Toasting the Holidays with Waits-Mast Pinot Noir by valleyfog

Well, the holidays are behind us, but good memories of food, friends and family linger. This year, all three combined with our wine at various holiday functions. We traditionally serve our wine at our family Christmas meal (and Thanksgiving) here in Northern California, and we’re glad to report that now our wine is finding its place on tables across the country.

Good friends gather over Waits-Mast Pinot Noir in Sacramento

Good friends gather over Waits-Mast Pinot Noir in Sacramento

Hailing from Sacramento way, Sande Drew and her husband Anders (who really hails from Sweden) are big fans of Waits-Mast Pinot Noir (in fact they were our first on-line customers) and I believe they’ve gone through a number of bottles over the last two weeks. Sande and Anders attended a Christmas dinner at their friend Mike and Annette’s house and they poured two of our Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs, the 2006 Hein Vineyard and the 2007 Wentzel Vineyard to accompany their meal, along with some Champagne. This was an eclectic fete, with friends from Dallas, Mike’s parents from Los Angeles, an Arabian horse breeder, an artist who is a sculptor and painter, a former broadcast anchor (in markets like Dallas and Detroit) and of course, the Swedish Chef and artist Anders! They picked a good wine to pair with the meal, an international menu including Moroccan lamb couscous,  stuffed baked cabbage, German beef rouladen and a Swedish anchovy and potato dish known as Jansson’s Temptation. It all sounds tempting!

Photo collage of Waits-Mast-Penney Christmas Dinner courtesy of Janine Penney (she's the one in the corner)

Photo collage of Waits-Mast-Penney Christmas Dinner courtesy of Janine Penney (she's the one in the corner)

And of course, here at home in the Bay Area, we toted a bottle of our Wentzel Pinot Noir to Christmas dinner at Jennifer’s sister’s house in San Jose. We joined Janine and her family and her brother-in-law and his girlfriend, along with Jennifer’s parents to make merry around a table of culinary goodness. Janine slaved for days, with help from husband Martin and mother Susie, in anticipation of the event. We busted out a sparkler – a 2003 Brut Rose from Handley Cellars – to go with the assortment of fine French, English and American cheeses and nuts including rosemary-toasted pecans. The dinner menu featured a beautiful roast turkey (brined of course!), honeybaked ham, a curiously delicious puree called Monk’s Dish, stuffing, sweet potatoes (with marshmallows), green beans (w/bacon and pine nuts) and Meetinghouse Biscuits (from the former restaurant of the same name). Along with the Pinot Noir, we served a 2006 Gewurztraminer from Bargetto Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The meal was capped with a serving of Susie’s famous grasshopper pie and a dramatic reading of Twas The Night Before Christmas.

Half way across the country and more than a few degrees cooler, the McTigue family (full disclosure: my twin sister!) in the Chicago area rang in the New Year with the 07 Wentzel as well. My brother-in-law Kevin is a burgeoning chef de cuisine and was testing out his new Christmas toys – chef’s knives and a food processor. They plied their friends with a sumptious feast including mixed baby greens w/ balsamic vinaigrette and dried cranberries, cream of broccoli soup, beef tenderloin with a Waits-Mast Pinot Noir reduction and twice-baked potatoes. I think I need to book another flight to Chicago to visit Chez McTigue!

Stretching to the east coast, I know that Lynn Krielow Chamberlain, a.k.a. The Wine Fairy who interviewed me for her online radio show back in October, received a bottle of our Wentzel Pinot Noir just in time to serve at her Christmas dinner in North Carolina. We hope it was enjoyed by all.

If anyone else has holiday wine pairings and menus to share – post a comment, please. Even if (for shame) it didn’t include one of our wines. We’re equal opportunity Pinot Noir drinkers, trust me!

Happy New Year!

Brian and Jennifer


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