Thank you HEB for partnering with me on this recipe and conversation.
Before my kids were born some girlfriends and I took a road trip to the Texas Hill Country to tour some of our state’s wineries. That began my love of wine. Good wine, not the buy in bulk kind you get when you’re in college. We toured a few wineries and did some tastings and laughed and learned about each other and wine. We learned how a wine paired with the right food can enhance the flavor of both. We learned how the right wine can make a great conversation or party even better.
Last week I partnered with HEB on a really fun Wine Pairings chat and I learned even more about wine- what regions are up and coming for wines, about storing wines, planning wines for parties and more. Inspired by the chat, I did a little wine shopping at HEB’s extensive wine department, picked up a few of their gourmet cheeses, and created a Texas inspired appetizer to pair with some delicious Texas wine that brought back some great memories.
- 1 8oz block of cream cheese softened
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded fresh Colby Jack
- ½ cup picante cheese (or any spicy cheese)
- 1½ tablespoons HEB taco seasoning
- 1 small can drained fire roasted chiles
- 2 cups crushed HEB seasoned tortilla chips
- In a large mixing bowl mix together cream cheese, sour cream, taco seasoning, and chiles.
- Mix well until creamy.
- On a plate or cutting board, form the cheese mixture into a ball.
- Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour to firm.
- Put the crushed tortilla chips in a bowl and roll the ball around to coat completely.
- Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.
This appetizer is perfect whether you’re having a casual get together with friends or putting it out as part of your holiday spread. Other than the chill time, this is ready in minutes and the flavor from the HEB taco seasoning and tortilla chips has a kick and is creamy and crunchy at once. Put it out with some meats, cubed cheeses, grapes and maybe some jalapeno olives and a few bottles of wine (all of which I snagged at HEB) and you’ve got a simple but elegant party.
I wanted to have both a red and a white with food. I usually like one glass of red but white is my preference. For my red, I knew I was going with the Super Texan from Flat Creek Estates. That was my favorite red from our girls trip so many years ago. It’s smooth and not too dry. I went with a Chilean wine for my white. I tried a new wine from HEB’s wines from Chile. Refreshing and not too sweet. It would be a really great pairing with spicy foods.
If you missed our wine chat, here are some of the helpful tips from HEB’s resident wine expert Dan Schuette:
- When planning a party, plan for 2-3 glasses per person.
- An open bottle of white will last in the refrigerator 2-3 days.
- Pinot or Riesling is a great pairing for a traditional holiday dinner.
- Watch Portugal as an up and coming region for great wines
- When cooking with wines, cooking wines are not going to be as good a quality as a drinking wine
- The gorgeous cutting board above is available at HEB
The incredibly helpful Wine Pairing graphic is available here on HEB’s website along with info on their knowledgeable wine stewards, wine by regions, wine basics, and more. Be sure and visit your local HEB’s wine section in person. They have thousands upon thousands of labels and if they don’t have it they can more than likely order it for you.
Cheers to a happy holiday season of good friends and family, good food like the Tex Mex cheeseball, and good wine!
Each week I send out a newsletter with all the latest happenings on the blog and behind the scenes, plus exclusive food and entertaining tips and giveaways. Don’t miss out- sign up here.
And if you love comfort food, I hope you’ll join me on Facebook for my Comfort Food Foodie group and get delicious comfort food recipes from some of my favorite bloggers and myself.