It is always a good idea to eat while drinking alcohol as it lessens the chances of getting a hangover. Eating lines the stomach wall, which slows the rate of alcohol's absorption into the bloodstream and its conversion into acetaldehyde, a toxic chemical and one of the main causes of hangovers. However, eating while drinking shouldn’t be purely functionary; well-chosen appetizers, for example, can add an element of class to an evening of wine tasting.
Cheese and Crackers
Cheese has long been associated with drinking, particularly with wine and port, so prepare a platter of different cheeses and crackers for you and your guests. Some delicious combinations include Cabernet with cheddar, Stilton with port, and feta with almost any white wine. Cream crackers are standard, but you can try spicy crackers to add some variety to the tastes on display.
Pizza is a popular food choice to accompany a night of drinking, but rather than indulging in a takeaway pizza, prepare some delicious and filling muffin mini pizza appetizers. Take an English muffin, cut it into halves and spread tomato puree or ketchup on each half. Sprinkle some grated cheese and toppings of your choice on top and put them in the grill until the cheese melts. Serve either whole or cut into fingers or quarters.
Make sure you’ve got lots of bar snacks on hand if you’ve got the guys coming over for beers to watch the big game. Pretzels and potato chips are classic appetizers, as are peanuts which you can combine with raisins and other dried fruits to add a bit of variety. In fact, just about any nut makes for good snacking. For the more cultured option, get pitted olives stuffed with garlic, feta, almonds or piri piri peppers.
For a slightly exotic appetizer, offer your guests some eastern cuisine. Chinese finger foods such as crispy won tons, prawn toast and mini spring rolls are delicious and savory snacks. Alternatively, if you want something with a bit of a kick, present your guests with Indian appetizers such as onion bhajis and vegetable samosas or, for a Thai twist, some peanut satay chicken skewers.