17 Cold Appetizers For White Wine Tasting

cold appetizers for a white wine tasting

What Appetizers Pair Well with White Wine?

The best cold appetizers for your white wine tasting will deliver fat and salt. Fat softens wine’s acid and salt will make your wine seem fruitier. High acid foods pair well with high acid white wines, like vinegar dressings and Sauvignon Blanc. The two complement each other.

Helpful Tip: Here’s an easy overview of how wine and food pairing interact. A must-read if you’re just getting started.

What Appetizers Don’t Work Well With White Wine?

Be careful with foods that have a sweetness to them. What seems like a good pairing idea (apples, strawberries, or even grapes, for example) can make your dry white wine seem acidic and thin.

If you’re enjoying a sweet or off-dry wine, like an off-dry Riesling, Moscato d’Asti, or fruity Chenin Blanc, then, by all means, bring out your fruit platter and enjoy.

Best Cold Appetizers for a White Wine Tasting List

Check out this list of 17 cold appetizers for your next white wine tasting.

Some appetizers are easier to prepare than others, so hopefully you’ll find an appetizer that works for you.

Helpful Tip: If you’re looking for cold appetizers for any wine (red or white), then head over to this post that covers all cold appetizer ideas for wine tasting.

1. Crudité Platter

crudite platter cold appetizer for white wine tasting

A crudité platter is a plate of raw vegetables (sliced or whole), arranged artfully (or not) on a plate or board. You’ll typically include a sauce of some sort for dipping – this could be a hummus, a yogurt dip, or just some sort of salad dressing.

Stick with vegetables that are fresh and in season.

Think about the flavor profile of the veggies you’re serving with your wine. Carrots and celery have an earthy quality to them. Bell peppers and cherry tomatoes have a sweetness to them, as well as acid that will lift up your white wines.

Helpful Tip: Check out this post for ultimate list of finger foods for wine tasting (for red and white wines).

2. Cheese Board

cheese board - cold appetizer for white wine tasting

There’s a reason cheese works well with wine. Cheese has salt, protein, and fat. All three qualities help to lift up your wine’s body and fruitiness, mellowing out any alcohol burn.

And cheese is a fermented food, just like wine. They’re made for each other.

Bring together a variety of cheese to experiment with flavor combinations. Cheddar, Gruyere, Manchego (my personal favorite), or even fresh parmesan.

Pro Tip: Be careful with pepper jack and other spicy cheeses. Chili pepper can enhance the alcohol burn in higher alcohol wines.

Different styles bring unique qualities to the table, so feel free to experiment.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • White Wine Examples: White Rioja, Vermentino, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Torrontes, Sauvignon Blanc

3. Hummus and Pita Chips

cold appetizers for white wine - hummus

Hummus and pita chips are always a winning combination for your cold wine appetizer list. Hummus delivers a nutty, creamy quality. Drizzle it in olive oil for added fat that will smooth out the acid in your wine and make your wine taste fruitier.

Hummus can hold up to heavier, fuller-bodied wines, so experiment and go big!

4. Deviled Eggs

cold wine appetizers - deviled eggs

Deviled eggs make a great cold appetizer for white wine tasting thanks to the eggs’ protein. If you mix in mayonnaise, just be forewarned that this can cause some pairing clashes. Stick to lighter, fruitierwhite wines with your deviled egg appetizer.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • White Wine Examples: Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato d’Asti, Riesling

5. Pickled Vegetables

cold appetizer for white wine tasting - pickles

Pickled cucumbers, radishes, carrots, and even cauliflower or cabbage can make an excellent last-minute cold appetizer for your white wine tasting. The acid from the vinegar in pickled vegetables pairs well with higher acid white wines.

Mix things up with sweet, sour, and spicy for some fun experimentation!

What I love about pickled vegetables is that they are shelf stable and easy to keep on hand in your pantry for last-minute gatherings.

Helpful Tip: Remember…sweet pickles will pair better with off-dry wines. Spicy pickled vegetables can enhance the alcohol burn in your wine.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • White Wine Examples: Vouvray, Chenin Blanc, Moscato d’Asti, off-dry Riesling, Torrontes, Sauvignon Blanc, Picpoul

6. Shrimp Cocktail

shrimp cocktail - cold appetizers for white wine tasting

Shrimp cocktail makes for a fabulous cold appetizer that you can make ahead and have ready to serve. Acid from the tomato dipping sauce enhance your white wine’s fruitiness. If your cocktail sauce has a little kick to it, stick with lighter white wines.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • White Wine Examples: Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino, Torrontes, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Frascati, Soave

7. Smoked Salmon on Cucumber Slices

cold appetizers for a white wine tasting - salmon and cucumber

Smoked salmon has a strong smokey flavor, and you’ll want to let it shine with your wine pairing. The protein-rich, fatty texture marries beautifully with crunchy, fresh cucumber slices.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • White Wine Examples: Albarino, White Rioja, Pinot Grigio, Full-bodied Chardonnay, Verdejo, Picpoul, Muscadet, Sparkling Wine

8. Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

cold appetizer with a white wine tasting - stuffed cherry tomatoes

Scoop out the insides of a handful of cherry tomatoes, then add a dollop of smooth cream cheese mixed with fragrant dill and chopped cucumbers. Boom! A tasty, bite-sized treat for your chilled white wine appetizer. Tang. Fat. Cream. And earthy goodness.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • White Wine Examples: Unoaked Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Albarino, Vermentino, Soave

9. Melon and Prosciutto

melon and prozciutto cold white wine appetizers

This classic summer treat brings together juicy fresh melon slices with the rich, salty qualities of thin-sliced prosciutto.

