One of the great loves of the R. Stuart Crew is throwing a dinner party; and when it comes to entertaining our own team, there are no holds barred. It is a long held tradition to gather our staff together for a holiday party to celebrate their incredible efforts of the year. Our production crew has finally settled into a slower rhythm after a wildly busy season, and the tasting room team has continued to deliver signature R. Stuart hospitality through the summer tourism months through to the holidays. The last thing they need to do is throw their own party, so it is with great joy that the “Executive Crew” (aka “Rob’s Elves”) steps in to lead the charge.

Rob is always happy to cheers to the season with Autograph Pinot Noir.

This year, Deven (General Manager), Casee (Direct Sales & Wine Club Manager), and Susy (Marketing & Events Manager) have teamed up to create an evening to remember. They will transform our tasting room into a one-night-only cocktail party fit for royalty, with flowing champagne and cocktails, delicious appetizers and cookies, and so much more. If you’re looking for inspiration for your holiday party, this party plan is your guide!

R. Stuart Must-Have Traditions

  • Champagne: Rob’s one and only job for this party is to bring champagne. A tradition for over 10 years, Rob selects a bottle of champagne – true champagne from France – which he feels fits the palate and personality of each staff member. If you’re hosting a holiday party, consider a bottle of wine you feel best fits each of your friends. Tuck a little note explaining your choice into the bag, and they’ll think of you with every sip.
  • Christmas crackers: A harkening to Maria’s childhood, in which she spent time in London with her family, Christmas crackers always make their way to our holiday table. Staff adorn themselves with paper crowns for the evening, and we take turns sharing the jokes or riddles around the table. We take joy seriously at our party and a cracker is the perfect spark of silly for everyone.

An array of R. Stuart wines guaranteed to be enjoyed at our holiday party.

The Drinks

  • Wine: When we have such delicious wines at the ready, of course we’re going to enjoy them! Bubbly and Rosé d’Or will have a star role in the evening, alongside our Pinot noirs and Pinot Gris. You can also find us sampling bottles which our staff bring from their own collections. Encourage your guests to bring a bottle to share! The array of wine varietals, profiles, and vintages that will accumulate on your table may surprise you in more ways than one.
  • Cocktails: Our holiday party is, in fact, a cocktail party. There will be sequins, velvet, and suit jackets to match the class of the cocktails presented. Deven is in charge of cocktails this year, and he has chosen to make two batch cocktails which are perfect to prepare ahead of the event.

The Food

  • Snacks galore: A pillar of R. Stuart is the joy of pairing food and wine, and appetizers are no exception. With Casee leading the charge in this area, we know we’ll have to pace ourselves to still be hungry for the main course. She is including a few staples from our tasting room in addition to classic party hors d’oeuvres.
    • Mediterranean Pinwheels – Delish | Mediterranean foods and flavors are surefire pairings to the wines of R. Stuart. This recipe is quick to deliver and is easy to scale up for larger groups.
    • Cranberry Whipped Feta Dip – Delish | Feta? Delicious. Whipped feta? Absolutely more delicious. If you’ve never tried fluffing up this salty cheese, you’ll find a new obsession with its pairing to tart cranberries.
    • Homemade Focaccia – Caroline Anderson | Casee has recently become obsessed with fine-tuning her focaccia recipe, and this recipe has led the charge on her exploration.
    • Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese – Pinch of Yum | Salty, sweet, and savory is precisely what we want to pair with Pinot noir.
    • Classic Hummus & Veggies – Bon Appetit | It’s always kind to balance the cheese and bread at a party with lighter fare. Select your favorite crunchy, in season vegetables (we suggest watermelon radishes, endive, and carrots) to tune it to the season.
    • Rosemary Cashews | Any visitor to our tasting room knows the aroma of our rosemary cashews. It simply wouldn’t be a party without a batch of these in the oven!
    • Crostini | A staple of our tasting room from yesteryear, this snack is as easy as a baguette from your favorite bakery plus 15 minutes in the oven. The key is lots of quality olive oil and kosher salt – don’t be scared to season!
  • Support a local business: While Elf Casee prepares the appetizers of our dreams, we know that champagne and martinis are no match for solely a snack spread. Take a note out of our book and ease your meal-prep load by supporting a local business for take out. We selected Pizza Capo, co-owned by Rob’s son, Ben, as this year’s dining selection.

Something Sweet

Cakes and pies are always divine, but we’re opting to make dessert one-handed. Cookie platters are no new concept to holiday parties, and our combination of selections will please any sweet tooth.

  • Spiced Molasses Cookies – Claire Saffitz | Chewy and perfectly spiced, these cookies absolutely scream ‘holidays’. This recipe is a great make-ahead dough to keep in your freezer for any time you want to pop a couple in the oven.
  • Christmas Crack Cookies – The Palatable Life | If you’ve been on TikTok in recent months, you may have seen “Christmas Crack” on your FYP. Combining savory saltines with toffee and chocolate creates an all-in-one bite you’ll go back for time and time again.
  • Chocolate Dipped Orange Palmiers – Crowded Kitchen | Just like the orange in the toe of your stocking, these cookies will awaken the holiday spirit. The best part is that they’re only 4 ingredients, with one of them being puff pastry! These cookies come together in just minutes.
  • London Fog Shortbread – Wanderlust and Wellness | These perfectly buttery, delicately tea-infused shortbreads provides the balance to the other, more flavor-full, cookies in this spread. We’re already picturing dipping one of these into an espresso at the end of the evening. Additionally, we couldn’t help but pick up a few shortbread cookies from our friends at Carlton Bakery. Their lemon lavender flavor can’t be topped!
  • Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies | We’re hesitant to even share a recipe here, as almost every household has their quintessential, tried and true version. Use your family’s go-to recipe to bring a bit of nostalgia into the mix.

Cheers To Your Holiday Party

At R. Stuart, we make wines deeply rooted in the belief that they can bring joy to life’s big and small occasions. One of our greatest joys is to be a part of your life’s celebrations this, and every, season. We raise a glass to you with immeasurable gratitude for your support. Cheers!