Written & Produced by Courtney Wright

I love experimenting with food and wine pairings. It’s a great way to discover how something like the acidity in a wine can complement the rich flavors of a particular dish, and some pairings might even surprise your palate (like our rec for potato chips and bubbles). But I’m also a big fan of drinking what you like with what you like to eat. Pairings are fun and informative, but shouldn’t be stuffy. The key is to have fun and enjoy the experience! 

The Pairings

  • Real & Rosemary Honey Ricotta Dip from + Bucci Verdicchio
  • Black Pepper Kettle Chips + Mirabelle Brut Rose
  • Ashley Mac’s Mushroom Puffs + Banshee Pinot Noir
  • Jennifer’s Kitchen Rosemary Pepper Cheese + Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone

Pair Pepper Jelly + Cotes-du-Rhone

Elevate the pepper jelly + cream cheese combo with feta, honey, rosemary and pepper in this recipe using Jennifer’s Kitchen Pepper Jelly, here paired with a spicy, fruit-forward Cotes-du-Rhone. Jennifer Lee, who is behind the pepper jelly brand, calls Homewood home.

Rosemary Pepper Cheese

Recipe from Jennifer’s Kitchen

  • 8 ounces package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 ounces feta cheese (crumbled is fine)
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 cup Jennifer’s Kitchen Strawberry Pepper Jelly

Allow cream cheese to soften. Finely chop rosemary. Blend all ingredients except pepper jelly. (I found the cheeses blend easiest in my mixer with the bread beater.)

Roll cheese mixture in wax paper, gently squeezing out from center. Be careful not to puncture paper. Fold over top edge to seal in cheese, and then twist end to tie off. Chill for 2 hours.

Place the cheese on your favorite serving tray or board with some crackers. Spoon pepper jelly over the top.

Pair a Creamy Dip + Crisp White Wine

This creamy Honey Ricotta dip from Real & Rosemary is perfect with a crisp white wine. The acidity cuts through the richness of the ricotta, while the honey drizzled on top adds just the right amount of sweetness.

Pair Chips + Bubbles

Potato chips and bubbles? Absolutely. Sparkling wine is super versatile and pairs well with a wide variety of foods, but it especially loves salt and fat, making these addictive chips the perfect snack to enjoy with our favorite Brut Rose. You could also serve it with a heartier app like the spicy Kadoma Tuna from Jinsei (order it to-go).

Pair Mushrooms + Pinot Noir

These mushroom puffs, one of our go-to apps from Ashley Mac’s, are a natural pairing with an earthy Pinot Noir.

Grazing Board Building 101

I’m a big believer in spending time around the table, and I love how grazing boards invite people to gather and connect. I definitely have my favorites when building a board, but I always start with at least three cheeses: something soft like a creamy brie, an aged cheddar (always a crowd pleaser), and something interesting like a truffled gouda or black pepper pecorino. I’ll use my cheeses to “anchor” the board, followed by anything that will be served in a small bowl or jar (think honey, olives or even a spread like pimiento cheese or hummus). Then it’s time to fill in with the other goodies: a mix of cured meats (faves include prosciutto and capicola), fresh and dried fruit, nuts, olives, pickles, preserves, honey, a variety of crackers and fresh bread. Finish it off with fresh herbs and flower buds for color and texture. Find more grazing board tips and inspiration on my Instagram account @savor_style.

Grazing Board Goods

  • Belle Chevre Pimiento Goat Cheese – Piggly Wiggly Homewood
  • Black Pepper Pecorino – Piggly Wiggly Homewood
  • Local Honey Alabama Goods
  • Fresh Rosemary – Sweet Pea’s Garden Shop

Pictured on a Round Wood Board from At Home Furnishings

Sourcing Notes

Because it all came from right here in Homewood!

Bucci Verdicchio + Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone: Classic Wine Co
Mirabelle Brut Rose + Banshee Pinot Noir: Homewood Piggly Wiggly
Serving Plates + Bowls: Susan Gordon Pottery
Serving Platter: Beatriz Ball, Vida Collection, At Home Furnishings
Glassware: Zodax, Fez Collection, At Home Furnishings
Brass Spoons + Cheese Knives: Creative Co-op, At Home Furnishings

Party Shopping List

Classic Wine Co.
-Wines + wine selection advice

Homewood Piggly Wiggly
-Wines + wine selection advice
-Cheeses of your choosing
-Chips and crackers
-Other cheese board food items

Ashley Mac’s
-Frozen or refrigerated appetizers

Market Table
-Jennifer’s Kitchen Pepper Jelly
-More wine (if needed)

Alabama Goods
-Local honeys
-Other locally made snack items

Your Favorite Restaurants
-Appetizers to-go (Plan to call ahead.)

Special thanks to Susan Gordon (Susan Gordon Pottery) and Carrie Taylor (Carrie Taylor Architect) for modeling and Mary Katherine Russell (LivLuxe Designs) for letting us use her kitchen and home for this photo shoot.