New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to chill your favorite sparkling wine (or still white if you aren’t into bubbles) and gather a few loved ones to ring in the year. You’ll need some snacks! Here are a few of our favorite celebratory wine pairings that are perfect for NYE!
Bring on the Bubbles!
Sparkling wine has become a bit of the normal diet for those of us who live in or frequent Anderson Valley. Arguably having two of the best sparkling houses in California located here (Roederer Estate and Scharffenberger Cellars) might be the reason. To our delight in recent years, many of our still wine producers have also begun crafting bubbles and our valley is becoming a bit of a sparkling wine region.
Sparkling Food Pairings
Potato Chips with Caviar and Crème Fraîche – Get Fancy While Keeping it Simple!
Enjoy this festive treat with bubbles by adding a dollop of crème fraîche (or sour cream) to a potato chip and topping it with caviar (sturgeon preferred). The subtle burst from the caviar integrates well in the salty creamy bite and pairs perfectly with the bubbles in your glass!
Featured here is Roederer L’Ermitage. This is the vintage bottling, released after spending more than five years on the lees (yeast). The aged lees contribute a richer mouthfeel. If you love Champagne, save your money and try this because this is a domestic equivalent!
Popcorn – Keep it Simple!
Popcorn to your preference – salted or buttered, is the simplest pairing to enjoy with your bubbles. Light and fluffy, much like the short-lived mousse that rises to the top of your glass.
Mousse is the French word used to describe the bubbles that rise to the surface of the glass. The bubble size and the length of how long the mousse lingers can be an indicator of both production method and of quality.
Featured here is Scharffenberger Cellars. For those new world sparkling fans searching for leaner and more dry, this house focuses on the California style of sparkling (vs. French). With a touch more fruit on the palate, it is fuller-bodied than sister house Roederer Estate.
Sushi – Be Practical and Order In!
For those looking for a textural sensation try pairing a mineral-driven Brut or Extra Brut with raw fish (sashimi or rolls). If you enjoy Japanese cuisine, uni can be a ceremonial pairing. The pairing allows for the briny quality and weight of the fish to be accentuated by the crisp and dryness of the sparkling.
Featured here is a one-time production by Navarro Vineyards. Deborah & Ted were inspired by a bottle of Michel Fallon Cote des Blancs Grand Cru Champagne shared with them by the proprietors. Those who enjoy this wine are in for a treat given it was left on the lees for 11 years. Deborah & Ted, pleaassseeeee make this again – we’ll wait!
White Wine Food Pairings
Popcorn Dusted with Nutritional Yeast – Elevated Simple!
Looking for a healthy alternative to buttered popcorn? Try drizzling a bit of olive oil and dust with Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast and salt. We swear you might mistake this healthy substitute for cheese!
Buttermilk Fried Chicken – Why Not End the Year This Way?
For those looking to end the year without the guilt that will inevitably haunt most of us in January, leading to gym and diet plans, this is one way to do it! The secret with this fried chicken is in the brine.
The addition of curry seasoning and honey elevates this fried chicken to a new level. Try pairing it with a Semillon, White Pinot, or Orange Wine (Foursight featured here). Of course, Chardonnay would be perfect as well!
Get the Recipe Here.
Dungeness Crab – Because Nothing Says Winter Like West Coast Crab!
No one is going to dispute a crab inspired meal on New Year’s. Serve alongside of a simple pasta salad and baguette and bring out your favorite full bodied white and, voila! Want to mix it up?
Make a crab salad by mixing the lump crab meat with mayonnaise, lemon, garlic, Old Bay Seasoning, and then spread over bread and serve with a salad. Careful- this open-face sandwich is a bit addictive!
Pictured here is a crab dinner served at our February Winter White Wine Festival.
Pinot Noir Food Pairings
Prepare For The Pinot
If you are like many of us here in wine country, following every bottle of sparkling or white wine is a bottle of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. Pinot is just simple. Many other red wines, especially in their youth, need food to tone down the tannin, alcohol, or fruit (e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah). While Pinot doesn’t require food, it is especially great with dishes from poultry, duck, and venison. In the event your glass goes empty over the course of the evening, we recommend you have your back-up Pinot ready.
Miso Deviled Eggs – Just Another Reason for Deviled Eggs!
If you haven’t been to the Bewildered Pig lately for Chef Janelle’s miso eggs, why not try making a version of them at home? The umami of these eggs works well with Pinot, and who doesn’t love deviled eggs! We found a recipe that adds bacon to the mix. You’re welcome.
Get the Recipe here! Disclosure- these are not Janelle’s eggs. You’ll have to visit to enjoy the best miso deviled eggs on the planet!
Assorted Procurements – Why Complicate the Night?
We get it, the November and December holidays have already demanded too much of your time in the kitchen and NYE is a day of rest. Fortunately, there are incredible goodies at neighborhood specialty markets.
Featured here are procurements we find at our beloved Disco Ranch in Boonville. Pinot works well with pate, foie gras, mushroom, and anything truffle (cheese, potato chips, and mousse). Shop ahead!
French Cassoulet – Because This Year Wasn’t Hard Enough!
Some of us are culinary gluttons and the mastery of the cassoulet is one that takes time. The good news is that you don’t have to make the multi-day cassoulet in the traditional bowl to enjoy this celebrated bean, pork and duck dish.
Check out this shortcut cassoulet that can be done the same day. Still, it is a commitment but one that is sure to please a crowd!
You can also find cassoulet on the coast from the Ledford House who is offering to-go options as well!
~ Courtney DeGraff, Anderson Valley Winegrowers
Phone: (707) 895-WINE