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Cheers to holiday entertaining on Coast Live

Posted at 4:57 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 16:57:17-05

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Chefe Patrick helps us get ready for holiday hosting with some great food and drink ideas.

Champagne and other sparkling wines are delightful ways to celebrate the holidays and every day.

A fun take on a glass of bubbles is a glass of a cocktail made with bubbles. These treats are fun with a loved one, or at a  party. 

A classic Champagne Cocktail is always perfect, but we’ll chat about other champagne cocktails including Aperol Spritz, Bellini, Black Velvet, French 75, Mimosas, and Manmosas.

We raise a glass to the holidays with our Drink ‘Em Danno, a Hawaiian-inspired cocktail that includes sparkling wine, pineapple juice, and grenadine. 

And remember, a good sparkling wine doesn’t have to be expensive. Look for a brand and a style you like that’s within your budget.

We love Zoes Steak + Seafood  in Virginia Beach. In addition to a world-class restaurant, also look for an extensive wine collection available at the restaurant, or to purchase and take with you (even if you aren’t eating there) through sommelier/owner Marc Sauter.

Marc recommends Jansz, a sparkling wine from Tasmania, the Australian island-state. The offering has delicate fruit flavor, with notes of citrus and honeysuckle, and a creamy body.  Zoes price is around $25.

Here’s how to make our Drink ‘Em Danno champagne cocktail:

In a champagne flute, add 1 ounce vodka (we like the spirits from Chesapeake Bay Distillery, chesapeakebaydistillery.com1-1/2 ounces pineapple juice, and fill almost to the top with sparkling wine. Slowly pour in about a half-ounce with grenadine, allowing to settle to the bottom before serving. 

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A good dip is an essential part of any soiree setting. Make our Faux Caviar Dip, a rich and savory offering that can easily be made, and made in advance.

We start with our homemade Olive Tapenade, which is a great dish with lots of umami to stand in for caviar.

The dip comes together with the tapenade, cream cheese, and Greek yogurt. Serve with, toasted baguette slices, ridged potato chips, or baked pita chips.

Here’s how to make our Faux Caviar Dip:

Make the tapenade: In a food processor, add 5 ounces pitted green olives, 5 ounces pitted black olives, 3 garlic cloves, 2 ounces capers, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, and  salt and pepper to taste. Pulse to finely chop olives, garlic, and parsley until all ingredients are combined. Set aside.

Make the dip: in a food processor, add tapenade, 12 ounces cream cheese and 4 ounces Greek yogurt or sour cream. Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs. 

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One of our New Year Resolutions is to drink more locally-made imbibes, including Virginia wine. 

We love our monthly shipment of quality Virginia wines from the Virginia Wine of the Month Club, and you will too.

Wine selections with tasting notes, recipes, and more are automatically sent out to club members.

Start a wine tasting club, and at your gatherings, serve a few favorite Virginia vintages with tasting notes handwritten on cards placed next to the bottle.

Offer guests a simple sheet to evaluate wine qualities in sight, smell, and taste as well as to take notes. By the year’s end, everyone will have a great start on a tasting journal.

Here’s some of our favorite snacks to serve to our wine-loving friends: Cheese Straws, Crab Salad Lettuce Wraps, and Sausage & Cheese Balls with Creamy Mustard Dipping Sauce.

Email us for free wine tasting sheets and our appetizer recipes at

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