Recently in Christmas Category

RECIPE: Chandon Sparkle Cookie

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Chandon, the perfect bubbly to toast the holidays, is kicking off the season of celebration with Momofuku Milk Bar's Chef Christina Tosi. The award-winning pastry chef has teamed up with California sparkling pioneer Chandon to create a festive limited-edition cookie recipe incorporating the wine that adds pop to any holiday gathering.

Super scrumptious and with a flute cookie cutter, they will more than dazzle your friends and family!

Watch the video:

RECIPE: Gingerbread Spiced Sweet Potato - Plantain Mash

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When it comes to a special holiday dinner, traditional recipes are hard to beat. They're convenient and reliable and everyone expects to see them on the table year after year.

However, for a new take on the traditional sweet potato casserole, the chefs at The Culinary Institute of America suggest a Latin twist by making this side dish with plantains.


Click Here to watch more videos from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) highlighting many of their recipes perfect for any occasion.

Champagne - A Sparkling Addition to the Christmas Feast

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korbelChampagne.jpgChristmas brings families together, and the Christmas meal - whether Christmas dinner or Christmas brunch - ranks right up there with the gifts as one of the day's special highlights. Pairing that delicious Christmas feast with a wine equally delicious is easy and will make the meal a true celebration - just add champagne.

Champagne's reputation as a "special occasion" wine means many never discover champagne's compatibility and versatility with food. Brut champagne - with its bright acidity, tiny amount of residual sugar and lively sparkle - complements traditional Christmas dinners beautifully; from main courses like glazed ham, roast turkey, salmon, roast goose and chicken to side dishes like casseroles, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes.

Which brut champagne should you serve with Christmas dinner?  One that combines quality and value always is a good choice. Korbel Brut California Champagne offers elegant fruit, imperceptible sweetness and a crisp, balanced finish - it's as wonderful with food as it is all by itself. Readily available and readily affordable, Korbel Brut makes buying champagne for Christmas dinner a snap and assures there will plenty to go around.

Holiday Recipes & Pairings from Mumm Napa

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Things are sparkling brightly with Mumm Napa this holiday season!

MummNapaSparklingHolidayWineBanner.jpgPlan your complete Christmas Dinner with recipes and wine pairing from Mumm Napa this year. The menu puts a delicious Baked Ham with Honey Apricot Glaze front and center along with several tasty sides like spicy mashed potatoes and minted peas. In general, Mumm Napa recommends their most versatile sparkling wines Brut Prestige and Blanc de Blancs for Christmas. View all of the holiday recipes and pairings HERE.

MummNapaCindyPawlcyn.jpgMumm Napa has also teamed up with noted Napa Valley chef Cindy Pawlcyn (Restaurants: Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, Mustards,) to provide foodies and wine lovers even more festive pairings. Dare to inspire guests with a Swordfish Involtini, or a Chocolate-Hazelnut Truffle Tart. Of course, there are more recipes online which also include recommended wine pairings. Click here to view.

If all of this was not enough to whet your palate, ENTER TO WIN an exclusive Napa Valley Weekend getaway that includes airfare for you and a guest, 2 night accommodations, $1000 in spending money and a special pairing dinner hosted with Chef Cindy Pawlcyn.

Visiting Napa Valley or Sonoma? Stop in for a wine tasting visit at Mumm Napa's Tasting Room. Not only do they boast some fabulous sparkling wines, you can also view the breathtaking photography of famous photographer Ansel Adams at Mumm Napa's fine art photography gallery.

Mumm Napa
8445 Silverado Trail
Rutherford, CA 94573
(800) 686.6272



Time To Stop Beating Around the Bûche

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By Deirdre Bourdet

Growing up in California, I always thought a yule log was the crackling fire you tuned your televisions to while you opened your Christmas gifts.  I was stunned to learn that the yule log is not only a real cake consumed by many Americans, but the Christmas Eve dessert for families in France.

In contrast to the rest of the traditional Réveillon menu for December 24th--oysters, foie gras, truffles, and roast capon--the Bûche de Noël is a humble little creature.  Thin genoise cake, usually chocolate, is rolled around a flavored cream-based filling and then frosted and decorated with meringue mushrooms to look like a felled log in the forest.  Although some French seem to prize an ultra-realistic log, and others opt for a more cartoonish look, everyone's goal is clearly to make the cake look like a moldering piece of wood.

Where Are You Dining For Christmas?

