Holiday Wine Pairing Guide: 10 Delicious Dishes to get any Party Started!

It’s time to make your holiday get-togethers deliciously easy! At Sequoia Grove, we know that holidays, good food, and excellent wine are the perfect blend. But with all the variety of foods and flavors, it can be tricky to pick the right wine for your special family occasion. It is a feast after all! So to help make things a little easier,  we’ve handpicked our ten favorite festive food and wine pairings to cozy up to this season.

Thanksgiving Appetizer

Ginger Carrot Soup –  paired with our Napa Valley Chardonnay

Oh, the weather outside is frightful. So make things delightful with this hearty soup – guaranteed to warm you up on even the coldest of days! This dish combines unique savory flavors with bold citrus to create the perfect soul food. Carrots and ginger mix with coconut cream to make a creamy soup that is still refreshing. Enhance this bold and bright dish with our Napa Valley Chardonnay. The balanced acidity will cleanse your palate between spoonfuls, while the delicate flavor of the soup will allow the wine to shine.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Pan-Roasted Duck Breast With Sweet Potato Puree And Cranberry Saucepaired with the Lamoreaux Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Are you tired of traditional turkey? Put an innovative spin on your Thanksgiving dinner with this decadent pan-roasted duck breast! It’s a sweet meets savory sensation and will wow any guests at the dinner table. The sweetness of the cranberry sauce and creaminess of the sweet potato puree brings out bold rich flavors in the pan-roasted duck breast. Big flavors pair best with big wines, so pair this meal with the Lamoreaux Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon


Ricotta Gnocchi With Roasted Root Vegetables And Brown Butterpaired with the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

For a lighter thanksgiving showpiece that still wows, try your hand at our Ricotta Gnocchi. Gnocchi is one of those comfort food meals that can take on a wide variety of flavors. By browning the butter, you’ll be able to get the flavors in this dish to pop. The natural unctuousness of gnocchi, the developed sweetness of caramelized root vegetables, and the nutty, palate-coating quality of browned butter provide a canvas for the Napa Cabernet to show off its delicate layers.  Bursting with cocoa, espresso, black tea, and summer berries, this Cab will highlight the best of fall flavors.

Holiday Table Favorites

Salmon With Roasted Beets And Forbidden Rice paired with our Napa Valley Merlot

Be the host with the most with this sensational seasonal combination of pan-seared salmon and sweet beetroot. We’ve paired this taste sensation with Merlot, as it’s one of the most versatile red wines out there. Equal parts earth and fruit, this wine is well suited for a multitude of cuisines. The sweet earthiness of beets bolsters both aspects of the Merlot. Infused with fresh herbs, red wine, citrus, and nutty rice, the details really begin to pop. Salmon is a wonderful fish to pair with red wine, as it has the richness and integrity of flavor to take the edge off firm tannin but not get lost in the wine’s depth. Save the recipe, as you’re bound to get asked for it!

Adobo Marinated Pork Chop With White Bean Puree And Citrus Avocado Salsapaired with the Napa Valley Malbec

This recipe puts an exciting twist on one of the holiday staples of pork. Rather than roasting an entire honey-glazed ham, try adding a bit of spice and freshness with these barbecued pork chops. The adobo marinade pairs with a rich white bean puree and a refreshing avocado citrus salsa to create a pork chop like no other. This dish is both smoky and fruity. This dish’s rich and diverse flavors are an amazing compliment to the complex flavors of our Malbec.

Creamy Mushroom Risotto With Crispy Shallots paired with the the Napa Valley Merlot

This warm and inviting dish is a welcome meat-free alternative at the Christmas table. The creamy risotto, bold mushrooms, and crispy shallots complement each other beautifully. We recommend pairing it with our Merlot, as the Soft tannins will highlight the unmai flavors from the mushrooms.


New Years Eve Dinner

Grilled Swordfish With Romesco Saucepaired with the Napa Valley Cabernet Franc

If you want to impress, this dish really pulls out all the stops! Colorful and tasty, the Romesco sauce complements the fish with bright bold flavors. To enhance the experience and end the year off on the right note, pair this dish with our Napa Valley Cabernet Franc. The wine complements the food without distracting from its flavor.

Seared Cauliflower Steak With Chimichurri And Roasted Fingerling Potatoespaired with the Napa Valley Syrah

If you’re observing a vegetarian diet or want to eat a little lighter, this is the recipe for you. Enjoy it with Syrah.  Sequoia Grove Winery Chef Britny says one of her favorite wines is Syrah, eminently suited to grilling thanks to its interplay of juicy flavors and smokiness. The char on the cauliflower gives more dimension to the wine’s smoky spice, as well as giving the fruit more punch. The chimichurri is acidic and complex, teasing out further details. Creamy, earthy potatoes provide a neutral backdrop for carrying and soaking up this flavorful sauce, while the Manchego provides an edge of richness, saltiness, and nuttiness that ties everything together.

Soy And Miso Marinated Flat Iron Steak With Bok Choy And Shiitake Mushroomspaired with the Tonella Vineyard Cabernet Franc

For such a special night, you need a special combination. Our Tonella Cabernet Franc from Rutherford is a rare treat and becomes a mouthwatering experience when paired with this soy and miso marinated steak. Cabernet Franc has such a lovely savory quality that can do very well with Asian flavors. The earthy, meaty shiitakes complement the famed Rutherford ‘dust’ component extremely well. The subtle acidity and sweetness in the marinade help bolster soft fruit, and the meat itself tempers tannin and fleshes out the wine’s elegance. Serve this and bask in the limelight of happy guests.

New Year’s Day

Lamb Bolognesepaired with the Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Celebrated a bit lately? There’s nothing better than this quick and ridiculously tasty lamb bolognese to soak up the antics from the night before! The fresh vegetables and herbs come together to complement the lamb in a sauce so decadent you have to try it for yourself. To ring in the new year, pair with a Stagecoach Cabernet. This dish helps to bring out all the bold Cab flavors.


For the past 40 years, Sequoia Grove has become a trusted, food-friendly winery in Napa Valley. Our location in Rutherford means our vineyards benefit from abundant sunshine by day, and cool temperatures by night. This allows for the grapes to reach optimal maturity over the course of the growing season. The result is deep, richly flavored wines that pair beautifully with a variety of dishes. Our philosophy is that one should always feel free to explore and experiment. After all, wine is meant to be enjoyed – don’t overthink it! As the promise of the season’s first snow is upon us in many parts of the country, may these Sequoia Grove-inspired tasting recipes spark some ideas for the celebrations to come!