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Top 5 Tips For Holiday Entertaining In Napa Valley Style

Top 5 Tips For Holiday Entertaining In Napa Valley Style 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

With its pleasing laid-back vibe and beautiful attention to detail, Napa Valley is famous for its comfortable yet elegant aesthetic.  This combination translates perfectly into an approach to entertaining for the holidays that wows guests with sophistication and polish, yet is easy to execute.

Here are our top 5 tips for bringing the spirit of Napa Valley to your next holiday gathering…

 TOP 5 TIPS

1. Seasonal Decor

Whatever is in bloom or handy in your garden can be used to dress your table.  Seasonal herbs, potted plants, evergreen boughs, pomegranates, persimmons, or bundles of holly interspersed with votives or fairy-lights can make a holiday table magical.  When you can, try to mix rustic woods together with vintage industrial copper or metal for an elegant farmhouse feel.  An added plus: if you use potted flowers or plants, they make lovely gifts to send home with your guests at night’s end.

 

2. Garden to Table

Bring seasonal produce to the table as much as possible.  Most all fruit or produce stands close during the winter months, but try to find a farmer’s market to shop, or a higher-end grocery store to get the pick of seasonal fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and local specialty international markets that can inspire and set the base for your menu.

 

3. Keep in Simple

Establish a color theme and stick to it.   Whether you go for a traditional red and green or blue and silver, keep your look cohesive and your sanity (and budget) in check by sticking to a unifying theme.  Scour your existing decor collection for items that fit into your color palate and source your decorative accents from what you already have before you shop for additional elements.   Make sure to bring some of the bright colors into your appetizer and food display with fresh fruits and vegetables – color is key to stimulating your appetite and your senses, plus the more vibrant the color the more healthful the food.

 

4. Keep It Intimate

The ideal number of people for a party is between 10-30 so that you can actually have time to enjoy your guests.  To keep the party going and infuse new energy into your circle, ask your guests to invite someone they think is interesting to keep the conversation lively and fresh. Want to make your party even more special?  Use a free design site like canva.com to create invitations, identifying signs for your appetizer table and drink bar, or to make personalized menus.

 

5. Wine Paring is Key

What comes first?  The menu or the wine?  Wine and food should complement each other, so this is where special attention should be paid.  Food and wine pairing guides are easy to find on the internet (we like this one).  Depending on your access to seasonal foods, you might want to design your wine choice around your menu.  However, if you are a confirmed wine lover and can’t wait to share your favorite wine with your friends, let your wine choices dictate the meal to come.  Better yet, ask your guests to bring their favorite wine to share!

From all of us at Round Pond, we wish you a healthy and happy holiday season!

Our Tricks For The Perfect Treats

Our Tricks For The Perfect Treats 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

Halloween is just a few days away!  Now that you’ve picked out your costume and invited your guests, we have collected some of our favorite easy “tricks” for some perfect “treats”.  Pair with your favorite Round Pond wine and enjoy your night!


 

Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs

A fantastic combination of flavors delight in these goat cheese stuffed figs with a cassis glaze will be sure to impress.

Housemade Chips with Caviar

This simple chip with crème fraiche and caviar drizzled with our Meyer Lemon Olive Oil is so simple but deliciously elegant.


Grilled Carrot Hummus


The smoky sweetness of the grilled carrots combined with the silky-smooth citrus flavor of our Blood Orange Olive Oil makes this anything but the same-old hummus.

Butternut Squash Bruschetta

Perfect for the season, this butternut squash bruschetta with ricotta and crispy sage is wonderfully simple and flavorful.


Crostini with Mission Figs


The classic rich flavors of fig, prosciutto, and creamy ricotta make this an easy an elegant bite for your next party.


Olive Risotto Arancini


Our most popular appetizer and most-requested recipe, this fried olive risotto arancini is perfect for any party and is a real show-stopper!

Apple-Bread-Pudding

Apple Bread Pudding

Apple Bread Pudding 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

There might not be a wrong way to do a bread pudding, but Chef Jamie’s Apple Bread Pudding is definitely the right way!   Whether you use brioche, challah, or sweet bread, the result is a custard-like apple-ly pudding that pairs wonderfully with either our Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc or our Angelica port-style dessert wine.

