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Food and Wine Pairing Ideas for Memorable Holiday Meals

To create a delicious and memorable experience at your holiday gathering, seek some inspiration from the vintners and chefs of one of the most impressive wine and food destinations worldwide, Napa Valley.

One of the iconic winemaking families from the Valley, the Cakebreads, share their recommendations.

When it comes to the red wine, the fresh, fragrant aromas of red and black cherry, raspberry, and tea-leaf spice spice found in the 2015 Two Creeks Pinot Noir (SRP $44) can provide an elegant accompaniment to your meal. This cool-climate Pinot Noir complements seared tuna, roast turkey, pork tenderloin, and hearty root vegetables.

For your white wine, consider the vivid creamy aromas of green and golden apple, pear, and citrus with supporting scents of oak spice found in the Napa Valley Chardonnay 2015 (SRP $40), which pairs nicely with chicken, shellfish, seafood, and grilled salads.

Both wines are produced at Cakebread Cellars, a family-owned winery since 1973, committed to craftsmanship. Their premier culinary program makes cooking and pairing wines easy. Take a cue from their playbook by enjoying the chardonnay selection with their recipe for Harissa Spiked Roast Crab with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce.

Harissa Spiked Roast Crab with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

3 large Dungeness crabs, cooked, cleaned, and cracked

3 tablespoons olive oil

1-1/2 tablespoons Whole Spice harissa spice blend (a mix of dried chilies, cumin, coriander, and garlic)

3-4 cloves garlic, mashed

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup roasted red peppers

1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place crab in the bottom of a large casserole dish, large enough for all crabs to fit in an even layer.

Crack all leg shells. The body should be broken up into about six smaller pieces so that the marinade can seep into the meat.

To create the marinade, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, harissa spice mix, mashed garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of lime juice and stir. Pour marinade over the crabs and toss with your hands to evenly coat. Be sure they are well coated. Place in the middle of the preheated oven. Roast for 10-12 minutes. Flip once or twice so that it cooks evenly.

While the crabs are roasting, place the mayonnaise, red peppers, hot sauce, 1 table spoon of orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of lime juice in a blender jar. Puree until smooth.

To serve, place casserole in the center of the table for guests to help themselves, and pass bowls of the red pepper sauce. Serve with lots of napkins.

Courtesy of State Point Media

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