Our Team’s Holiday Food & Wine Pairings

From our award-winning Cambium paired with Winemaker Jesse Fox’s homemade braised beef short ribs to mouth-watering roasted garlic parmesan potatoes prepared by Sequoia Grove Wine Club Specialist Desiree Jones – we’ve got the ultimate food-friendly wine for every dish this festive season. 

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Appetizer: Mortadella Mousse  

Prepared by Shannon Muracchioli, Vice President of Consumer Sales & Marketing

In honor of Shannon’s husband’s Italian heritage, Christmas in the Muracchioli household naturally centers around delicious food and wine. “This recipe isn’t a science – taste and adjust to your taste!” she recommends. “During the holidays, I always appreciate quick recipes – this one is done, start to finish – in about 15 minutes.” Shannon suggests pairing this delicious Mortadella mousse with the 2017 Haire Vineyard Chardonnay. “This rich, creamy, decadent appetizer pairs best with a wine that can bring brightness and acidity to the pairing.” Another Muracchioli family tradition involves gifting each other vinyl records. “Impromptu dancing to wonderful music is not an uncommon sight on Christmas day,” smiles Shannon. 

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First Course: Tuna Tataki

Prepared by Jake Terrell, Director of Vineyards 

Okay, so tuna tataki isn’t exactly the most traditional festive fare, but for Jake, it’s a family favorite. “I grew up on the beach, and we go back to visit family on the coast every holiday, so perhaps a seaside-inspired dish isn’t that crazy,” he laughs. Delicate and light, Jake warns that chopstick fights will abound with this dish! “It has so many flavors that complement the tuna amazingly. If you’re lucky enough to have some of our Sequoia Grove Sauvignon Blanc stashed away, it makes a great pairing. I also highly recommend it with our 2017 Napa Valley Chardonnay,” he shares.

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Main Course: Braised Short Ribs in Red Wine

Prepared by Jesse Fox, Winemaker 

If you’re looking for a pièce de résistance to impress your guests this festive season, these Braised Short Ribs are ideally suited for a cozy winter night. “This rich and tender dish will certainly shake off the seasonal chill. I sometimes complement it with pan-roasted wild mushrooms such as Chanterelles, Black Trumpets, or, if you’re lucky enough, Porcini. These can be pan-roasted separately and served as a side dish while the stems and trimmings can go into the cooking broth,” explains Jesse. To elevate the dish, he recommends pairing it with the 2016 Cambium. “Cambium is full-bodied and elegantly fruit-forward, so it balances the decadence of this hearty meal.”

Pro Tip!
Jesse recommends removing the cooked ribs off the bone from the broth and creating a puree with all the veg using a stick blender. This makes an even thicker sauce that is particularly great for plating. 


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Alternative Main Course: Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Roasted Winter Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Prepared by Britny Maureze, Winery Chef

Winery Chef Britny Maureze has created a flavorful pasta that works double duty as either a satisfying vegetarian meal or as a base for protein, such as braised short ribs, pork tenderloin, or crispy chicken thighs. Pair it with the youthful tannin of the 2019 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which craves the cheesy sauce’s richness, allowing more complexity and subtle spice to emerge. The pops of citrus from the lemon zest and the sweetness from the roasted squash round out the wine’s savory notes and complement the luscious fruit. “I love this recipe because it incorporates some of my all-time favorite fall ingredients, such as squash and Brussels sprouts.  I also like that it is rich and satisfying without requiring meat, so it is accessible to a wider range of palates,” says Britny. 


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Side Dish: Roasted Garlic Parmesan Potatoes

Prepared by Desiree Jones, Wine Club Specialist

PSA: No festive table is complete without a generous dose of roasted potatoes! And Desiree’s Roasted Garlic Parmesan Potatoes are sure to wow even the fussiest eater. “These are not too difficult to make, and everyone loves them! Plus, crispy potatoes are the ultimate comfort food.” The herbaceousness in our vineyard-designate 2017 Tonella Vineyard Cabernet Franc highlights the salt and buttery flavors of this dish. In Desiree’s home, another tradition includes making mulled wine. “I always have a big batch going. Neighbors and friends stop by during the holiday to enjoy a glass near the fireplace.”

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If you’re in Napa Valley this holiday season, don’t forget to visit our award-winning wine and food experience in the Cambium Room or enjoy a leisurely wine tasting in our historic barn. Sequoia Grove is open Wednesday- Monday(closed on Tuesdays) 10 am – 5 pm. Please note we will be closed on December 25, 2022 and January 1, 2023. 


However you’re spending this festive season, we wish you health, happiness, and our very warmest wishes. Join us as we raise a toast to the promise of a bright 2023!