Best Appetizer Recipes for Your Next Gathering

Quick and Easy Appetizers

Find the best appetizer recipes. These quick and easy appetizers are perfect to serve as a first course or as a special hors d’oeuvre at a party or other gathering. Most are make ahead appetizer recipes that will make your preparations that much easier. Impress your guests with these delicious dishes.

If you have a fabulous appetizer that isn’t on this list, please add your recipe in a comment below. We’d love to have even more great recipes to share!

Stuffed Mushrooms - best appetizer recipes

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
This easy appetizer will disappear quickly from the table. These crab stuffed mushrooms are real crowd pleasers. This elegant dish goes well with your favorite Sparkling wine or a glass of elegant Pinot Noir.

sauteed mushrooms

Sauteed Mushrooms
This quick and easy appetizer is a personal favorite. We make these mushrooms often as a side dish or to top grilled steak or chicken.

beef strips

Steak Teriyaki Strips
These tasty teriyaki strips are easy to make ahead and grill as your guests are arriving. Beef strips are woven onto skewers and marinated in a sauce before grilling. Watch them quickly disappear. Be prepared to share the recipe…people are always asking me for copies of this recipe. This sauce is also wonderful served on chicken or pork.

mushrooms stuffedStuffed Mushrooms
A personal favorite, these mushrooms are perfect for the buffet table at parties and gatherings. You’ll find instructions on how to prepare the mushrooms in advance so you can relax and enjoy yourself during the get-together. Either a Sparkling Wine or Pinot Noir would be great choices, but serve with a wine you love.


Best Tri-Tip Barbecue This tri-tip tastes delicious. The recipe will work for an entree or cut into smaller servings and serve as an appetizer. Everyone will love this dish!

Sweet & Tangy Meatballs
If you are in a hurry, this is the perfect appetizer to bring to a party when appetizers are requested. Not only is it quick and easy to make, but people will love it! It’s delicious. Purchase a bag of frozen meatballs at Costco. Cook the meatballs according to the directions on the bag. Top with this delicious homemade barbecue sauce. It is sure to be a hit!

Recommended Desserts for Parties

Check out our delicious dessert recipes s for something you’d want to serve along with these appetizers. How do these desserts sound?
Click Here
to learn more about these desserts and get the recipes.

chocolate mousse cake

Chocolate Mousse Cake

  • Chocolate fondue
    Warm Raspberry Muscat Sauce
    Chocolate Mousse Cake
    Chocolate Pecan Pie
    Chocolate Butterfingers
    Chocolate Covered Strawberries

  • Fun Beverages

    If you’re in the mood for a unique beverage, consider these fun choices. Click on the links below to learn more about each beverage and to get the recipes.

    Tiramusu Martini

    Tiramisu Martini

    Summer Mimosa

    Best Sangria Recipe

    Top Ten Most Popular Martini Recipes

    Cooking With Wine Recipes

    Osso Bucco Recipe

    Osso Buco

    If you love to cook with wine, check out other recipes from Cheers2Wine. Find delicious recipes including:

  • Soups
    Click Here to Get More Recipes – Cooking With Wine

    Have you tried out any of these best appetizer recipes?
    If you have, please scroll down and leave a comment. We’d love to hear how they turned out.

  • Minestrone Soup Recipe With Italian Sausage & Zinfandel

    Minestrone RecipeYou can’t beat this minestrone soup recipe with Italian sausage and Zinfandel. Enjoy the rich flavors of this hearty soup on a cold winter day. It’s beyond delicious! Serve with your favorite garlic bread to create the perfect meal for any time of the year. This is a frequently requested recipe!

    Wine Pairing:
    Serve the same Zinfandel with this minestrone soup that you used in the soup.
    Consider a zinfandel from Renwood, Rosenblum, or Macchia Winery. These generously flavored bold Zinfandels are characterizedd with ripe fruit, toasted oak, and spice. They should go well with this spicy soup.

