Savory Red Wine Cheese Ball Recipe

Red wine plus cream cheese equals an easy recipe, perfect as a hostess gift or holiday appetizer.

 red wine cheese balls

Last month I taught a Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen class using recipes from my book of the same name, plus a few extra recipes. It sold out weeks before the class, so I offered an encore class last week. Both classes were fun and busy as we made homemade Onion-Dill Crackers, Hard Candy, Pizza Blend Seasoning Mix (all in the book) and Chocolate Peppermint Bark. We also made mini cheese balls.

I love all things miniature, and this recipe is no exception. Although I have made this as one large cheese ball covered in chopped pecans, I like it better as a group of small balls with several colorful coverings.

I used Spanish paprika, parsley, and camellina seeds to cover the balls. The paprika adds a smoky flavor, and the camellina seeds add a bit of a mustard-like bite. Other good coverings might be chopped nuts, sesame or poppy seeds, or dried dill weed.

You can also tweak the flavor by using different types of red wine. Port is traditional, but is sweeter than I like. Since the whole recipe only uses a tablespoon of wine, I do recommend something with a lot of body, a Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon maybe.

Best yet, the cheese balls can be made ahead and frozen before covering. Just thaw and roll in a covering before serving or gifting. A group of cheese balls with some homemade crackers would make a wonderful hostess gift or gift for your boss.

Savory Red Wine Cheese Ball Recipe
Red wine combines with cream cheese to make an easy, but fancy, appetizer.
Cuisine: American
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 12 to 18 mini balls
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 8 oz low-fat cream cheese
  • 7 or 8 oz bag finely shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp red wine
  • ½ tsp each: onion powder, dried basil, dried mint, dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • ¼ tsp dried dill weed
  • Additional parsley, chives, seeds, nuts, etc. to coat balls
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and red wine until fluffy. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  2. Flour your hands and make tablespoon sized balls from the mixture. Roll balls in desired coating.
  3. Set balls in mini-cupcake papers and chill until set.


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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

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