Whether we’re talking about the delicious pintxos in the celebrated tapas bars of Basque country in northern Spain, or the delightful crostini culture of Italy, small toasts and finger foods are tasty and trendy ways to showcase amazing fresh seasonal produce and big bold flavours.
These super-munchies are the perfect addition to a casual afternoon on the patio with good wine and great friends – and certainly kick-start any dinner party with a splash of sophistication. From two-bite toasts, to casual finger food eaten off tooth-picks, these small mouthfuls are perfect vehicles to show-off your favourite flavours.
An added bonus? You can create a veritable farmers market of different flavours and styles to give all your guests an option that suits their tastes – not to mention an every-increasingly complicated range of dietary restrictions you’ll find amongst any group of friends these days.
I enjoy serving crostini and pintxos because they also encourage a culture and attitude of experimentation and exploration when it comes to food and wine; virtues that can’t help but please the palate, in ways that sticking exclusively to those things tried and true, never will.
In this same spirit, I’ve found that there are some wines that suit this kind of eating better than others. For starters, wines with great freshness and acidity promote appetite and digestion – so bright, balanced wines are always at the top of my list. Next, I want wines that offer the same kind of punchy, bold flavours that I crave in great pintxos and crostini.
And last, I like to match regional wine with regional food; not so much in terms of these vehicles themselves, which in this case happen to be Spanish and Italian in their origin, but rather in terms of the flavours and ingredients themselves.
So prepare your palate for our hand-picked wines and recipes – some of my favourite wines for this kind of eating, and the 4 sumptuous crostini and pintxo recipes – with perfectly matched wines.
[ WINE PICKS ] : SPARKLING WINE / DRY SHERRY
PAPRIKA SPIKED SMOKED ALMONDS
BUTTERNUT SQUASH, RICOTTA & FRIED SAGE LEAF CROSTINI
SHRIMP & ROSEMARY ON TOAST
SHERRY MARINATED CHAR-GRILLED BABY SQUID
[ WINE PICKS ] : ALBARINO / SAUVIGNON BLANC / WHITE GRENACHE
GRILLED CORN, CREMA & CILANTRO CROSTINI
GRILLED PINK LADY APPLE & MANCHEGO CROSTINI
GOAT CHEESE CROSTINI W/ PEACH-THYME SALSA
GRILLED RADISH & SPRING SALAD CROSTINI
[ WINE PICKS ] : GRENACHE / MONASTRELL / SANGIOVESE
DUCK CONFIT CROSTINI W/ PICKLED CHERRY & DUCK CRACKLING
BISON TARTARE ON CRUNCHY PARMESAN TOASTS
ROSEMARY ROASTED GRAPE & BURRATA CROSTINI
SAFFRON ARANCINI W/ BEEF RAGU & SHARP PARMESAN
[ BONUS DESSERT PICK ] :
CHURRO BITES WITH VALRHONA CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE
WINE & FINGER FOODS: 12 SUMPTUOUS CROSTINI & PINTXO RECIPES WITH BIG-TIME “WOW!” FACTOR