    Ingredients for minestrone:
    1 pound hot Italian sausage
    1 pound mild Italian sausage
    1 chopped onion
    3 carrots, chopped
    1 zucchini, sliced
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    3 quarts chicken broth
    2 cans diced tomatoes
    2 cans cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
    1 tablespoon dried basil
    ¼ cup Zinfandel
    2 cups large shell-shaped pasta
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 cup fresh grated or shaved parmesan cheese

    Instructions for minestrone soup recipe:
    1. Squeeze sausages from casings into a large pan. Cook until brown and crumbly, approximately 10 minutes. Discard fat.
    2. Add carrots, onion, zucchini, and garlic. Cook for about 6 minutes until onions are soft.
    3. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, basil, and Zinfandel. Bring to a boil.
    4. Add pasta. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes until pasta is tender.
    5. Add salt and pepper. Serve into bowls and top with parmesan cheese.

    Serve with your favorite garlic bread for a delicious meal.

    This minestrone recipe will make 12 servings.

    Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe

    Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe

    This is the best red velvet cake recipe. It’s much easier to make than the original red velvet cake and it looks and tastes fabulous. No one will believe it begins with a cake mix.

    Ingredients for Red Velvet Cake Recipe:
    1 package fudge marble cake mix
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 cup buttermilk
    2 large eggs
    1 ounce red food coloring
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Instructions for Cake:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
    1. Stir the baking soda and cake mix together in a large mixing bowl.
    2. Add the remaining ingredients. Beat until blended 2-3 minutes.
    3. Pour half of the mixture into each of the cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes until done. Cool before frosting.

    Ingredients for Frosting for the Best Red Velvet Cake Recipe:
    5 tablespoons flour
    1 cup lowfat milk
    1 cup butter, at room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla

    Instructions for Frosting:
    1. Blend flour and milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cool to room temperature.
    2. Blend butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and milk mixture. Beat for approximately 10 minutes until frosting is thick and fluffy.
    3. Remove one of the cake layers from its pan. Place onto a cake plate. Frost the top of this bottom layer. Carefully lay the other cake layer over the bottom. Frost sides and top of the cake.

    Serves 10-12

    Click Here to browse other dessert recipes from Cheers-2-Wine.

    Enjoy a great meal with the best minestrone recipe followed by this delicious cake!

    Have you made this minestrone soup recipe? If you have, please leave a message below tell about the minestrone you made.

    Favorite Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe – Quick & Easy

    Not One, But Two Incredible Recipes

    stuffed mushrooms recipe
    Learn how to make stuffed mushrooms with a delicious stuffed mushrooms recipe. The first recipe is a family favorite that is quick and easy using cheese and flavorful spices. The second recipe uses crab, cheese, and seasonings to stuff the mushrooms. Both recipes make an incredible appetizer for a party or dinner.

    Prepare the mushrooms earlier in the day and refrigerate until your guests arrive. Pop into the oven for a few minutes for a delicious treat hot from the oven. If you are having a large party, be sure to double the recipe.

    Warning . . . These mushrooms will go quickly!

    Pinot Noir is always a good wine choice to serve with mushrooms. Use your favorite Pinot as an ingredient and to serve with the dish. I often cook these mushrooms using Eyrie Pinot Noir Estate from the Willamette Valley of Oregon or a DeLoach Russian River Pinot from Sonoma County.

    Recipe #1 – Quick & Easy Stuffed Mushrooms

    stuffed mushrooms recipe
    These mushrooms are filled with a mixture of Monterey Jack Cheese, crackers, and spices. They are quick to make. At parties they are always a big hit. They disappear quickly and everyone wants the recipe.

    Ingredients :
    1 pound mushrooms
    3 Tablespoons melted butter
    8 Tablespoons soft butter
    2 cloves of minced garlic
    6 Tablespoons of shredded Jack cheese
    4 Tablespoons of Pinot Noir
    2 teaspoons soy sauce
    2/3 cup finely crushed cracker crumbs

    1. Remove stems from mushrooms.
    2. Brush mushrooms with melted butter.
    3. Mix together the soft butter, garlic, and cheese.
    4. Add wine, soy sauce, and cracker crumbs and blend to make a paste.
    5. Fill mushrooms with this mixture.
    6. Set in a baking pan and broil for about 3 minutes until hot and bubbly.