 

Ingredients
2 loaves brioche, challah, or Hawaiian sweet bread
4 each granny smith apples (peeled & diced)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
3 ½ cups milk
3 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
16 egg yolks

Cut bread into medium sized chunks and place on a baking tray.  Toast bread until golden brown at 375 degrees.  Whilst bread is toasting, toss the diced apples in one teaspoon of vanilla extract, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

For the custard, combine egg yolks, sugar, and remaining vanilla in a stainless-steel mixing bowl, whisking until yolks turn a pale color.  Next, scald the milk and cream.  Add to the yolk mixture a ladle at a time, whisking all the while.  Continue until all the milk and cream mixture is added.

Assemble bread pudding by placing half of the toasted bread into a baking dish and topping with half of the apples, pouring half of the custard over the top.  Repeat the process using the remaining halves.  Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.  When done, bread pudding should be golden brown and have a slight “jiggle” in the center.  Let cool slightly and serve.  It is wonderful with whipped or ice cream.  Enjoy!

Summer Peach Cobbler

Summer Sweets

Summer Sweets 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

Keep the sweetness of summer with you after the first leaves of autumn begin to fall!  This collection of dessert recipes pair perfectly with our Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc

The Late Harvest’s beautiful notes of honeysuckle and sun-ripe apricots along with flavors of lemon zest, bosc pears, and ripe summer stone fruit harmonize beautifully with the flavors in these recipes. These wonderful pairings will be sure to help that Summer Sweetness linger just a little longer…


Summer Peach Cobbler

This easy, sunny, stone-fruit dessert is an American classic, especially when topped with vanilla ice cream.

Apple Bread Pudding

There might not be a wrong way to do a bread pudding, but Chef Jamie’s Apple Bread Pudding is definitely the right way.

Plum Caramel Cake

Ripe, beautiful sliced plums are baked into a caramely, upside-down cake that is as beautiful as it is delicious.

Poached Pear with Mascarpone

This unique honey-cinnamon and Cabernet-poached pear dessert has the unexpected addition of pink-pepper mascarpone.

Nana’s Apple Pudding

Also known as apple crisp, our gardener Daphne shares her Nana’s recipe for Apple Pudding – a family favorite for 75 years.

Our Favorite Harvest Recipes

Our Favorite Harvest Recipes 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

Autumn is here, and that means one thing…Harvest Season!  We have collected 6 brand-new recipes to share with you, all inspired by this wonderful season.  Enjoy, and happy harvest!


 

Balsamic-Glazed Chicken with Beets & Figs

A seasonal addition to our Il Pranzo menu, this delicious grilled chicken recipe is full of gorgeous autumn colors and flavors.

Charred Pole Bean Salad

This gorgeous salad is another new addition to our Il Pranzo menu and is ripe with colorful beans, late cherry tomatoes, and a fresh lemon-dill vinaigrette.

Balsamic Fig & Feta Spread

Caramelized figs and feta and delectable balsamic make up this creamy spread that is decadent, elegant, and so easy to make.

Harvest Jambalaya

This hearty dish is full of fresh late summer and autumn vegetables with a bit of flavorful heat to warm you up from the inside.

Classic Bolognese

This traditional Bolognese recipe creates a bit of magic as it simmers low and slow for hours resulting in a sauce that is surprisingly delicate in flavor, creamy, and so aromatic.

Greek Walnut Cake

“Karidopita” is a well-loved Greek dessert, full of all kinds of autumn spices.  Drizzled with its honeyed syrup, it’s so delicious and perfect for the upcoming holidays!

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EASY TIPS FOR PAIRING WINE 

EASY TIPS FOR PAIRING WINE  1200 750 Round Pond Estate

Successfully pairing wine with food isn’t just in the wheelhouse of a sommelier.  Just remember these three basic wine pairing tips and your next meal will be incredible.  Cheers!

1) Know Your Wine
The first thing you need to do when you’re choosing a dish to pair with your wine is to get to know your wine.  What are the primary flavors—Bramble fruit? Tobacco? Loamy earth? Spice?  And what are the secondary notes—Grassy?  Peppery?  Minty?  Try your best to articulate these notes in your wines and look for parallels and contrasts in the food you are looking to pair (If you need to practice describing elements like these, come to Round Pond and and visit our sensory garden).

