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Appetizers That Pair Perfectly with Your Favorite Wine

By Charlene Bazarian   

There is something magical about the marriage of wine and their perfect food pairing that just brings out the best in each other.  You don’t need to be a sommelier or an executive chef to create some matches made in heaven that will both delight your senses and impress your guests.

Courtesy of

Meagan Dobson, the author of The Maine Menu:  Simple Recipes for Easy Living, shares some inspired ideas for pairing some of your favorite wines with recipes that will dazzle your tastebuds!

*Yes way, rosé!

Rosé wines have had a resurgence of popularity lately and it’s no wonder with their beautiful pink hues, hints of summer fruit, and versatile light acidity.  Why not compliment the warm weather vibes, says Dobson, and what better way to do that than with a cherished family recipe of hers for delectable crab cakes?

Friendly Crab Cake Recipe:

Photo Credit:  Zoe Schaffer


Directions (Prep time 30 minutes)

  1. Using a small bowl, combine egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Whisk together until well mixed.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together crab meat, breadcrumbs, and parsley. Gently fold in mayonnaise and sculpt into eight patties.
  3. Using a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil until a droplet of water immediately sizzles on impact. Add crabcakes and cook (in batches of two or three) until golden brown on both sides.  About 2 minutes per side.
  4. Optional:  serve with tartar sauce and garnish with lemon wedges.


Chardonnay wine is a crowd favorite and it’s no wonder with its divine scents of citrus, vanilla, and pear with a wide range of rich flavors.  Dobson’s recipe for a crowd-pleasing Northeast Quesadilla sets the stage for true magic.

Northeast Quesadilla

Photo: Roman Odinstov


Directions: (Prep time 20 minutes)

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add peppers, onions, salt, and pepper. Cook until the peppers are soft, and the onions are slightly transparent.
  2. In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Toss in chicken breast, along with the remaining seasonings.  Cook until the chicken breast has a golden outside and is cooked through. Transfer chicken breast onto a plate.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the remaining vegetable oil.  Add a single soft flour tortilla.  The top half of it with chicken mixture, vegetable mixture, and a healthy dose of both kinds of cheese. Add chives on top. Then, fold the tortilla over to form a half-circle and cook. Flip once.  It’s finished when both sides are golden, and the cheese is fully melted. Repeat this process to make the remaining three quesadillas.
  4. Serve whole or as slices and top with sour cream if desired.

Grab a cab!

Cabernet Sauvignon is a smooth yet bold red wine that channels flavors of dark cherries, black currant, blackberries, and notes of oak.  There is an intrinsic harmony when wine meets cheese, and Dobson’s recipe for Wicked Cheese Board is the perfect partner for this rich, full-bodied red.

Wicked Cheese Board:

 Photo credit Melissa Walker Horn


Directions: (Prep time 30 minutes)

  1. Arrange the various ingredients (along with any of your other favorites!) on your tray
  2. Pour yourself impressed by serving up your favorite bottle of wine and these appetizing starters that will have you and your guests saying cheers!

For more amazing pairings to try with your favorite wines and to dazzle your tastebuds and revel in coastal-tinged flavors, get your copy of  The Maine Menu: Simple Recipes For Easy Living.  This multi-generational cookbook combines regional favorites and traditional family recipes with a no-muss no-fuss cooking style to bring you hearty, mouth-watering dishes that are fun and easy to make. 

About the authorCharlene Bazarian is a fitness and weight loss success story after losing 96 pounds. She mixes her no-nonsense style of fitness advice with humor on her blog at and on Facebook at FBJ Fit.

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