What is it that makes holidays the most magical times of the year? We love our dear friends and our families, of course, and traditions ground who we are.
But for us, it’s all about the food and wine!
These meals gathered around familiar sights, tastes, and smells, livened by decanters of wine, and the energy of conversations with people we don’t always get to see, are for us, the heart of these celebrations.
If you want to impress and delight your guests, try some of the recipes below, you’ll have yourself a meal that will be talked about for years to come.
Mushroom Timballo and Pinot Noir
We know this one’s going to raise an eyebrow or two, but hear us out: once you try this dish with this wine, you will be banging the drum for Pinot and Timballo year after year. Composed of mushroom caps that have been lightly breaded (with hazelnut flour or ground pork rinds) and pan-fried, bound together by a slow-simmered tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, parmesan and pecorino, then shaped into a drum and baked until crispy, it’s a showstopper that’s at once homey and rustic, but still elegant and impressive. The earth in the Pinot (ideally a Burgundy, or a piquant German Spätburgunder) will set off the earthy-savoriness of the mushrooms, while the natural acidity in the wine will cut all of that richness from the tomatoes and cheese. It’s a dish that fits any Big Night, just about as well as a Stanley Tucci outfit.
Fisherman’s Stew and Sauvignon Blanc
Served on Christmas Eve, The Feast of the Seven fishes is a much-beloved tradition in many an Italian or Italian-American home, and a celebration of the bounty of the ocean. Choose whichever seven unique fish and shellfish you love. Then, spike the stew with saffron and fennel and serve with a garlic-laced aioli for a spin on Bouillabaise, or chip in some tomatoes and white wine for a Cioppino. Whatever goes in the pot, make sure that a characterful, yet crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc is waiting for your guests. The herbaceousness of a wine like this complements the aromatics and herbs in a Fisherman’s stew, while the wine’s medium-body and freshness will stand up to the slightly richer preparation.
Holiday Roast and Gamay
A mosaic of richness and decadence, no holiday dinner table is complete without (at minimum) two or three bottles of red wine. And while there is a world of lovely wine to pair at your fingertips (especially if you just received a box from Dry Farm Wines), we always make sure there’s at least one bottle of Gamay to go with our roast, rosemary potatoes, and spices. Holiday Dinner is, above all, heavy, and heaviness in food invites acidity in wine. Gamay, the Beaujolais grape, brings lots of freshness to the party, along with some opulent red fruit, rustic, earthen spice, and a certain inimitable conviviality.