I am excited to be sharing not one but two recipes per month during the holiday season. Each recipe will feature a Francis Ford Coppola wine paired with a recipe that will be a delicious addition to your holiday menu planning. There are so many wonderful wines available in the Francis Ford Coppola collection that it was hard to decide on just four wines to serve during the holiday season, but I think I have picked some great ones to enjoy during the holidays. The first recipe is this Labneh Cheese Ball which will be the perfect starter for your Thanksgiving meal.
I fell in love with the Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Sauvignon Blanc over the summer and knew it would be the perfect wine to start an evening throughout the year. I am definitely one to break the rules when it comes to wine. If I enjoy it, why not do so any time of the year.
The Sauvignon Blanc is a bright but elegant wine that is made with grapes from three locations, Sonoma Valley, Lake County and the Alexander Valley. Grapes from each of these regions add something special to this wine, from the mineral qualities to the floral bouquet when you first open the bottle. The flavors of citrus along with pineapple blend nicely with the creamy labneh,and the coolness from being fermented in stainless steel cools the spiciness from the Aleppo pepper.
During my holiday menu planning, I like to mix traditional dishes along with dishes that typically may not be served. This recipe for Labneh Cheese is one that always wows a crowd. I love making Labneh Cheese Balls as they are easy to make and guests are always in awe when you tell them you made the cheese. This recipe is easy to make when using pre-made Greek yogurt, and only requires some planning as the yogurt will need to be left to drain the whey from it, for three days. I usually time this step along the date of the meal, then I roll the cheese into the herbs an hour before serving. The texture is creamy like goat cheese and the fresh parsley along with the spicy and smoky peppers complements the tartness of the cheese. I like to serve it with an assortment of crackers, maybe some fresh or dried pear slices, and a bottle of the Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Sauvignon Blanc.
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Labneh Cheese Ball
2 cups whole milk Greek yogurt – must be whole milk
1 teaspoon Maldon salt
1/3 cup Italian parsley, finely minced
1/2 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
fresh or dried pears
Mix the yogurt with the salt in a small bowl.
Place the yogurt onto a large, clean piece of cheesecloth. Tie up the end to form a ball and suspend from a wooden spoon. Place into a deep mixing bowl and put into the refrigerator for 3 days. I drain the whey that collects daily.
Remove the cheese and form into a ball.
Mix together the parsley and aleppo pepper, then gently roll the ball of cheese into the mixture to coat well.
Place on a serving platter with the crackers and dried fruit.
**disclaimer: This post is brought to you in collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola Winery, for which we are being compensated for the work done with them. All content, photos, and opinions are of our own and were not influenced by other parties. Thank you for supporting sponsors that allow us to create new and exciting content like this for Chez Us.