With winter’s frosty chill in the air, you find yourself donning hats and boots and warming yourself by the fireplace. And, as the weather changes, so do your food cravings. This season, the comforting classics are back in style – from warm soups to the comfort of home cooked meals – and technology has also permeated the dining room table.
“I enjoy this time of year because it’s when my entire family gets together. I love to gather around the table with my family and friends to enjoy delicious food and wine,” says Emmy award-winning chef and cookbook author, Giada De Laurentiis.
Not many people have a better sense of food and wine trends than De Laurentiis, who recently developed a seasonal entertaining guide in conjunction with Bella Sera wines that features tips and recipes perfect for winter.
“Pairing meals with wines is definitely becoming a trend for home entertaining, and Bella Sera wines make for delicious pairing with the dishes typical of the season,” De Laurentiis notes.
Here are some tips and trends to help keep your entertaining warm and cheery this winter:
Soups. Soups will be hot this season. This comforting classic will make a return to the table as a complement to the overall meal – or even the meal itself, if the soup is hearty enough. Try Giada’s Italian White Bean, Pancetta and Tortellini Soup paired with Bella Sera Chianti.
Simplicity. Keeping things simple in the kitchen has never been more on-trend. From using slow-cookers to five-ingredient recipes, expect the season’s winter dishes to include simple appetizers and one-pot wonders paired with wine, instead of difficult dishes with extensive ingredient lists and complicated mixed drinks.
Home-cooked meals. The convenience of fully prepared take-home dinners and platters is being overtaken by practicality during these economic times. Especially when the weather turns cold, more and more home cooks are staying in their own kitchens – using some pre-made ingredients – but saving money by preparing the bulk of the meals themselves.
Technology. Browsing the Internet and using smart phones to research and shop for wintertime recipes is gaining in popularity. Cookbooks will always be a favorite, but more home cooks are doing some digging online as well, especially to find new twists on beloved favorites, like chilis, stews and simple cassoulets.
Discussion. Place a few different bottles of wine directly on the table for friends and family to help themselves. This encourages discussion about the food and wine, while the wine bottles offer a cozy adornment for a winter table.
Yes, winter means comfort-food menu planning. So go ahead and browse for that perfect recipe, make a one-pot soup, and thrill guests with a variety of wines to sample around your winter table, as you create and enjoy special meals with family and friends.
For delicious winter recipe and wine pairing ideas, and to download Giada’s seasonal entertaining guide, visit www.bellaserawines.com.