Winter: Let’s Get Social
how to make the
festive with ease
Have you heard that Americans spend fewer hours socializing than ever before? Between Instacart and Amazon, it is pretty convenient to lead a solitary existence. Despite this news, I like to think that the holiday season brings a magic to draws us together to eat, drink and be merry. And after a few years of a global pandemic, it feels so good to open my home, uncork some wine and host a few neighborly cocktail hours, welcome out-of-town guests, or drop by a friend’s place during the holidays. It’s been my tradition each holiday to stock the pantry and my home bar in an attempt to prepare for any social surprise and I wanted to share some of these items here with you.
Sips + Snacks
At the Beckett house, we often serve snacking bowls full of Castelvetrano olives and roasted cashews before dinner. I keep a bottle of First Date 2021 chilled and at the ready. This crisp Grenache Blanc offers citrus notes and a pleasing acidity that complements a wide array of foods. Bonus; it’s a lowly 13.5% alcohol and that means a glass (or two) is just enough to kick off your night with or without food.
Who doesn’t enjoy all the versions of a charcuterie tray? From overflowing and intricate like Little Grazers SLO cheese boards, to simple and “home thrown” together with whatever’s in the fridge; sliced salami, a triple cream Brie, some dried apricots or cranberries and salty crackers or slabs of artisan bread.
Have you tasted a spicy citrus popcorn?!? If you have a few minutes ahead of arriving guests, surprise them with this fun twist on an old favorite. I prefer to pop kernels in a heavy pot over the stove because the resulting popcorn is so light and crunchy. The seasoning is simple; zest a lemon into melted butter, add cayenne and sea salt, toss it all into a big paper bag with the popped corn to shake up and serve. This pairs beautifully with the ’21 First Date!
Chocolate covered almonds and Kettle potato chips are a playful match that snacks well with the ’21 Just Because Syrah. Carbonic Syrahs are known for being fruit forward and light, but the ’21 Just Because offers unexpected old-world undertones from its ten-week whole cluster ferment.
It’s in my nature to plan ahead and knowing that the pantry is stocked makes welcoming unexpected guests so easy. I also added a few new Riedel wine glasses to my cupboard and the cutest cloth cocktail napkins from Picking Daisies SLO. I’m doing my part to upend the latest anti-social trend, I’m making more time to spend with family and friends this holiday season, sharing in good times, fun snacks and great wine.
Gibsey’s Holiday Pantry List:
Salted Roasted Cashews
Chocolate Covered Almonds
Kettle Brand Potato Chips
Triple Cream Brie
Stepladder Creamery Big Sur Cheese
SLO Bread Bike Seeded Loaf
Simple Mills Almond Crackers
Lemon for zesting
Oil for popping
Riedel Wine Glasses
Cloth napkins from Picking Daisies SLO