By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Wine Tasting Party

Pairing wine with food doesn't have to be intimidating, and wine options don't necessarily have to be expensive. In fact, many wine experts suggest that you simply drink the wine you like. That's not too intimidating, is it?

This month's menu is geared for wine novices, or anyone who wants an excuse to throw a fun party for a few friends. We're pairing delicious foods with three common wines which include Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon and Prosecco.

The pairings are simple. Rosemary Parmesan popcorn as your party starter and then Crab Ravioli in Red Pepper Broth to go with the white wine. Robustly flavored Lamb Kebabs and Mushroom and Blue Cheese Crostini pair beautifully with the hearty red wine.

For dessert, prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, is not only sipped, but used in the dishes. The Prosecco Duo includes Strawberry Prosecco Soup and Vanilla Prosecco Gelee, and both can be made ahead.

Let this fun party menu springboard your interest in learning about wine. While we're using three readily available wines in this menu, you can gain an in-depth wine education by attending one of the many classes that focuses on wine at Viking Cooking Schools around the country.


Recipes:

Warm Potato Salad
Warm, waxy potatoes are tossed with olive oil that is flavored with garlic, anchovies and capers. If you’d like a more piquant salad add a little fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar to the dressing.
Mushroom and Blue Cheese Crostini
Earthy fresh mushrooms. Sharp, tangy blue cheese. If just reading about these ingredients makes your mouth water, you’ll love these rich Mushroom and Blue Crostini. Both flavors, along with salty pancetta and a little garlic, means these crostini pair well with a hearty red wine.
Crab Ravioli in Red Pepper Broth
Homemade ravioli can be a labor of love, or it can be whipped up in a snap using prepared eggroll or wonton wrappers from your grocer’s produce section.
Prosecco Dessert Duo
Prosecco is a nice, crisp sparkling wine from Italy that is most commonly known as an ingredient in bellini cocktails.
Rosemary-Parmesan Popcorn
Popcorn is an all-time favorite movie treat, but this Rosemary-Parmesan Popcorn takes popcorn at home to a whole new level.