinot Noir, while sour cream & onion chips pair well with a creamy Chardonnay.
15. Salsa & Guac
Crunchy tortilla chips and fresh tomato salsa pair well with a light-bodied white wine like Spanish Albariño. Green salsa (aka salsa verde) pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc, thanks to its signature “green” streak.
Smooth and citrusy, guacamole pairs well with a dry Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.
16. Creamy Dips
When it comes to creamy dips, you can go with a light-bodied white or sparkling wine to lighten things up, or go with a Chardonnay to match the creaminess.
Rich creamy queso pairs well with a light sparkling wine like Spanish Cava.
Both spinach and artichoke dip and buffalo chicken dip pair well with Chardonnay. For tangy onion dip, you can go with Chardonnay or an off-dry Riesling.
Ranch pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc or a fruit-forward red wine like Merlot.
When it comes to dessert, you’ll want to go with a sweet wine or a fruit-forward wine if you prefer a dry style of wine.
17. Ice Cream
A make-your-own ice cream bar isn’t just for kids! Chocolate ice cream pairs well with Merlot or a slightly sweet, semi-sparkling red wine like Brachetto d’Acqui, Vanilla also pairs well with a red wine, like late-harvest Zinfandel. Pair vanilla ice cream with a semi-sweet sparkling wine Prosecco, and it’ll taste like a rootbeer float!
18. Chocolate Chip Cookies
Gooey chocolate chip cookies pair well with a sweet wine like tawny port or a fruit-forward red wine like Shiraz.
The Bushtelly Shiraz from Bright Cellars is a bold Australian red wine that is the perfect pairing for chocolate chip cookies. The flavor notes of raspberry, plum, blackberry, and campfire smoke will pair with the cookies.
19. Wine Brownies
Yes, these are a thing. Red wine brownies pair well with a glass of ruby port.
In Vino Finito
Need help choosing the right party snacks and wine pairings? Email us and we can help.