Once strictly known as a Hollywood writer, director, and producer, Francis Ford Coppola is credited with classic films like Apocalypse Now and The Godfather Trilogy. He has since become a household name when it comes to wine as well, and the quality of the grapes mirrors that of his films. The winner of 5 Oscars, it only makes sense to serve Coppola wine at your award party this year. Here’s what you should serve.
Let’s start with the the 2015 Cinema Premiere 89th Edition Limited Release Chardonnay. It’s a limited edition “Director’s Cut Wine,” named after the Hollywood term for a filmmakers’s final creative vision of a story. This bold white boasts nuances of pineapple, quince, and crème brulée along with lush juicy flavors redolent of citrus, tropical fruit, honeysuckle, and aromatic spices. It’s available at www.FrancisFordCoppolaWinery.com for $45.
I love pairing white wine with fresh, crisp flavors. Throwing a nod to Coppola’s New York roots, I drew inspiration from “lox and schmear,” and prepared Cucumber Salmon Bites. Don’t worry about measuring with this recipe- you really can’t go wrong! Make sure to pick up some skewers to hold the bites together. I got these pretty pink ones from the dollar store, but feel free to add your own personal touch. In a pinch? Toothpicks work fine too.
Cut a fat cucumber into 1-inch coins and scoop out a small dip in the middle. Fill the dip with a tablespoon of cream cheese (or creme fraiche, if you’re feeling fancy) and sprinkle with chopped scallions (chives work too.) Fold 1 slice of smoked salmon into a square, place on top of the cream cheese, and pierce with a skewer to hold together.
Next up, we have two bold reds- my favorite! The 2013 Cinema Premiere 89 Edition Limited Release Red Wine, is also part of the Director’s Cut edition. It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Petite Sirah sourced from the most prestigious vineyards in Sonoma’s Alexander and Dry Creek valley. This wine retails for $65. The more affordable of the two is the award-winning Diamond Collection Claret, which was awarded 90 Points from Wine Enthusiast. This Bordeaux blend delivers a fruity smooth style, and retails for a mere $21.
Nothing pairs with red wine quite like quality meat and cheese, so I immediately knew a crostini was in order. Thankfully, my husband works at Eataly and was able to pick up some delicious aged Parmigiano Reggiano, Proscuitto de Parma, and a freshly baked baguette.
Cut a baguette on a bias into 1-2″ slices. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Place under the broiler for 2-5 minutes or until golden brown. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn! Take them out and turn your oven down to low-medium heat. Place Parmigiano Reggiano on each crostini and return to the oven until cheese has slightly melted and/or browned. Remove from the oven and place folded slices of Prosciutto on top. (You may want to remove some of the fat first, depending on how much there is.)
Optional: Fry up some sage leaves in butter in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. When they’re nice and crispy, gently place 1 leaf on each crostini. Serve with honey or a nice balsamic glaze for drizzling.