    Recipe #2- Stuffed Mushrooms With Crab

    Crab Stuffed Mushrooms recipe
    This crab stuffed mushrooms recipe creates an elegant appetizer that is perfect to serve for family or friends. They are so tasty that they disappear quickly. Plan on 2 or 3 mushrooms for each guest you are expecting.

    If you love crab, you will love this stuffed mushrooms recipe!

    Ingredients for crabbed stuffed mushrooms:
    3 tablespoons margarine
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup green onions, chopped
    1 cup cooked crabmeat
    1/2 cup cream cheese
    1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
    1/2 cup bread crumbs
    4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    15-24 mushrooms
    1/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
    1/2 cup dry white wine

    Instructions for crabbed stuffed mushrooms:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with soft margarine on bottom and sides.
    3. Combine garlic, green onions, crabmeat, cream cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper and Parmesan.
    4. Remove stems from the mushrooms. Rub mushrooms around inside the buttered pan to coat with butter.
    5. Stuff the mushroom caps with the mixture and top each with a small amount of monterey jack cheese. Pour wine over mushrooms in the pan.
    6. Bake until the filling is melted, 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately.

    Tip: If you’re having a party, make it easier for yourself by preparing the stuffing for the mushrooms in advance. Freeze this mixture. On the day of the party, thaw and stuff the fresh mushrooms and baked as directed. Entertaining is less stressful if you do as much as possible beforehand. It’s best to pop them in the oven after your guests have arrived and serve hot from the oven.

    Do you have favorite stuffed mushrooms recipe? Please share them below.

    Tips for Pairing Wine With Food – CLICK HERE –

    red wine or white wine

    Which wine pairs best?

    Trying to decide which wine should be served with a particular food can be a tricky thing. The bottom line is that a person should drink whatever wine they like to drink. However, there are some basic guidelines that you might want to try. Certain wines can enhance the flavor of a meal. Learn the basic guidelines for pairing wine with food. Give it a try and see what you think!

    Events in the Wine Country – February 2019

    events in the wine countryMake plans to attend these “Don’t Miss” events in the wine country. There’s lots of fun happening throughout California in February. Make plans to attend soon as many of these events will sell out.

    This is the month for crab feeds, wine and chocolate festivals, and a variety of special wine tasting opportunities. The top events this month are scattered across the state from Mendocino in the north to Santa Barbara in the south. Don’t miss the fun!

    California Wine Country Events

    February 2: Great Sonoma Crab Feed – Santa Rosa
    Crab Fest

    Enjoy award winning wines paired with gourmet hors d’oeuvres prepared by local chefs. Dine on fresh Sonoma Coast crab and accompaniments. Participate in both live and silent auctions benefiting local agriculture educational programs.

    If you love crab and wine, this is one of the events in the wine country that you do NOT want to miss!

    February 9-10: February 9-10: Port, Wine & Chocolate Lovers Weekend – Old Sugar Mill, Clarksburg

    chocolate curlsTaste delicious wines, ports, dessert wines, and chocolates from fourteen wineries at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg. Admission includes wine tastings at all fourteen wineries, barrel tasting, chocolate tastings, live demonstrations, sweet & savory pairings, and live music & entertainment.

    The Old Sugar Mill is an historic building (circa 1934) located in the scenic Sacramento Delta just 20 minutes south of Sacramento. Today the building houses a unique community of fourteen wineries.

    February 1-10: San Francisco Beer Week – SF Bay Area
    Beer Glasses
    Attention all beer lovers! This is an event that you do not want to miss. 10 days packed full of beer events in beautiful San Francisco.

    Join the fun run along the San Francisco marina. Participate in multiple beer tastings, seminars, and release parties. Take a guided walking beer tour.

    Enjoy live music, horror moves, and art. Learn how to make chocolate and pair it with beer.
    Attend a Super Bowl Watch Party. Drink lots of beer and dine on a variety of food, including a roasted pig and beer flavored popsicles.

    February 9-10: Lodi Wine & Chocolate Weekend

    Wine and Chocolate FestivalTreat yourself to a weekend of Lodi wines and delicious chocolate treats. Visit more than 50 participating wineries at your own pace. Win big by discovering the “Golden Ticket” in your complimentary chocolate treat!

