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Our Team’s Holiday Food & Wine Pairings

Our team shares their favorite wines from Markham Napa Valley Vineyards to serve alongside festive holiday dishes.
Markham Vineyards Capsule graphic
Three bottles of Markham Vineyards wine: one white and two red. Classic red glass Holiday ornament in front of them.

From our award-winning Merlot paired a warm wintery soup to our bright Chardonnay as a delicious compliment to charcuterie—we’ve got the perfect food-friendly wine for every dish on the menu.

Your Holiday Appetizers

What pairs best with opening gifts while you snack on a delicious spread of charcuterie? “I enjoy something bright and refreshing,” suggests Dena Chiappulini, Events Manager. “For those late mornings, I love to open our 2022 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc or 2021 District Series Frenchman’s Blend – a white wine blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.” You won’t be disappointed with either choice. Both wines’ bright citrus notes complement salty, mild meats like prosciutto, soppressata, or mortadella that will lay the foundation for an ideal charcuterie platter along with a variety of cheeses, seasonal fruit, and mixed nuts.

Your Holiday First Course

Perfectly suited for a cozy winter night or as a holiday first course, “there is nothing easier or more satisfying than cream of mushroom soup,” boasts Enologist Patricia Sciacca. “This is sure to shake off the seasonal chill and pairs wonderfully with white or red.” We recommend our 91-point 2018 Napa Valley Merlot. This varietal’s concentrated cherry jam fruit provides silky texture balancing the toasty, vanilla shortbread character and will certainly wow a crowd or an intimate dinner for two. 

Your Holiday Main Course

When it comes to holiday dinners, our Markham Vineyards portfolio can take you on a few different routes depending on your palate and preference. For Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls, it’s all about a roasted rack of lamb medium-well done served with herbs and vegetables. “Merlot is full-bodied and fruity so it balances the decadence and indulgence of this hearty meal. The herbaceous-ness in our vineyard-designate 2018 Little Cannon Merlot is complemented by the rosemary and oregano in the dish.” Also, a refreshing (and surprising) pairing is our 2020 Rosé of Pinot Noir from the Oak Knoll District, located south of our historic St Helena tasting room and stone cellar. “The brightness and festive color are perfect for a holiday table.”

Your Alternative Holiday Main Course

Or, if you’re looking to shake up the traditional holiday menu, Assistant Winemaker Abigail Estrada, loves to incorporate her uncle’s Italian heritage into the meal with his signature giant shells stuffed with ricotta and fresh herbs, covered with marinara. “This year I’ll pair it with our 2017 Marked Parcels Malbec,” which is crafted from a single parcel of Malbec on our Yountville Ranch estate property. Beautiful, bright boysenberry fruit is layered with darker licorice and earthy notes. “I think the medium body, bright acid, and light floral notes will balance the pasta nicely,” says Abigail. 

Your Holiday Pot Luck

If you’re looking to set your holiday table with wines that are full-bodied, fruit-forward, and pair well with lots of dishes, you will truly enjoy Markham Marketing Director, Kim Moore’s choice: “Pork Tenderloin Roulette – butterflied, with mushroom duxelles spread, parsley walnut pesto, rolled up with Japanese five-spice, and roasted with caramelized onions and apples. It’s my favorite dish for a holiday potluck.” Pair this masterpiece with either our 2017 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or our newly released 2018 Marked Parcels Merlot from our Hopper House Vineyard in the Yountville District of Napa Valley.

Your Gift For The Holiday Host

With so many delicious options to choose from, visit our wine shop to stock up before the holidays. And if you’re headed to a festive potluck or gathering, don’t forget the host or hostess gift (don’t worry, we have that covered too)! Light Up The Holidays with this gift set featuring a bottle of our District Series Oak Knoll Chardonnay nestled in an elegant red gift box alongside an artisan wine-bottle candle. For more ideas like this one, read our last post featuring our Hand-Picked Holiday Gift Guide.

Finally, don’t forget to visit us this holiday season! While our tasting room renovations are underway, we’ll be welcoming guests for unique tasting experiences in Markham’s Historic Stone Cellar during abbreviated hours: Fridays from 12 PM to 5 PM and Saturday & Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM. Visit our Winery Experiences for more information on visiting us this winter in Napa Valley.

Please note: Markham Vineyards will be closed on December 25, 2021 and January 1, 2022.

Cheers to a merry and bright holiday season! Make sure to share all of your food and wine pairings along with treasured Markham moments all season long using #DrinkMarkham and tagging @markham_vineyards on Instagram and @MarkhamVineyards on Facebook.