Events, Wine

Pour the Bubbles, Spread the Cheer

With the holidays approaching, it’s time to download some new apps — as in appetizers. When you invite friends into your home, the apps are your welcome mat, the first impression guests will have of your hospitality. You can set out some cheese and olives — nothing wrong with that — or you can make guests feel like royalty by offering a few nibbles you made yourself. Nobody needs to know that you made them in 10 minutes. If you can put ingredients in a food processor and press purée, you’ve got this.

holiday spreads

As we enter the season of giving, consider sharing the gift of your time. Invite the neighbors for happy hour or gather friends for a drink at your place before you go out for dinner. Whip up a couple of lively spreads — roasted peppers and feta; spinach with tahini — to swipe on flatbreads, favorite crackers or radishes. You can make a whole meal of it by adding charcuterie, roasted nuts, celery hearts, pickles, artisan cheeses, grapes and fresh bread from a local bakery. Get out your biggest platter and let your inner artist loose.

As we wrap up this challenging year, we can be grateful for the people who put the sparkle in our lives — friends and family of course, but also the California vintners who make bubbles that help us create good times. Here’s to the winemakers!

Looking for more entertaining ideas, wine pairings and recipe suggestions for every holiday occasion?

Check out these 5 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays California Wine Country Style.


Maybe choosing a sustainably produced wine is already a priority when you make your selections (we hope so). But this holiday season, consider whether there’s more you can do: choosing sustainably grown California produce and sustainably caught seafood for a dinner party; decorating your home with compostable wreaths, greenery or other materials gathered from nature; selecting gifts, like wine, that are consumable; wrapping with recyclable paper or reusable items, like organic flour sack towels; or donating to a charitable organization your recipient admires. The goal: a holiday season of maximum pleasure and minimal waste.

The Pour

Ah, bubbles. California sparkling wines are a party in a bottle, and they’re available at every price. Choose to be thrifty or treat friends to a splurge. The finest sparkling wines come from cool-climate grapes. In California, think coastal Sonoma and Mendocino or the Carneros region near San Francisco Bay. These ocean-influenced regions produce high-acid grapes, yielding the steely wine the winemaker wants. With more yeast and a touch of sugar, that tart wine will referment in the bottle and — voilà! — produce the bubbles we love. For sparkling rosé, vintners may add red wine to get the hue they want. Or they macerate red grapes to extract some color before fermentation. Either way, santé!

Visit our holiday guide for more recipes and wine pairings to make this holiday season one to remember! 

Holiday Guide

A Duo of Holiday Spreads

If you're entertaining, these simple and delicious spreads might be just what you're looking for. Serve these wine-friendly spreads individually or as a colorful duo with a basket of flatbread crackers, crostini or pita crisps. Pair with California Sparkling Wine or California Sparkling Rosé.

A Duo of Holiday Spreads


For the Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Feta:

  • 1 large roasted red bell pepper, skinned and seeded 
  • 6 ounces (scant 1 cup/180 g) feta  
  • 1 large garlic clove 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • Hot red pepper and sea salt to taste 

For the Spinach, Cilantro and Tahini Spread:

  • 1 cup (1.5 oz/45 g) packed baby spinach leaves (no stems) 
  • ½ cup (65 g) frozen peas (no need to thaw) 
  • 1 green onion, white and pale green part only, sliced 
  • 6 to 8 sprigs cilantro, no thick stems 
  • 1 small garlic clove, sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) tahini 
  • Sea salt 
  • Lemon juice, as needed 



  • How to make the creamy roasted red pepper and feta:
  • In a food processor, puree all ingredients until fully blended. The mixture will be soft. Chill slightly to firm it. 
  • How to make the spinach, cilantro and tahini spread:
  • Put the spinach, peas, green onion, cilantro and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the tahini and a large pinch of salt and blend until smooth. Taste for salt and add a few drops of lemon juice if needed to brighten the flavor.

Recommended Pairings

California Sparkling Wine or California Sparkling Rosé

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