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Winter: Let’s Get Social

man pouring wine at table

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.

white wine cheese nuts trays
man woman white wine citrus snacks

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.

Syrah, hands, table, pouring

try this!

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.

Bedfellow Syrah gibsey pours wine josh

Stock Up

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:

Castel­ve­tra­no Olives

Salt­ed Roast­ed Cashews

Choco­late Cov­ered Almonds

Ket­tle Brand Pota­to Chips

Triple Cream Brie

Steplad­der Cream­ery Big Sur Cheese

Alle-Pia Salami

Dried Apri­cots

SLO Bread Bike Seed­ed Loaf

Sim­ple Mills Almond Crackers

Cayenne Pep­per

Lemon for zesting

Unsalt­ed Butter

Oil for popping

Corn Ker­nels

Riedel Wine Glasses

Cloth nap­kins from Pick­ing Daisies SLO