Pleasing ourselves and our guests this holiday season doesn't mean we have to turn our backs on our best resolutions for responsible choices. Since California winemakers are making significant efforts in sustainability, California wines are a perfect match for our holiday celebrations.
Greener wines for your celebrations
In addition to its structured Cabernets and sun-drenched Chardonnays, California also stands out for its sustainable viticultural practices. California's vineyards began a green shift in the early 2000s that led to the creation of the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW) program in 2010. This certification aims to recognize winemakers' efforts in water management, energy and soil health among other things.
However, sustainable practices are not limited to responsible choices only in the vineyard, it is also about being a good neighbor to the people in the region and being a good employer. This set of decisions ensures the sustainability of the business for the benefit of the employees and the economic activities of the region. Choosing to implement best practices in sustainable development and social responsibility is a way to leave a healthy wine industry for future generations. This way, delicious California wines can be enjoyed for many holidays to come!
California whites, for all tastes
On your tables this holiday season, California's full-bodied, bright whites are a wonderful companion to many dishes. Their versatility at the table will be appreciated as they are great partners for appetizers and entrees, white meat dishes (did you say "turkey"?) and even vegetarian options. Whether it's with fish in sauce, roasted root vegetables, mushroom-based dishes and vegetable gratins, there's something for everyone. Here are five California white wines to serve for the holidays.
Chateau St. Jean is a charming destination with its beautiful views and elegant 1920s building. But it's not just the location that attracts attention, as the estate's wines have won numerous awards. With notes of tropical fruit, butter and vanilla, and a full, wrapping mouthfeel, this chardonnay confirms that good reputation. It will go well at the table with appetizers and canapés.
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: none
Meiomi is the brainchild of Joe Wagner, son of the founder of Caymus Vineyards. The estate's wines are made from carefully crafted blends that result in cuvées known for their balance. Such is the case with this Chardonnay, with its aromas of baked apple, pear and peach. Its rich and smooth body is enhanced by buttery and vanilla notes. Perfect for this shrimp and avocado starter.
Avocado with nordic shrimp
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: none
Liberty School is part of the Austin Hope family of wines and is a tribute to the roots of this great California wine family. Sourced from sunny California terroirs that provide ripe fruit flavors, this Chardonnay has a rich, embracing mouthfeel. With its woody aromas and subtle notes of creamy vanilla, it is perfect for this ham and cheese croquette recipe.
Ham and potato croquettes
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 bites
Josh Cellars' wines are distinguished by their evocative fruitiness and balance. This discreetly oaky Chardonnay has aromas of peach, pear, citrus and subtle floral notes. With its medium-bodied, rich mouthfeel, it will be ideal with appetizers and canapés like these smoked salmon blinis.
Blinis with smoked salmon
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes
Wines with a generous and aromatic character are the specialty of the Treanna line. This California Rhone blend impresses with notes of peach, dried apricot and pineapple enhanced by floral and vanilla touches. The grapes are sourced from the cooler climates of northern and central Monterey County as well as the Templeton Gap, which keeps it refreshing. Perfect with these caramelized goat cheese-onion canapés.
Main courses, time for the reds
Fans of sun-drenched red wines will be served with a range of structured wines with ripe fruit aromas. They are excellent with a host of festive meals. Cabernets, Merlots and other rich, smooth Zinfandels are good companions for roasted or braised meats, stews, meat pies, tourtières, duck à l'orange. Since some holiday meals take the form of a succession of different dishes, the versatility of these wines will be put to good use. Here are five suggestions for California reds for your holiday meals.
This Cabernet Sauvignon is the one that launched the Josh Cellars brand. Its ripe red fruit profile, jammy, pastry aromas and enchanting woody notes are what built the success of this label. We appreciate its soft tannins and its seductive side. Its versatility at the dinner table is another of its great qualities; it can be served with an array of holiday dishes, especially the perfect roast turkey.
The perfect roast turkey
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Born in Napa Valley, Joel Gott grew up in the Sierra Foothills area where his parents founded the Montevina Estate. After high school, he worked at Kenwood before starting his own business in 1996 by purchasing a few tons of grapes from a family friend. This Pinot Noir made in California has the typical cherry notes of the variety with woody aromas and silky, elegant tannins. A gem with this apple-stuffed roast pork.
Apple-stuffed roast of pork
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40 to 50 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
This aromatic, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon is highlighted by flavors of black currant, plum and woody notes that express themselves through aromas of mocha and vanilla. Lovers of grilled meats and smoky flavors will find it an ideal companion for their favorite recipes. Why not add a little southern flair to your holiday meals by serving it with this recipe for ribs and California salad?
Spareribs, homemade barbecue sauce and californian salad
Preparation: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
This winery specializes in making wines with vibrant fruity flavors. The grapes for this wine are sourced from a variety of California terroirs, which contributes to its amazing complexity. Aged in French oak barrels for six months, its woody character blends with jammy, dark fruit notes. Perfect with that roast turkey and sun-dried tomato stuffing.
Roasted turkey stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and wild mushrooms
Preparation: 60 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12 to 15
The founder of this winery, David Phinney, discovered the world of wine during a semester of study in Florence. Upon his return to the United States, he continued to learn from Robert Mondavi before launching his own project. Today, he produces dense, complex blends like this blend of Grenache, Petite Sirah and Syrah aged in French oak. With its black currant and black olive notes and woody accents, it will perfectly complement the three-meat tourtière.
In partnership with California Wines.