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(2012 Update!)

We've said it before and we'll say it again!  Leave the dirty dishes for someone else to clean. Mix up the tradition of a Christmas Dinner at home and feast on delicious "just like Mom used to make it" cuisine at one of Wine Country's restaurants open for dinner.

See list of restaurants ready for your reservation right now.
Please Note: This is a partial list. If you do not find the restaurant you are interested in dining at listed here, please call them directly.

NAPA VALLEY

Christmas Eve

  • Angele ~ 707.252.8115
  • Hours: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Bistro Jeanty ~ 707.944.0103
  • Hours: 11:30 am - 9:30 pm
  • Fish Story - 707.251.5600
  • Hours: 5:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Ristorante Allegria ~ 707.254.8006
  • Hours: Open for Lunch Only 11:30am - 2:30pm
  • Siena at the Meritage ~ 707.251.1950
  • Hours: 4:00pm

Christmas Day

  • Bistro Jeanty ~ 707.944.0103
  • Hours: 11:30 am - 9:30 pm
  • Brix ~ 707.944.2749
  • Hours: 2:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Brannan's ~ 707.942.2233
  • Hours: 1:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Grill at Meadwood ~ 707.963.3646
  • Hours: 7:00am - 10:00pm
  • Lucy Restaurant & Bar @ Bardessono ~ 707.204.6030
  • Hours: 1:00pm - 7:00pm
  • Ristorante Allegria ~ 707.254.8006
  • Hours: Open for Dinner Only 5:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Silverado Resort & Spa ~ 707.257.5400
  • Hours: 12:30pm - 4:30pm

Holiday Entertaining

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Holiday wine and food pairing can be tough. Figuring out which wines to pair with such a wide assortment of foods is a challenge for even the most experienced chef and the thought of entertaining on top of everything makes is stressful! Here are a few guidelines to follow to ensure your food and wine pairings are easy and fun:

Main Dish
For the white wine lover, a soft Chardonnay is a great accompaniment to poultry and an assortment of sides. Even a Riesling or Pinot Grigio could work. The minerality and apple-citrus notes common to Pinot Grigio match well with rich holiday foods. Also, while many assume white wine is the ideal poultry pairing, Pinot Noir's fruity character and lack of tannins are ideal for serving with turkey. It's vibrant and fruity character is sure to please red wine drinkers too.

If you end up serving an elegant roast meat at your holiday dinner, select a bolder red wine, like a Meritage, to match the stronger flavors of the meat.

Side Dishes
Any of these earlier wine pairing suggestions will also work well with the myriad of rich side dishes that often accompany the main course. To complement the spices and flavors try a delightful Syrah-Malbec. This lighter red, with its own notes of spices and earthiness, will stand up well to any dish, from sweet potato mash to creamed pearl onions.

Foodie's Holiday Wish List

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By Deirdre Bourdet

cheeseKnifeSet.jpgMy family insists that I am difficult to buy gifts for, due to my extremely personal and subjective taste (aka "pickiness") when it comes to clothing and the like.  I remind them annually that it's actually very simple to get me something I will love - as long as it relates to food or wine (or is in fact food or wine), doesn't clutter up my cabinets and counters, and doesn't dominate my kitchen aesthetic, I'm a happy camper.  In this vein, I offer you some suggestions for the picky foodie in your family, virtually guaranteed to please those who love to cook and eat:

(1) Laguiole 3-Piece Cheese Knife Set 
Laguiole is still the gold standard for cheese service knives, and for good reason.  The traditional design is classic, elegant, but also sleekly modern.  And the knives are fantastic: a razor-sharp cleaver for the hardy mountain cheeses, a short rounded spreader for the soft stuff, and versatile long blade with pointed tip to spear that hunk of camembert you've just sheared off.  Gorgeous and functional, these knives are welcomed everywhere they go.  

Gift Guide 2008 - Chocolate

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vogesChoc1.jpgVoges Haut-Chocolate
Ordinarily, you might think of chocolate for the holidays as a stocking stuffer or just a candy dish treat. Don't get stuck in boring traditions. Chocolate should be on your list for a friend, workmate, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin...you get the point.

Voges Haut-Chocolat offers decadently, rich chocolates, truffles, caramels, toffee, and even brownies, ice cream and cake for the sophisticated "I love chocolate" palate. But now that you've scampered across the website, in this menu and the the other, salivating at all this chocolaty goodness, what to get is the now burning question.

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