    Each of the wineries will celebrating this weekend. As you travel from winery to winery you’ll enjoy live music, food, a photo booth, art show, special tastings, and a variety of wine discounts. This is one of the most popular events in the wine country this month.

    February 9-10: Wine & Chocolate Weekend – Madera

    Wine and ChocolateThe Madera Wine Trail’s family wineries will host the 17th annual “Wine & Chocolate Weekend” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Enjoy wine tasting at participating wineries, chocolate sampling, live music, and delicious food.

    Tickets are available online or at participating wineries.

    February 9-10 and February 16-17: Valentine Day Weekends – Placer County
    Happy Valentines Day
    Placer County wineries invite you to come fall in love with the Placer County Wine Trail. They’re celebrating Valentine’s Day for two full weekends in a row. Enjoy special treats, sweets, special tastings, and live music. This is not a ticketed event. Individual wineries are each planning their own celebration.

    It’s the perfect time to explore the wineries in Placer County! These wineries are located in the Sierra Foothills American Viticultural Area (AVA). Most are small, family owned wineries with their own vineyards. A unique experience!

    February 15-18: Wine Country Weekend – Santa Ynez Valley
    Toasting with White Wine
    Visit participating wineries to meet the winemakers, taste reserve and estate wines, and enjoy delicious appetizers. Each passport holder will receive a souvenir wine glass and a wine tote bag.

    Explore the scenic villages of Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang. This area produces world class wines that you are sure to enjoy!

    February 16: San Francisco Chronicle Wine Tasting – San Francisco
    wine tasting
    Get your tickets now to attend the largest competition of North American wines. The winners have been chosen from more than 6,800 entries and this public tasting is your chance to sample the wines.

    Experience award-winning wines paired with delicious food. Learn more about wine and fine food, in a scenic location overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Meet the wine makers and congratulate the winners in person! This is one of the events in the wine country eagerly anticipated by both winemakers and wine drinkers as well.

    February 23-24: Anderson Valley Winter White Wine Weekend – Mendocino County
    White Wine Festival
    Celebrate the fabulous white wines being produced in California’s Anderson Valley. Visit wine tasting rooms all weekend to sample varietals such as Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sparkling Wines, and Riesling.

    Enjoy food paired with wines and live music at the various tasting rooms. Make reservations to attend a multi-course Winemaker Dinner. This is the perfect weekend to explore Mendocino County!

    Learn About Mendocino County Wineries

    February 23: How to Taste Wine in 90 Seconds – Napa
    February 2019 Wine Events
    This wine tasting class is held at the CIA at Copia (Culinary Institute of America). In this class, you’ll taste five wines and learn the lingo that goes with wine tasting. Get an understanding of what you wines you prefer, and how to enjoy it with food.

    You’ll leave this class with a practical, fun, and common sense way to appreciate, record, and remember the wines you’ve tasted. This will help you to find the wines you really do like and avoid the ones you don’t.

    Have you attended any of these events in the wine country ?

    If you have, please scroll down and tell us about your experience!

    Are you looking for award-winning affordable wine?

    If you are looking for award-winning affordable wine, check out Peirano Estate Vineyards in Lodi, winners of 4 awards at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

    affordable wine - Peirano Estate Merlot
    Double Gold for 2016 Six Clones Merlot
    Peirano Estate Vineyard’s Merlot is produced from six different clones of Merlot grown on their estate. This includes two rare French clones and a rare Italian clone as well. They were the first winery to grow and produce wine from these rare Merlot clones.

    Price: $16 a bottle
    Regular Case Price: $140
    Special Tasting Room Case Price Through January 31, 2019: $84 case
    An amazing bargain at only $7 a bottle!

    Winemaker’s Tasting Notes:
    “Aromas of black cherries, red ripe raspberries, strawberry and spice (white pepper), join together in a single sensation of olfactory bliss. The mouth is filled with an array of flavors, including black cherry, strawberry and raspberry with lingering hints of cocoa and toasted oak. Moderate tannins and good acidity leave a pleasing, long lasting finish. Each juicy sip is more comforting than the last always leaving the palate to want more.”

