Holiday Sips and Nibbles!! Great Wines to Try and Snacks to Pair with Wines!
YES!! It’s the big cooking day of the year and I am here to give you some great wine choices. Generally there should be a big liquor store near you that is open. If not, then hopefully you have a wine or too that will fit into this bill. Here in Southern California there is typically a market or two or a large convenience store with an array of wine, spirits and snacks that can do the duty. Given that I started stocking up about 6 weeks ago, I am ready to rock and roll!
Here are a couple of wines that I can HIGHLY recommend to sip this holiday and/or the entire weekend!
Mumm Napa non-vintage Blanc de Blancs, Napa Valley ($22)
— a new wine from this top Napa sparkling wine house; a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Gris,.
This wine is from a well-established winery known for its French heritage and it’s California stock and twist on the heritage. I love the brand and it’s sparkling intensity which isn’t heavy but just exactly what a sparkling wine should be- crisp, fun to drink and with a ripe flavor that I like. My terms in describing this sparkling wine might not be what you are thinking– but it’s how I describe it.
I would suggest that you try a bottle. It’s great to make mimosas or any other sparkling drink but do try a glass plain. You might then give up on the idea of a cocktail or maybe buy a couple of extra bottles to play with this brew!
–Steelhead 2012 Pinot Noir, Sonoma County ($15) – fresh, bright, medium bodied Pinot Noir; percentage of all sales gets donated to environmental causes.
I have been focusing more on lighter red wines. I think cabernets are so complex and hard to wrap my tastebuds- and mind- around. That might sound foolish but I like to be diverse in my wine tastes as much as I do food, blogging topics and what I drink.
This wine is really interesting. It’s got a nice texture and flavor. I find it tasty to work with a variety of foods and if you pair it well or serve something interesting to contrast with it, I think one might really enjoy it. I like the fruitiness of it. I used to love nouveau beaujolais style red wines (mostly pinot noir) and while this wine isn’t made in that style, it reminds me why I like pinot noirs- not so heavy, can be light on the tongue and yet give your tastebuds a fair amount of bang for the bottle.
–Priest Ranch 2012 Grenache Blanc, Napa Valley ($22) – an unusual variety that is notably crisp and steely with bright melon and honeysuckle flavors
This is one wine I haven’t tried yet but today is the day to try new things and this is the highlight of my Thanksgiving (along with a very unusual menu!)
You have the notes here and the wine website link. Do reach out to try the Grenache Blanc. It sounds like perfection!
Wait!! Don’t leave! Have to give you an update- new link for Priest Ranch Wines. The other one didn’t load on two different browsers!
While I am really set for the wine, spirits and snacks, maybe you aren’t or you need an idea or two. Here’s a great piece courtesy of Lifeminute.tv to help you figure out what to take to someone’s house or what to serve at your own!
It’s holiday crunch time for all you hosting the season’s celebrations. Here to help you out is youngmarriedchic.com’s Kris Schoels with food tips and treasures for entertaining.
Starting with appetizers and the perfect snack staple is cheese and crackers. Kris says Wheat Thins holiday edition are a perfect choice. The festive hexagonally shaped cracker are imprinted with snowflakes, a gingerbread man, a bell and a candy cane that are super cute to serve up to your guests. “Not only cute they are 100% whole grain goodness…always baked and never fried so your guilt free holiday munching is covered,” says Schoels. Find them in the cracker isle.
Now the cheese and Kris likes Cabot. “They’re owned by 1,200 dairy farm families as a cooperative so 100% of the profits go directly to them,” she says.
And when it comes to flavor this cheese has cleaned up; winning major national and international awards for taste and quality including World’s Best Cheddar. You can also feed good about serving it up to your guests because varieties like their Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar is naturally lactose and gluten free.
For guests looking to keep their calories in check, the light version (made with low-fat milk) is only 70 calories a serving which is 50% less fat than other sharp cheddars. And beyond cheese they also have a full line of dairy products that can be found in your dairy or deli section of your local grocer. Check out Cabotcheese.coop.
The holidays are also a perfect time to try new recipes or do a twist on an old one. “The easiest way to that is with premium herbs and spices,” says Schoels. For a flavorful foundation she turns to McCormick’s Gourmet for everything from the main meal to appetizers and dessert.
And speaking of desserts nothing screams holiday more than gingersnaps. Made with ground ginger, crystalized sugar and Saigon cinnamon they’re crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Try ‘em out for your holiday cookie exchange, gift or just to bring into the office. For more ideas go to mccormick.com/gourmet.
Lastly, don’t let guests go thirsty. It’s best to offer a bit of selection when it comes to beverages. “Fetzer Gewürztraminer wine is perfect to pair with your turkey,” she says, “it has a sweet and crisp viscidity with flavors of clove, orange, caramelized apples, tangerine, mango and pineapple, plus baked pair and a hint of cinnamon.” Made with 100% California grapes. They offer a rich heritage of sustainable wine making practices and is only around $8.99 a bottle.
Happy Thanksgiving and have a great weekend!
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