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You’re probably thinking, ‘Is this for real? Finger food at parties and wine –um let’s not go there’. Who doesn’t love a party, right? But party snack-food doesn’t exactly go with wine. Or does it <insert Austin Power music>?

We’ll help you take that marginal food and elevate it to sublime ecstasy through pairing. OK, you’re right, I’m exaggerating.

First, if you’re in a pinch and have no idea what kind of crummy finger food you’ll be eating, get a Chardonnay to pair against the inevitable salty foods you’ll be eating.

Here are specific pairings:

1. Spinach Pie: Those pockets of processed cheese, stringy spinach, and puff pastry—YUMMY!! Well, if you want to make it taste much better, how about pairing it with Picpoul de Pinet, Sauvignon Blanc or any of the Greek white wines such as Assyrtiko, Athiri or Moschofilero?

2. Blended Nuts: If you think nuts cannot be elevated with wine, then you’d be wrong. Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino, Muscadet, Pinot Grigio and Sancerre bring out the undertones in the nuts.

3. Stuffed Olives: Every party has those green orbs with a red Jupiter like spot. Olives stuffed with pimento pairs nicely with Torrantes, Sherry, or even a sparkling wine like Cava.

4. Cheese Sticks: Cheese with wine is like peas and carrots, right? The challenge with cheese sticks though, is the processed cheese and the oily deeply fried exterior. That stated, cheese sticks go well with French Chardonnay because the climate in France is colder, making for a more acidic Chardonnay. Ok, let’s get real, we’re talking about a processed cheese stick but hey, might as well make it palatable.

5. Mini Quiche: Enchanté, mon chéri! Mini Quiche… Who thinks of these food miniaturizations. Obviously someone who is very wealthy right now. Anyway, a Pinot Grigio or a partially oaked, dry Chardonnay pairs very nicely with a Mini Quiche.

6. Mini Pretzels: always a crowd-pleaser! This suggestion can not only work for a Christmas party, but probably also work for your local pubs. Pair the pretzels with a Gamay or a crisp, light white wine like an un-oaked Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio will work well too because of the salt content in the pretzels.

7. Pigs in a Blanket: You need something that can handle the richness (like heartburn richness) of that nestled hot dog. A Pinot Noir is a good choice, but don’t get a Burgundy because you want something a little more fruit forward and acidic to cut through that fatty dog.

8. Chicken Wings: Chicken wings are actually pretty decent food or at least not as bad as many of the other finger foods on this list. Chicken wings pair very nicely with Grunner Veltliener or Gewurztraminer.

9. Doritos: Almost all parties have that famous chip called by their brand – Doritos. There are so many different flavors of Doritos that you have to pick one to pair. A Zinfandel, or better yet Primitivo, pairs very nicely with the traditional Dorito chips.

10. Deviled Eggs: Assuming the deviled eggs aren’t too spicy, a good Chardonnay or perhaps a Blanc de Blancs Champagne is a great choice.

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