Our Treasured Holiday Traditions
We love this time of year. From pulling out all the stops with holiday gifts to unapologetically stuffing yourself with the most fabulous foods to connecting with loved ones, near and far. Here’s how our team celebrates and the wines they enjoy most.
Cabernet or Syrah + Prime Rib
My family has a couple of odd traditions around the holidays. On Christmas Eve we always do finger food, cheese and charcuterie, meatballs, and pigs in a blanket. The reason being when we were kids and my mom was trying to rush us out of the house for Christmas Eve service this was one of the easiest things to feed us. It has come back into fashion now that there are a new bunch of munchkins running around the house. For a smorgasbord such as this with a wide variety of competing flavors, I would recommend food friendly wines like our Chenin Blanc or a lighter red like our Pinot Noir.
On Christmas we eat enchiladas. I don’t know why and they don’t really pair well with wine. A new tradition my partner and I have started is making homemade sushi on New Year’s Eve. Now while champagne is a great combination for this, our Grüner and Malvasia are equally delicious and much more affordable options.
Normally, after Christmas with harvest wrapped up we take the opportunity to go somewhere tropical to surf and dive. Last year we were in Sayulita, Colombia before that. Since we can’t do that this year, I bought myself a new thicker wetsuit and will be braving the California coast instead.
“A cocktail wine”
Rosé + a wide range of appetizers, cheeses, crudité, deviled eggs, etc.
We love winter walks at the coast and in the Sierras.
“Fireworks in your mouth!”
Chenin Blanc + Chicken-Fat Rice
My parents usually travel from New York and spend the Holidays with me here in Napa. I will be missing them this year but our normal activities align quite well with quarantine life.
We have a tradition of playing board games, working on puzzles, and exploring my collection of cookbooks. Last year, we made a Maqluba from an Ottolenghi cookbook that was particularly delicious. We also dabbled in baking with several Dori Greenspan cookie recipes; I recommend trying her Tarragon-Apricot recipe.
I also have a tradition of bringing my Mom things she hasn’t tried yet. One year it was Boba Tea, another year it was cocktails with guava, and last year it was a Bloody Mary.
For this year, I was looking forward to sharing what a beautiful pairing our Chenin Blanc is with roasted chicken and rice that has been cooked in chicken fat. There’s no pretty way to say ‘chicken-fat rice’ but if you’re into rice mixed with butter, this is (in my opinion) its more savory, flavorful cousin. Cooked with scallions and ginger, the combination is umami on steroids. Add our Fifth Moon Chenin Blanc, and we’re talking fireworks in your mouth!
The Chenin complements the richness of the chicken fat. 5 stars, highly recommend. I’ll have to wait until next year to share this experience with my mom in person, but in the meantime, I’ll just describe it to her over a video chat!