    Chardonnay Peirano
    Double Gold for 2017 Chardonnay
    This estate grown Chardonnay was hand-picked using a dual harvest technique. Half of the grapes are harvested in mid to late August, when the fruit still has firm acids. The other half is picked from 3-4 weeks later, when the grapes are bursting with sugars. Very enjoyable and easy to drink!

    Price: $16 a bottle
    Regular Case Price: $140
    Special Tasting Room Case Price Through January 31, 2019: $84 case
    An amazing bargain at only $7 a bottle!

    Winemaker’s Tasting Notes:
    The vibrant color of this wine immediately catches your attention. The aromas of fresh picked white peaches, ripe melon, and yellow apples instantly fill your senses and are complemented by hints of light vanilla that entices that first sip. The mouth fills with complex flavors of sweet, rich, red and yellow apples, bosch pears, fresh picked peaches and juicy sweet honeydew melons, leaving you breathless. Soft hints of butter and vanilla round out the wine to produce a very seductive, lingering finish.

    Peirano Cabernet Sauvignon

    Silver for 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
    This 100% estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon comes from 50-year-old Lodi vines. The grapes were hand-picked. You can’t help but enjoy the intense fruit flavors of this Cab!

    Price: $16 a bottle
    Regular Case Price: $140
    Special Tasting Room Case Price Through January 31, 2019: $84 case
    An amazing bargain at only $7 a bottle!

    Winemaker’s Tasting Notes:
    The rich, dark color of this wine catches you from the first pour. It exhibits a rich deep burgundy hue with perfect clarity. The aromas are a compendium of zesty black cherries, cola, and toasty cocoa. The first initial sip fills the mouth with sweet anise, black boysenberry, cherry, anise, molasses, and baked blackberry pie, while maintaining absolute dryness and firm, round, yet supple, tannins. This delicious rich, full, mouth filling Cabernet is ready to drink now and will continue to age gracefully for the next 6 to 8 years.”

    Peirano Old Vine Zinfandel
    Bronze for 2015Old Vine Zinfandel
    This old estate grown Zinfandel was grown on vines more than 120 years old. The result? A deliciously intense fruit forward wine!

    Price: $16 a bottle
    Regular Case Price: $140
    Special Tasting Room Case Price Through January 31, 2019: $84 case
    Another amazing bargain at only $7 a bottle!

    Winemaker’s Tasting Notes:
    The initial whiff of this seductive wine produces aromas of bright red cherries, ripe strawberries, spice and toast. On the palate, you swirl this rich dark wine around in your mouth and the initial sensation is that of luscious, juicy, freshly-picked ripe strawberries. The second sip explodes with sweet black cherries and strawberry jam, with moderate tannins and juicy acidity. This rich, mouthfilling Old Vine Zinfandel will pair with ALL foods, from that gourmet burger on the grill, to a nut-crusted seared rare Ahi.

    Peirano Estate Vineyards
    Peirano Estate Vineyards produces a variety of other wines, including Chardonnay, Muscat, Malbec, and Syrah. The wine tasting room is located north of Lodi at 21831 N. Highway 99 in Acampo, California. They’re open Thursdays through Mondays from 11 AM – 5PM.

    The tasting room itself was once the home of the Peirano family. Built in the early 1900s the house was revamped as a tasting room in 1997. This was one of the first wine tasting rooms in Lodi. It retains the charm and coziness of the original house. It’s surrounded by lawn, shade trees, and vineyards. There’s picnic tables for visitors to enjoy.

    These affordable wines can be purchased at the tasting room or online at
    Peirano Estate Vineyards

    Do you know of any other affordable wines that are great buys right now? If you do, please leave a comment below.

    The Lodi Wine Country

    Lodi Wineries

    There are more than 80 wineries in Lodi. They typically produce high quality wine at prices that are far more reasonable than Napa or Sonoma. Some tasting rooms offer free tastings. Those that do charge keep the price at $15 or less. If you purchase wine, the tasting fee is waived.

    Lodi is known for their exceptional Zinfandel wines. However, you will find that they produce a wine variety of both red and white wines. Many of the wineries are small, family owned establishments. You are quite likely to meet the owner or a family member as you taste wine. Visit Lodi soon to enjoy friendly tasting rooms and affordable wines.

    Click Here to Learn About Other Lodi Wineries.