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Christmas Entertaining Made Easy - Fine, Festive Food and Wine Pairing

Christmas is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with festive food and organic wine? Sharing food and festivity with family and friends is the best thing about the weather heating up. But let’s face it, finding the time (and funds) to prepare can be stressful for many.


At Mountford Wines, we believe entertaining should be simple. After all, Christmas is about creating memories and spending time with loved ones. Not chasing your tail and frantically trying to cater to the high expectations the festive season often brings.


Don’t worry, we have you covered with these fine food ideas. From educational to epicurean, carnivorous to creative, there’s something to appeal to every food and wine personality.


1. Pomegranate Salad and Pinot


Get into the Christmas spirit with a fresh, festive pomegranate and walnut salad. This dish provides a whole lot of healthy goodness but is deliciously sweet, exciting and adds a little bit of Mediterranean flavour to your menu.


Easy yet impressive, the recipe has mandarin to bring out that tropical, summer taste and those little red jewels bursting with colour and flavour. Pomegranate seeds are also loaded with vitamins and have many health benefits to break up any Christmas overindulging. This means you won’t feel too guilty about pairing it with a perfectly light Pinot or a refreshing glass of Chardonnay.


Serves 6


Ingredients:

  • 6 cups spring salad mix

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

  • 1/2 cup mandarin or oranges drained

  • ½ cup walnuts chopped

  • 1/3 cup feta crumbled

For the Honey Dijon Dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar - try this one

  • 1½ tsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 Tbsp honey

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the spring salad mix, pomegranate seeds, mandarin oranges and walnuts

  2. Arrange salad on a large platter

  3. To make the dressing whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey and salt and pepper in a small bowl

  4. Drizzle dressing over the salad, add feta and serve

  5. Top with additional pomegranates, feta, and walnuts if desired

  6. Enjoy with a glass of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or a sparking cider

Thanks to Beautiful Eats and Things for the recipe.


2. Chardonnay Chilli Mussels


Seafood and Christmas go together like gin and tonic. Fresh oysters, prawns and crayfish are the popular selections that fill tables and tummies over the festive season. So why not add chilli mussels to the menu this year?


Chardonnay chilli mussels are healthy, summery light and versatile. The great thing about Vino Food’s recipe is it’s incredibly simple to make and packed with flavour for a terrific Christmas lunch or dinner idea. Pair with a light, lemon-butter Chardonnay for an oaky, chilli-sparked broth and wine delight.



3. Moules Marinière with Cider and Cream


A beautifully rich French dish traditionally made with mussels, onions and white wine marinade. This version swaps the onions for shallots for a sweeter, sharper yet subtle flavour. You can use a dry sparkling cider for a new twist on an old recipe, or white wine for a traditional Moules Marinière taste. Tangletoe’s organic sparkling cider works a treat or try our Sauvignon Blanc.


Serves 2 large mains or 4 entree sizes


Ingredients:

  • 1kg mussels

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped

  • 15g butter

  • 100ml sparkling cider

  • 120ml double cream

  • A handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped

Method:

  1. Wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water. Discard any open ones that won't close when lightly squeezed

  2. Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then knock off any barnacles with a large knife. Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little pieces of shell

  3. In a large pan big enough to take all the mussels, soften the shallots in the butter and a dash of olive oil for 2 mins then add the garlic

  4. Add the mussels (by hand, don’t tip the bowl of mussels in, you don’t want all that liquid) and wine or cider, turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open in their own juices for 3-4 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every now and then

  5. Lift out the open mussels with a holey spoon and put them in a bowl. Add the cream and reduce the liquid down until the sauce is thick, add the chopped parsley and remove from the heat. Season with a twist of pepper then serve

Thanks to Sophie Budd from Taste Budds Cooking Studio for this recipe.

4. Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Quinoa Rice


A hit at every Christmas party, this dish can be served fresh from the oven or cold. If time is of the essence, cook the cauliflower and rice the day before and prep the rest of the ingredients. You’ll only need to set aside 15 minutes to pan-fry the chickpeas and combine the mix on the day of entertaining. Make sure to top with fresh mint for that extra zing.


Pair this dish with a light red such as Pinot Noir or a sparkling Chardonnay if you’re feeling festive.


Serves 3 mains or 6 side dishes


Ingredients:

  • 1 whole cauliflower

  • 1 pomegranate

  • 1 can of organic chickpeas

  • 1 cup fresh mint

  • ⅓ lemon

  • 1 cup quinoa and brown rice - use this one to save time or you can make your own

  • 2-3 tablespoons of turmeric

  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 3-4 tablespoons of hummus

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180

  2. Wash and cut cauliflower into florets. Add to a mixing bowl and coat cauliflower with oil, turmeric and salt/pepper. Gently stir until they’re all coated

  3. Add 1 cup of the quinoa to a rice cooker, with 2 cups of water. Set to cook

  4. Add coated cauliflower to the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until soft (check with a fork). You don’t want them to be soggy, so don’t overcook them

  5. While the cauliflower is cooking, strain the chickpeas and dress them in lemon, salt and pepper. Cook in oil on high heat until they start to crisp

  6. Cut and seed the pomegranate and remove the white flesh. Chop mint leaves roughly.

  7. Mix the cooked cauliflower with the chickpeas and add the desired amount to a plate. Add a few large scoops of quinoa. Top with pomegranate seeds, fresh mint and hummus.


This year, take the stress out of cooking and entertaining. Simplify the festive season with these easy and delicious recipes, and a green Christmas that embraces simple traditions and eco-friendly alternatives.


Live local in Western Australia’s South-West? Come visit our award-winning cellar door this holiday season for a taste of our organic wines, cider and produce.


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