Holiday Nuts with Wine

The Story:

On a recent episode of the "Real Housewives of New Jersey," it was prom night for Kathy Wakile's daughter.  Her date Paulie knocked on the door with his corsage and boutineer in hand.  Little did Paulie know that Rich, Kathy's husband, was waiting to have the talk that every boy dread's getting from a girl's father.  Rich led Paulie into the kitchen and asked him why he hadn't brought flowers for his wife Kathy, making the boy seem nervous and a little worried.  As Paulie takes a seat on the stool at the center island, Rich asks, "I read the itinerary.  You guys are going to come back at 5 in the morning.  What are you guys gonna do 'til 5 in the morning?"  Paulie looks away for a moment and then with a slightly scared grin says, "go to formal.  Hang out."  Of course this is when Rich gets really personal, "And do what?" he says.  Rich leans over the counter towards Paulie to make it clear he's watching him.  Rich then grabs a bowl of mixed nuts sitting on top of the counter and begins to crack open a nut.  He then asks, "Want some nuts?  Have you ever had broken nuts?  Cracked nuts?"  He then pauses and says, "Why are you nervous man, relax?"  Kathy walks in at that moment and saves poor Paulie.  I had two thoughts after viewing this episode.  First, I'm glad I'm not Paulie, and second, I'll never look at a bowl of whole nuts with a nut cracker the same way!  Hold on tight to your family jewels, Paulie!

The Pairing:

During the holidays, we always had whole nuts with a nut cracker on the coffee table.  I loved cracking the nuts and making a mess.  Of course, my grandmother would always tell me to grab a plate and give me a look that meant the nut cracker wasn't a toy.  I recently decided it would be fun to pair up this holiday favorite with wine.  Even if you're not a fan of nuts, the 2007 Jane Ventura Cava is a great way to start out your Thanksgiving feast and serves as the perfect pre-dinner cocktail or apertif to welcome family and friends.

Cava is really just another term for sparkling wine made in the same style of Champagne, but in Catalonia, Spain.  I personally love Cava because of its affordable price tag in comparison to Champagne.  This bottle in particular works especially well with mixed nuts because of its age.  Aging has given the wine an almond aroma that as you can imagine works especially well with nuts.  The green apple, grapefruit and white flower aromas add to the pairing and the anise and country herb aromas mix well with the earthiness of the nuts.  The wine also has a dry, lasting finish that helps to prolong the flavors and cleanse the palate of any oils left on the tongue by the nuts.  Cheers!


Please let me know your comments in the section below!  What cocktail do you like to serve when guests arrive for Thanksgiving dinner?  Do you have a funny story about a crazy father?  Let's chat!

Where To Find The Wine:

The 2007 Jane Ventura Cava retails for $17.99 at Khourys Fine Wine & Spirits.  Please visit their website: or call 702-435-9463.  They can ship anywhere!