There’s nothing I love more than getting together with friends and having a relaxed evening at home. I love having good friends over, entertaining them with good food and good wine, and this mediterranean platter paired with European quality wines is just one of the many examples of that.
I buy a lot of wine because I consider myself not only an enthusiast but a believer in the French lifestyle of enjoying a daily glass. I also am a big believer that wine tastes even better when it’s shared with family and friends, similar to the way the French, and even Spanish, often do.
I love getting garnacha (known as grenache in the U.S. and France) wines because they’ve got European quality and standards to go along with them. You may or may not have heard of an initiative developed by the European Union called “Protected Designations of Origin (PDO).”
Basically, PDO is a way to ensure that there are consistent checks, controls and systems in place to protect and guarantee the origin and quality of the products that are being made and sold. The selection of wines I’ve shared here, for example, are wines that come from protected French and Spanish regions (Calatayud, Campo de Borja, Cariñena, Somontano, Terra Alta and Roussillon) and carry traits that are unique to where the grapes are grown.
If you’re thinking that these wines must be expensive because they’re European quality, you’re mistaken. Many of the garnacha/grenache wines showcased here are not only pleasing to the palate, but they’re wallet-friendly too. Because they’re delicious without being expensive, they make fabulous wines for entertaining or gifting.
They’re also all varied and distinct in their aromas and flavors, so you can use them for different occasions and meal ideas. They can be moderate in flavor so that they don’t taste bitter when they’re paired with very sweet or spicy foods, and yet they also have enough tannins to cut through hearty meats, like a steak dinner.
In this case, the garnacha/grenache wines pair beautifully with a mediterranean platter like this, which has both sweet and salty items.
A platter like this is really easy to put together because all of the items are already prepared, so all you have to do is assemble them onto a plate. The mix of items also ensures that there’s a little something for everyone.
I typically serve this platter if I have some friends coming over around happy hour. If they’re coming for dinner, this platter is a great appetizer. Some of my favorite items that I’ve used on this platter are: feta cheese, mortadella slices, fresh basil, baguette slices, grapes and dried apricots.
You could also add walnuts or pistachios, olives, and/or hummus. The options are endless and any selection of these garnacha/grenache wines would suit them perfectly.
The idea behind serving a mediterranean platter with some fabulous wines like these is to capture the essence of the French lifestyle. It makes getting together with family and friends easy and appealing. The less effort you can put forth while still providing an appetizing and elevated experience, the more likely you are to entertain and the more likely it is for your friends to accept the invitation!
Check out the video below to learn how to mix things up and turn this mediterranean platter into a quick cheese plate: