Cheese Please

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Take the stress out of entertaining this holiday season with these four simple cheese hors d’oeuvres. With each recipe, you will discover two great wine selections that pair perfectly with each dish, as we believe if you “like this” you might also want to “try that.”

Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese
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Servings
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Servings
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Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese
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Servings
4servings
Servings
4servings
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Gently pull apart the centre of the dates.
  3. Stuff with goat cheese.
  4. Wrap with a slice of bacon, securing the end with a toothpick. Repeat with all remaining dates.
  5. Bake on a parchment- or tin foil-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a serving platter. For an elegant presentation, remove the skewers and replace with rosemary sprigs.
Recipe Notes

Recommended Pairings:

Like this: Crisp & Light: Gabbiano Pinot Grigio, Italy
Try that: Light & Fruity: 
Georges DuBoeuf Brouilly, France

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Pear, Blue Cheese and Prosciutto Crostini
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Servings Prep Time
4servings 30minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 30minutes
Pear, Blue Cheese and Prosciutto Crostini
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Servings Prep Time
4servings 30minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 30minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Brush the bread with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake until crisp, about 10 minutes.
  5. Once cool, arrange on a serving platter.
  6. Top each crostini with blue cheese, prosciutto and a slice of pear.
  7. Drizzle with honey and garnish with fresh thyme leaves if desired.
Recipe Notes

Like this: Aromatic & Vibrant: Castello del Poggio Moscato, Italy
Try that: Aromatic & Vibrant: 
Jost Vidal Icewine, 200 ml, Nova Scotia

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Cranberry Hazelnut Baked Brie
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Servings Prep Time
6servings 30minutes
Servings Prep Time
6servings 30minutes
Cranberry Hazelnut Baked Brie
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Servings Prep Time
6servings 30minutes
Servings Prep Time
6servings 30minutes
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine cranberries, Port and sugar.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, place the Brie on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in an oven-safe dish.
  6. Bake until just melted, about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the orange zest to the cranberry sauce.
  8. Transfer the Brie to a serving bowl or platter.
  9. Spoon the sauce over the melted Brie and garnish with hazelnuts.
  10. Serve accompanied by a selection of crackers and bread.
Recipe Notes

Like this: Aromatic & Vibrant: Red Barn Sparkling Cranberry, Nova Scotia
Try that: Aromatic & Vibrant: 
Zenzen Dreams Blue Riesling, Germany

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Blistered Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Tart
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Servings Prep Time
4servings 30minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 30minutes
Blistered Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Tart
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Servings Prep Time
4servings 30minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 30minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a long rectangle.
  3. Fold over the sides by 1/2-inch, creating a crust.
  4. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, on a parchment- or tin foil-lined baking sheet, spread out the tomatoes.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Roast 12 to 15 minutes until blistered but not burst.
  8. Transfer the pastry shell to a serving platter.
  9. Spread with ricotta followed by the Parmesan and blistered tomatoes.
  10. Drizzle with the maple balsamic reduction.
  11. Garnish with basil leaves, freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt.
Recipe Notes

Maple Balsamic Reduction*

Like this: Light & Fruity: Boutinot Barbera de Vine, Italy
Try that: Smooth & Medium: 
Frescobaldi Nipozzano Riserva, Italy

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Maple Balsamic Reduction
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Servings Prep Time
4servings 30minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 30minutes
Maple Balsamic Reduction
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Servings Prep Time
4servings 30minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 30minutes
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup.
  2. Heat to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Cook until thickened and reduced by half, about 10 to 15 minutes.
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New Kids on the Cheese Block

It isn’t just new wineries, breweries and distilleries adding flavour to the local food and drink scene. A couple of new artisanal cheese makers are ripe with passion for an industry that is making the cheese board anything but boring.

Blue Harbour Cheese

Nova Scotia’s first urban cheese house encourages cheese lovers to “embrace the blue.” Urban Blue Cheese has a creamy texture and relatively subtle blue cheese flavours.

The cheese is currently in limited distribution but finds its way into some of Halifax’s finest dining establishments and specialty food shops. blueharbourcheese.com

Wandering Shepherd Cheese

Wandering Shepherd Cheese proves the locavore movement is alive and well in Cape Breton. Despite its island origins, Wandering Shepherd’s artisan ewe and cow milk cheeses have developed a cult-like following on both sides of the causeway. 902-574-6979

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