Make sure you’re using a ripe melon for full effect.

On a personal note, I usually use honeydew melon, but cantaloupe and yellow melon work, too.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • White Wine Examples: Moscato d’Asti, Vouvray, Off-dry Chenin Blanc, White Vin Doux Naturel, Demi Sec or Doux Sparkling Wines

10. Tzatziki and Pita Chips

cold appetizers for white wine tasting - tzatziki

Tzatziki is a classic Mediterranean yogurt dip with layers of flavor thanks to cucumber, garlic, dill, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Refreshing, light, and oh-so-delicious, tzatziki makes a great white wine appetizer. Add some pita chips (or simply crackers) and you’re all set.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy to Medium (if you make your own)
  • White Wine Examples: Pinot Grigio, Albarino, Vinho Verde, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet, Vermentino, Cava, Prosecco

Helpful Tip: Go check out this quick and simple wine calculator to figure out how much wine you need for your next event based on your total guest list.

11. Salted Nuts

cold appetizer for a white wine tasting - salted nuts

Every wine goes well with nuts. They have protein, fat, and salt. The perfect trio to balance astringency, enhance fruit qualities, and cleanse the palate while you’re sipping.

Added bonus: nuts are shelf-stable.

  • Best With: Any White Wine
  • White Wine Examples: Honest – salted nuts work with all wines. Go get some nuts.

If you’re looking to elevate your nut experience, try toasting them right before serving, or serving herb or truffle infused nuts. Here’s a personal favorite:

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12. Spring Rolls

white-wine-cold-appetizers-spring rolls

A combination of crunchy lettuce, mint, cucumber, carrot, rice noodles, and your choice of protein – tofu or shrimp – along with a rich peanut sauce make spring rolls a great cold appetizer for wine tasting.

Spring rolls can be smaller or more substantive depending on what you’re looking for and offer the perfect make-ahead appetizer.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • White Wine Examples: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc, Albarino, Soave, Vermentino, Riesling, White Rioja

13. Tortilla Pinwheels

tortilla pinwheels - cold wine appetizers ideas

Quick and easy, tortilla pinwheels are a more substantive appetizer. You can make them vegetarian or vegan, or add cream cheese and slices of deli meats. Crunchy fresh vegetables will lift up your wines. The combination of vegetables and tortillas makes this a neutral appetizer that can work with any wine.

  • Difficulty Level: Medium (or pick them up from your local deli)
  • White Wine Examples: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Albarino, Verdejo, White Bordeaux

Helpful Tip: Check out this list of the easiest appetizers for wine tasting.

14. Artichoke Dip

cold appetizers for white wine ideas - artichoke dip

With its sour cream or yogurt base, artichoke dip makes an excellent cold appetizer for white wines and lighter reds. Artichoke dip is easy to make ahead of time or pick up at your local grocer.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy to difficult (if you make your own)
  • White Wine Examples: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Vinho Verde, Torrontes, Muscadet,

15. Ceviche

cold appetizers for white wine tasting - shrimp cocktail

Ceviche marries together brine, acid, and spice from onion. An earthy element from cilantro or parsley brings this dish together. Add a slice of fresh lemon for your guests to squeeze on top and they’re in for a mouth-watering treat.

  • Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • White Wine Examples: Unoaked Chardonnay, Albarino, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Vinho Verde, Muscadet, Torrontes, Cava, Prosecco

16. Oysters on the Half Shell


Oysters have a briny quality that works well with white wines. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a place where you can easily pick up oysters (or cater oysters), then this makes for a decadent cold appetizer to pair with your next white wine tasting.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • White Wine Examples: Picpoul, Vinho Verde, Albarino, Muscadet, Vermentino (Rolle), Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Cava, Prosecco, Champagne

17. Baguettes and Olive Oil

cold appetizers for white wine tasting - french bread

A classic, timeless wine pairing: baguettes dredged in olive oil with freshly crushed black pepper and parmesan. This simple, yet satisfying, pairing will keep you filled up while you finish a glass (or two) of wine.

  • Difficulty Level: Easy (unless you make your own bread – yum!)
  • White Wine Examples: Chardonnay (oaked and unoaked), Sauvignon Blanc, Frascati, Soave, Arneis, Torrontes, Champagne, Cava – go wild…

Final Thoughts – Fat, Salt, and Acid

Appetizers are a wonderful way to learn more about wine pairing and flavor combinations. As you plan your cold appetizer menu for your upcoming wine event, keep in mind how the food’s flavors will interact with your wine selections.

  • Stick with a sampling of cold appetizers that have fat, salt, and acid and you’ll be all set.
  • Remember to be mindful of sweet foods that can make your wine seem thin and acidic.
  • Fruits that bring sweetness will work with off-dry white wines, like Chenin Blanc, Moscato d’Asti, or off-dry sparkling wines.

Thirsty for More?

Head over to this post for more general wine tasting food ideas if you’re looking for inspiration.

If you already know what wines you’ll be serving, check out this post on what to serve at a red wine tasting, and here’s the sister post: what to serve with a white wine tasting.

Are you a Chardonnay fan? Here are my top 5 everyday Chardonnay pairings for everyday people. Go ahead, bring a little decadence to your Wednesday.

Love foods with spice? Check out how to pair spicy foods with wine.

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