2) Like and Like Makes Less Like
We tend to think of complementary flavors as accentuating one another, but really; they cancel each other out.  If spicy food is served with a spicy wine, the element of spice in both wine and food will be played down.  Herbs are a great way to dial down any excessively herbal notes.  If your wine has too much eucalyptus to it, add some tarragon or chervil—which have a mild, minty punch—to your dish.

3) Pair High with High & Low with Low
Pair high alcohol wines with high fat foods & low alcohol wines with low fat foods.  Forget “white wine with fish and red wine with meat.”  The principle to stick with is pairing alcohol content to fat content.  The basic idea is that the higher alcohol cuts through fat and cleanses the palette, but it can overwhelm foods that don’t have the fat to mitigate the alcohol.

Simply put, serving a cut of beef with a low-alcohol wine will overwhelm the wine.  As a general rule, red wines (which tend to be higher in alcohol) pair well with things like beef and even fattier fowl like duck, while leaner white wines pair well with leaner foods like fish.

BBQ Recipes

Top 5 BBQ Recipes For Memorial Day

Top 5 BBQ Recipes For Memorial Day 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

Memorial Day is often considered the unofficial start of summer, so we have collected some of The FEED’s top BBQ recipes to help you ease into the grilling season…Just pour yourself a glass of your favorite Round Pond wine, and let’s get grilling!


1. Hot & Spicy Grilled Shrimp – If you’re looking for something spicy, flavorful and grill-friendly this summer, this easy grilled shrimp appetizer will become your new go-to dish!

2. Grilled Marinated Lamb Skewers – These lamb skewers are easy to make, and the marinade’s garlic and thyme flavors pack delicious flavor into every rich bite.

3. Grilled Chicken Flatbread – This tangy BBQ grilled chicken flatbread is baked on the grill for that characteristically crispy, smoky crust that makes good flatbread great.

4. Grilled Flank Steak with Crispy Potatoes – This delicious grilled flank steak with crispy potatoes, kale chips, and black garlic vinaigrette is one of our most requested recipes from our Il Pranzo lunch!

5. Grilled Wild Salmon – Owner Ryan MacDonnell is a huge fan of salmon, and this recipe is one of her all-time favorites.  Easy to make, and so healthy and flavorful, we know you’ll love it as much as we do.

Prosciutto Meatloaf

8 Great Cold-Weather Recipes To Pair With Wine

8 Great Cold-Weather Recipes To Pair With Wine 1200 800 Round Pond Estate

Winter is on the wane, but it’s not quite gone yet.  To keep you happy and well-fed,  we have pulled together our favorite cold-weather recipes that were created to pair beautifully with wine.  From red to white wine pairings, this list has it all.  Cheers!


8 GREAT COLD-WEATHER RECIPES

1. Red Wine Mushroom & Prosciutto-Wrapped Meatloaf – Sliced and served alongside a bright salad, this meatloaf pairs wonderfully with our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

2. Creamy Cauliflower Soup – Specially created to pair with our Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, this simple, delicious cauliflower soup that will warm you up in no time!

3. Kale and Mushroom with Smoked Bacon – Lacinato kale teams up with wild mushrooms and applewood-smoked bacon that’s great with our Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon.

4. Wine Country Beef Stew – This easy, hearty beef stew was one of our most popular tasting room pairings for our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

5. Parmesan Gnocchi with Mushrooms – Cheesy, delicious gnocchi is easier to make than you think. This version makes such an impressive entree when paired with our Reserve Sauvignon Blanc.

6. Roasted Beet Salad – Grapefruit provides a splash of acidity to this colorful beet salad, making it the perfect complement to our fruity Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc.

7. Wine Country Cioppino – Chef Jamie has created this wonderful cioppino featuring fresh shellfish and fennel that pairs fantastically with our Proprietary Rosato di Nebbiolo or Proprietary Left Bank Blend.

8. Sugo all’Amatriciana – This regional sauce is one of the best-known ragus in Italian cuisine, and pairs wonderfully with our Proprietary Super Tuscan.

Bacon and Bleu Cheese Gougeres

Bacon and Bleu Cheese Gougeres 1200 750 Round Pond Estate

These simple and delicious baked Bacon and Blue Cheese Gougères are filled with creamy bleu cheese and smoky bacon, making them the perfect bite to pair with our layered Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups water
9 tbsp butter
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ cup flour
2 tsp thyme, chopped fine
6 each eggs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ pound bacon
3 oz Point Reyes Blue Cheese
8 oz cream cheese

In a saucepan, bring the water, butter, and salt to a simmer. Add the flour and thyme to the simmering water and mix with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated and smooth. Next, transfer mixture to a standing mixer bowl and use the paddle attachment. While the mixer is running on low, add the eggs one at a time until all are incorporated (mixture may look broken at times but the mixer will do its job – it’ll come together).

Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a straight tip and pipe the mixture into balls onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Each gougère should be a bit smaller than a golf ball. Dust each with a bit of grated Parmesan and bake in a 375-degree oven for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, lower the temperature to 325 and allow to bake for another 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

For the filling, bake bacon on a baking sheet until almost crispy. Finely chop the bacon and add to a mixing bowl along with the blue and cream cheeses. Mix with a paddle attachment until bacon is fully incorporated. Transfer the cheese mixture into a clean piping bag with a straight tip.

Using a paring knife, bore a hole small enough to fit the tip of the pastry bag into the cooled gougère. Pipe the blue cheese mixture into the gougère, warm in an oven for 2 minutes (to give the cheese a creamy texture) and serve.  Enjoy!

 

Makes about 40 bite-sized pieces

Top 5 Tips For Entertaining In Napa Valley Style

Top 5 Tips For Entertaining In Napa Valley Style 600 401 Round Pond Estate

With its pleasing laid-back vibe and beautiful attention to detail, Napa Valley is famous for its rustic yet elegant aesthetic.  This combination translates perfectly into an approach to entertaining that wows guests with sophistication and polish, yet is easy (and fun!) to pull off

We asked our Special and Private Events Manager Jenn Sarkisian for her top 5 tips to bring the best of Napa Valley’s vibe to your next party!

 TOP 5 TIPS 

1. Seasonal Decor

Whatever is in bloom or handy in your garden can be used to dress your table. Providing it is safe to be around food, Jenn is a fan of incorporating seasonal herbs, potted plants, vines, and flowering branches into the event decor.  When you can, try to mix rustic woods together with vintage industrial copper or metal for an elegant farmhouse feel.  “The first 5 minutes of any party is the time to WOW your guests.  Bringing the outdoors to the table lets your guests feel like they’re one with the season and sets the mood at first glance.” An added plus: if you use potted flowers or plants, they make lovely gifts to send home with your guests at night’s end!

 

2. Garden to Table

Bring seasonal produce to the table as much as possible. “Supporting local vendors and buying seasonal produce is big in Napa Valley”, says Jenn.  If you don’t have a fruit or produce stand in your area, try to find a farmer’s market to shop, or a higher-end grocery store to get the pick of seasonal fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and local specialty goods that can inspire and set the base for your menu.

 

3. Tease the Palate

The appetizers will set the stage for what is to come on the menu, so keep it exciting!  Jenn asserts that “people love new ideas and combinations for appetizers – the more inventive the better, and presentation is huge!”  Dress up your cheese or charcuterie platter with edible garnish like pickled green beans or watermelon, add chocolate-covered espresso beans to accompany a cheese with an espresso rind – do the unexpected.  Make sure to bring some of the bright colors into your appetizer display with fresh fruits and vegetables – color is key to stimulating your appetite and your senses, plus the more vibrant the color the more healthful the food.

 

4. Have No Fear of Intimacy

The ideal number of people for a party is between 10-30 so that you can actually have time to enjoy your guests.  To keep the party going and infuse new energy into your circle, “Ask your guest to invite someone they think is interesting to keep the conversation lively and fresh.  A chef, a student, someone in the military – anyone that would enjoy meeting new people” says Jenn.  Want to make your party even more special?  Use a free design site like canva.com to create invitations, identifying signs for your appetizer table and drink bar, or to make personalized menus.

 

5. Wine Paring is Key

What comes first?  The menu or the wine?  Wine and food should complement each other, so this is where special attention should be paid.  Food and wine pairing guides are easy to find on the internet (we like this one).  Depending on your access to seasonal foods, you might want to design your wine choice around your menu.  However, if you are a confirmed wine lover and can’t wait to share your favorite wine with your friends, let your wine choices dictate the meal to come.  Better yet, ask your guests to bring their favorite wine to share!  Jenn says that “in the Valley, everybody wants to bring a bottle – it’s kind of like Napa etiquette!”

“The most important thing to remember when hosting”, says Jenn, “is what Maya Angelou said; ‘At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.'”

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