Holiday Recipes with Wine Suggestions

Illustration by Laura Baker

Illustration by Laura Baker


This story was originally published in the Nov. 24 issue of Fourth Estate.

Written by Savannah Norton with wine pairings from Connor Smith

The holidays are the perfect time of year to bake to your hearts’ content and to test out different foods.  It can get expensive ordering specific food plates from stores and restaurants to cater a friendly get-together.  Below are recipes and wine suggestions that are useful for the holiday season to serve to family and friends when gathering together to celebrate.

Restaurant Style Artichoke and Spinach Dip

15 minutes prep & 30 minutes cook time

This recipe makes 12 servings

Ingredients needed:

4 clove garlic

1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo-style pasta sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place garlic in a small baking dish. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until garlic is soft. Remove from heat. When cool enough to touch, squeeze softened garlic from skins.
  3. In an 8×8 inch baking dish, spread the roasted garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo-style pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and cream cheese.
  4. Bake in the oven 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and bubbly.

 Wine Pairing: “If you want you’re Thanksgiving dinner to start off right, you have to pair bubbly with this dip. It doesn’t have to be fancy/expensive champagne, but a nice toasty, dry Chardonnay based sparkling wine from Cava, Spain or California. You’ll get so much more bang for your buck. It will also work on its own as a pre- dinner aperitif for those of us on a liquid diet this holiday season.”



Sweet Potato Souffle

20 minutes prep and one hour cook time

This recipe makes eight servings

Ingredients needed:

6 sweet potatoes

1 cup white sugar

½ cup mlik

½ cup melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs, beaten

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup chopped pecans


  1. In a large stockpot, cover sweet potatoes with one inch of water; boil for 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain, allow to cool and remove skins.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease or butter one two quart casserole dish.
  3. Place potatoes in a mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, beat on low speed until potatoes begin to break up. Increase speed to medium high and blend until smooth.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add sugar, milk, butter, vanilla, eggs and salt. Mix well.
  5. Allow any potato ‘fibers’ to remain on the beater and remove. Pour sweet potato mixture into the casserole dish.
  6. Prepare the topping in a small bowl by whisking together the brown sugar, flour, butter and pecans. Sprinkle mixture over potato mixture and bake for 40 minutes.

Wine Pairing: Now that we have appetizers and aperitifs out of the way both a red and white option is in order. You want something with a high acidity to cut through the rich sweet potatoes. A Sommelier’s best friend with tough pairings is always Riesling they can range from off-dry to insanely sweet, so pay attention to the label, but no matter your preference as far as residual sugar goes the acid is still there and can take some of the inherent weight out of this dish. If red is more your style, I recommend a big California Zinfandel. NO! NOT the pink wine your great aunt drinks, white zin, do not under any circumstances buy that monstrosity. But a true California zinfandel will have medium tannins as not to weigh down an already heavy palate, but also bring forward some absolutely stunning fruit flavors like dark plum, blackberry, and blueberry.”



Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing

15 minutes prep and 25 minutes cook time

This recipe makes 10 servings


1 ½ cups cubed whole wheat bread

3 ¾ cups cubed white bread

1 pund ground turkey sausage

1 cup chopped onion

¾ cup chopped celery

2 ½ teaspoons dried sage

1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped

¾ cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup minced fresh parsley

1 cooked turkey liver, finely chopped

¾ cup turkey stock

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C). Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for five to seven minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for two minutes to blend flavors.
  3. Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries, parsley, and liver. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter, and mix lightly. Spoon into turkey to loosely fill.

Wine Pairing: “Our white wine should absolutely be a Gruner Veltliner! This is Austria’s most famous white, it is light in body with a wonderful honey fruit prescience, but what makes gunner stand out, and perfect for this dish is its beautiful white pepper notes on both the nose and palate. Our red option has to be a bold, dark Syrah or Shiraz, depending on what country it comes from. These are dark brooding reds with dark dried fruit and loads of black pepper that will bring out the best aspects of the sausage in our stuffing.”



Autumn Cheesecake

30 minute prep and one hour and 10 minutes cook time

This recipe makes 12 servings


1 cup graham cracker crumbs

½ cup finely chopped pecans

3 tablespoons white sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

2 (8 ounce) packages craem cheese, softened

½ cup white sugar

2 eggs ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1/3 cup white sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Then in a large bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and melted butter.  Press the ingredients into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix at medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in vanilla; pour filling into the baked crust.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Toss the cinnamon-sugar with the apples to coat. Spoon apple mixture over cream cheese layer and sprinkle with 1/4 cup chopped pecans.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes. With a knife, loosen cake from rim of pan.
  5. Let cool, then remove the rim of pan.
  6. Chill cake before serving.

Wine Pairing: “Traditionally port would be the best option for just about any dessert we would be serving at thanksgiving, but they can be very cost prohibitive, and there is such a wide world of port out there that depending on the age and vintage, it could lay flat or over power our cheesecake. So I recommend a good Sauterne from southern Bordeaux. These rich sweet wines show phenomenal notes of raisins, honey, and apricots. Serve it chilled.​”


These recipes have been selected from as holiday favorites and the wine suggestions have been chosen from our staff writer and wine sommelier, Connor Smith.