You’ve probably heard that wine is good for your health, but as with any alcoholic beverage, you should still drink in moderation. That doesn’t mean that your nightly glass of merlot, Riesling, or chardonnay can’t be a special occasion. In addition to pouring a fine glass of wine, you can enhance the flavor with some tantalizing treats. Here are the best healthy snacks to pair with wine and please your palate. Grab a plate or a chopping block to create a personal party tray with the following foods.
Go Green (or Red, or Blue)
You can’t go wrong with fruits and vegetables, and with ready-to-snack packages of baby carrots, snap peas, string beans, celery sticks, throwing together a platter is quick and easy. Take the time to peel, slice, and add a stack of cucumber slices, strawberries, and watermelon, accompanied by your favorite berries to supply a pleasant, fruity counterpoint.
When a little food needs to go a long way, you can’t go wrong with nuts. Packed with protein, antioxidants, and flavor, your lower-calorie choices run to roasted chestnuts, pistachios, and raw almonds. Peanuts, pecans, cashews, and others are also good, but go for low-salt alternatives, and alternate them with fruits and vegetables.
The potato chip may be a classic and delicious snack, but not one of the best healthy snacks to pair with wine. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of ways to get the potato chip experience without all the calories and oil. Pick up a bag of veggie chips at the store, preferably baked. If you can make your own, kale chips are ideal, but you can get your crunch fix with lentil, carrot, sweet potato, beet, and bean chips. When in doubt, baked and non-fried chips are best. And don’t forget that movie theater mainstay, popcorn! Popped and lightly salted or seasoned, popcorn makes a filling treat.
Snacking seems more like a party with fancy dips. Keep it healthy with hummus, tabbouleh salad, baba ghanoush, blended avocado with lime, and other vegetable-based dippable appetizers. If you can’t make your own, a DIY dip is always the healthiest choice—you can find individual containers at the store.
Cheese, if You Please
When it comes to the best healthy snacks to pair with wine, wine and cheese go together like rhythm and blues. And yes, some cheeses are healthy, whether through their protein and calcium content or the fact that a little of their flavor goes a long way, helping you control your portions. Fresh cheese is always better, and low-calorie choices like goat and feta are ideal. Lactose-intolerant? Not to worry, there is an abundance of tasty vegan cheese out there made from nuts, soy, seeds, and roots. Even if you aren’t vegan or lactose-intolerant, try them—you might like them!