Spreading the Cheer, Southern Style

One month ago, in the interest of preparation, we brought you this food-and-wine pairing idea and recipe for Cinco de Mayo.

So if you plan to mark that occasion tomorrow, you should be all set.

On the other hand, if your Saturday party plans are more focused on the Kentucky Derby, then you may have some shopping to do…because no Southern-focused celebration is complete without Benedictine Spread.

While our Cinco de Mayo recipe provides wine options for beer, this recipe makes wine an alternative to Bourbon. And the possibilities are numerous.

The creaminess of the cheese calls for a rich, buttery, creamy Chardonnay—the so-called “California style” of the variety. But if you prefer red wine, the rye bread will accommodate pairing with Grenache, Barbera or Sangiovese. And while we don’t normally recommend chilling down red wines, in this case, about 20 minutes in the refrigerator prior to serving would enhance the pairing.

We think you’ll enjoy this “taste of the South” so much that you may find yourself repeatedly uttering the name of one of this year’s Kentucky Derby horses: “I’ll Have Another.”

(Warning: Early odds on I’ll Have Another were 12-1.)



  • 1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 drop green food coloring (optional)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped peeled cucumber, patted dry
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • Snack rye bread



  1. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, salt, white pepper, dill and food coloring (if desired). Beat until smooth.
  2. Stir in cucumber and onion.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  4. Spread on snack rye bread and place on a serving plate.


Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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