Wine Wednesday (Celebrate!)

Ménage à Trois Prosecco

“This wine rains kisses in your mouth.” –Insatiable By Gael Greene

The first Wednesday of every month is Wine Wednesday! Spectacular wines under $10.00. Yep. Under $10.00. Sometimes wine is less expensive where I am, but most of the time it’s more expensive. Hopefully that means that I will pick wines that are well below the $10.00 limit for most of you.

I will post wines that I particularly like. I am no specialist by any means, but I do love wine. I know the basics of the different varietals, what regions generally produce, how wines are made, but this space is all about preference. We all like what we like, and you might like what I like too. I will post food pairings and why those pairings are suitable for the specific wine.

Ménage à Trois Prosecco Sparkling Wine

Price: $9.98

Variety: Glera

Think of December’s Wine Wednesday as your wine recommendation for all of December and also New Year’s. Because I won’t be back until after the holiday season!

And on that note we all need some special celebration bubbly, don’t we? I always think sparkling wine screams decadence. And if we can’t be decadent in the coming weeks, when can we? Plus can you imagine a Christmas Eve or New Year’s party without a champagne flute?

I always love Menage a Trois wines. They create high quality reds and whites, so I was expecting their sparkling wine to be just as great. And boy was I right. The prosecco is dry and crisp with nice pear and citrus flavors. Not to mention the effervescence leaves your mouth tingling but your palate clean. Just what I look for in a sparkling wine. Not much sweetness or bitterness which is perfect to me.

Thinking of your holiday needs, I thought I’d pair this baby with a super-easy appetizer that will be perfect for any party or festive night in. I’m not kidding. This is the ticket to surviving the season.

This recipe is actually based off of my favorite frozen item at Trader Joe’s. My mom and I love to have appetizer nights where we start with a meat and cheese plate and move onto interesting appetizers and desserts in the freezer section. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but retailers have really stepped their game up in this department. Mini chicken pot pies, macaroni and cheese bites, personal French onion soups, macarons, etc. The list is immense, and we’ve tried everything we can get our hands on. I think this originally started because we thought it might be lighter than a full meal, but it ends up being incredibly filling. Oops! Our favorite? Mini feta cheese and caramelized onion tarts.

These tarts really are the bee’s knees, and they’ll be perfect to show off to your friends. Or yourself if loads of movies are on the docket. And honestly? They take just as much time to prepare as the store-bought ones. And you won’t have to fight those holiday crowds!

The tarts feature buttery puff pastry, a cream cheese, feta, and garlic filling, and a topping of thyme and caramelized onion. This prosecco will go with anything you throw at it, but these ingredients bring out some special extra notes. The puff pastry will give a buttery character, if you focus on it, similar to an aged white like a Chardonnay. The cream cheese and feta filling will bring out more of a tangy flavor which nicely accommodates the crisp notes inherent in the wine. The thyme in the onion topping will make the wine a bit more complex by bringing forth some herby and floral notes. And finally, the caramelized onion will be soft and sweet directly opposing the nature of the prosecco.

Optional: slather either fig or apricot jam on the tops of these babies before popping them into your mouth for some extra flavor! Both are sweet, but the fig will add a bit of bitterness and some sour notes, while the apricot will primarily add a bit of tangy.

So if those last two paragraphs intimidated you, here’s the lowdown: these tarts will both complement your wine (by introducing similar flavors) and complex your wine (by bringing out new flavors you didn’t find there inherently). That’s what you’re looking for in the perfect wine pairing. It’s all about exploration because wine is incredibly cool! It is literally a chameleon. And something like a prosecco will be easy to bring out new flavors. So good news? This wine is freaking awesome for any party/movie marathon/literally anything fare! Aka your ideal holiday wine.

So please give this prosecco and these tarts a try! Because you’ll be sorry if you don’t.

Creamy Feta and Caramelized Onion Mini Tarts

Adapted from Handle the Heat

Makes 24

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted

2 yellow onions, roughly chopped

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons dry white wine (or this prosecco!)

2 teaspoons chopped thyme

1, 8-oz package full-fat cream cheese

1, 4-oz package crumbled feta cheese (1 cup)

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Kosher salt

Black pepper

  1. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, unfold the defrosted puff pastry.
  2. Use a rolling pin to lightly roll the square a bit larger and flatten the sheet. Cut the puff pastry dough into 24 pieces. This should be quite easy with store-bought puff pastry dough. Cut along the lines that were the original folds in the dough. This should leave you with 3 pieces. Cut across the middle leaving 6 large rectangles. Each rectangle should be cut into 4 pieces. With your hands, stretch the dough just a bit so that it will fit in the bottom of the muffin cups, and place one square into each. Set aside and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium, low heat. Add the onions to the pan along with a couple pinches of black pepper and about ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Reduce heat to low. Let slowly soften and slightly brown in the skillet (about 30 minutes).
  4. Once fully softened and beginning to change color, add the wine and let simmer on medium, low heat until the liquid is almost gone.
  5. Add the chopped thyme to the onions. Continue to heat on low for another 10 minutes, until fragrant.
  6. Prepare the cheese filling. Combine the garlic, cream cheese, and feta in a large bowl. Mix well. Season to taste with about ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and a few more pinches of black pepper. Alternatively: combine in a food processor.
  7. Preheat an oven to 425⁰F. While waiting for the oven to heat, assemble the mini tarts.
  8. In each muffin cup place a heaping teaspoon of cheese mixture followed by a teaspoon of onion mixture on top of the dough squares. The cheese and onion should be divided equally among all of the muffin cups.
  9. Bake the tarts until fully cooked, about 18-20 minutes. The cheese should be hot and melty, the onion mixture should be slightly browned, and the pastry should be slightly browned as well. Gently lift a mini tart halfway out of the muffin tin to check that they’re done.
  10. Let cool briefly, slather in jam, and enjoy! In between sips of the prosecco of course. These will keep in the fridge for several days—simply heat before you devour them.

Looking for another prosecco recommendation? Click here!

PS here are some scenes from home! I got to visit for Thanksgiving!

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6 Comments

  1. These sound so good! Also I really love the idea you and your mom had of doing an appetizer night …. Robert and I should totally do that sometime – just stock up on wine and snacks?!?!? We do that a lot for restaurant-hopping, but I never really thought about doing it at home. Brilliant! Have a great holiday xoxo

    • Kelsey
      December 3
      Reply

      It’s literally the best! You just get to keep eating little snacks, and then–surprise!–you’re really full. 😉 Perfect for a night-in.

  2. Mom
    December 2
    Reply

    Thanks for outing me Kelsey. 😀🍷🍾🧀🍢

    • Kelsey
      December 3
      Reply

      :)

  3. Wine Wednesday! Count me in! 😉 These sound like the perfect little appetizers – feta and caramelized onions – so delicious.

    • Kelsey
      December 4
      Reply

      Thanks Tessa! They are preeettty delish 😉 xoxo

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