This appetizer recipe uses seasonal dates and is adapted from Jill Hough's 100 Perfect Pairings: Small Plates to Enjoy with Wines You Love, a terrific book with simple, straightforward guidance (and super-tasty recipes) on enjoying wine and food … together. This little nibble, to me, is the winter equivalent to one of our favorite summer appetizers with figs and prosciutto and cooked on the grill. I'm grateful I don't have to wait half a year! Jill suggests pairing this dish with a Cabernet Sauvignon or meaty Syrah.
12 Medjool dates, pitted and halved lengthwise
2 ounces blue cheese
12 thin slices coppa, cut in half lengthwise
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Stuff each date half with a ball of blue cheese a little larger than a hazelnut. Wrap a slice of coppa around the date and set on the baking sheet. Bake until the coppa is slightly crisped and the cheese is bubbly, 5-7 minutes. Serve warm.