Gallivant Eats & Drinks: Holiday Entertaining with Andegavia Cask Wine

Happy Tuesday! It is Christmas week! Can you believe how it snuck up on us? With the 25th right around the corner, I am sure that many of you have entertaining on the brain. What is everyone cooking and drinking come Christmas this year? Not sure yet? I may be able to help with at least the second part of that question...

Photo: Cary Hazlegrove for Andegavia

Photo: Cary Hazlegrove for Andegavia

In November I had the pleasure of meeting Kelly Macomber, of Andegavia Cask Wine at Wayfair and Boston Bloggers "Home For The Holidays" event in Boston. Andegavia is a collection of Napa and Sonoma blends which are packaged in sustainable casks instead of glass bottles, with each cask holding the equivalent  of four bottles of wine. If the words "Boxed wine" just popped into your head--think again. Andegavia is to boxed wine what fine belgian chocolate is to a Hershey bar. High-end, refined, and sophisticated.  In fact, the only similarity is the element of practicality.   Kelly and I chatted as I sipped their yummy Sauvignon Blanc (And I am not usually a big Sauv drinker), and I was fascinated by her and her husband Gavin's vision behind Andegavia, which she sweetly agreed to share more of here on the Gallivant, along with a couple great tips on choosing wine and pairings for Holiday entertaining.

Which came first--your passion for wine, or your passion for sustainability?

To be honest, for me it was my passion for the planet & our environment. Sure, I've always liked wine, but the idea that there had to be a better, greener way to drink everyday wines really was the inspiration behind Andegavia. The whole idea of being able to have a glass when you want it and not worry about opening glass bottles and having them go bad when not consumed within a few days. 

Why boxed wine and what do you feel sets Andegavia apart?

We like to call it Cask Wine, we think it's the best format for your everyday drinking wines.  All from a convenience, sustainability & preservation stand point. We're creating a new category of "luxury" class wines in sustainable packaging.

Which is your favorite one of your wines?

For me it's got to be our 2012 Special Edition Bartlett Merlot. Amazing wine, a Cab drinkers Merlot, but I especially love the design of this cask. The richness of the colors just say Holiday to me.

This summer it seemed like the rosé obsession really peaked (#yeswayrosé). Do you have any plans on doing a rosé in the future? I know quite a few people (including myself) who would be thrilled to be able to buy it in casks!

Yes, we're working on a Rose as I type. We've been tasting Provence varietals for a few months now and plan on having ours available in Early Spring…in time for Easter. #yeswayrose 

Do you have any tips on picking wine for holiday entertaining? What are you drinking this season and what are your favorite holiday pairings?

Pick what you & your significant other like to drink. If hosting a cocktail party go with one white & one red to keep it simple. We'd suggest choosing a Chardonnay and a Cab Sauv as those two varietals are the most popular in the States. 

I'm a big fan of Merlots - they are making a huge comeback! Especially a Merlot Blend like our Bartlett Merlot, which pairs excellently with everything from a Filet of Beef (which I served at Thanksgiving,) to a pasta dish & even a heavier fish. Very versatile! And of course, Pol Roger Champagne is my go to during the Holiday season…nothing quite like some bubbles to spice up the Holidays!

Photo: Erin Frigerio for Andegavia

Photo: Erin Frigerio for Andegavia

Where are you distributed right now? Do you have any plans to get into the South anytime soon? Fingers crossed…

Right now we're distributed in NJ, NY & MA. We do have big plans to get national distribution in early 2015, which most definately will include the South! However, currently we do ship all our wines direct to consumer to 35 states.

As the first high-end boxed (cask) wine on the market in the United States you are really at the forefront of the wine industry-where do you see Andegavia in 10 years and how would you like to grow?

At Andegavia we're hoping to change the way people drink wine on a daily basis. In France, cask wines are 1/3 of the overall wine market. Because the French understand the value and convenience this format offers. We hope to create the same level of success here at home in the US. 

Thank you so much for sharing Kelly! It was such a pleasure to meet you and hear more about Andegavia. If you are hosting Christmas or a New Years party this year head straight over to Andegavia's website--they still has casks available, and I can't think of a better way to spread the Holiday cheer this season. I think they would also make great hostess gifts, especially if you are staying somewhere for a few days. We are planning on bringing one up to Vermont next week for apres-ski! 

Cheers,

Emily

P.S. This is not a sponsored post, I am just excited to share a fun new discovery!

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Jeremy Sewall's Tips for Holiday Cooking + The Perfect Christmas Gift For the Foodie In Your Life

#thenewenglandkitchen #HFTHBoston

 

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Wayfair and Boston Bloggers Home For The Holidays event in Boston. The whole day was amazing, comprised of a key note session with Christiane Lemieux and Heather Armstrong (Dooce.com), as well as a banner session with my bestie Lindsey (who had a huge hand in plannning the whole event,) a crafting session with Kate (Domestikated Life,) and a holiday strategy session with Alison (Long Distance Loving.)All of the sessions were inspiring and practical, but the one that did the most to banish my mild holiday anxiety was the session on holiday cooking and entertaining, led by Chef Jeremy Sewell of Boston's Island Creek Oyseter Bar, Lineage, and the new Row 34.

If you know me than you know that I love to cook and entertain. This year we are hosting Thanksgiving for fifteen friends though, and I have been feeling just a hint of trepidation. I have always helped out at Thanksgiving, but never have I cooked a turkey alone or overseen the whole operation...and there is just a bit of pressure associated with the whole ordeal! As soon as Jeremy started speaking, though, I knew that he was the one to emulate as I prepared for our Thanksgiving feast--He was approachable and down to earth, and placed an emphasis on fresh and local ingrediants. (Not mention he is one of Boston's best chefs, and has overseen his fair share of holiday meals...) No sweat, just a plan. Any other holiday hosting newbies out there? Read on for my favorite tid bits of advice from Jeremy's session.

 Chef Jeremy Sewall's Tips for Holiday cooking:

  • Keep it simple: Don't do anything that stresses you out, like something you have never cooked before, or something that you know is tough.
  • Use the microwave to your advantage! The micro is a great place to warm up sauces and gravy, melt chocolate, or reheat that desperately needed cup of coffee ten minutes before your guests arrive.
  • Get as much done ahead as you can: Ie. Roast veggies for crudite. ("Who really eats raw celery anymore?", make sides and pies.
  • Find a place that does a couple things really well, like pies or fresh bread, and let them do those for you.
  • Practice: We have run out of time for Thanksgiving, but there is still time before Christmas! Why not try out a few dishes that look yummy so that you can have them totally down pact by the time the holiday rolls around?
  • Read your recipes thoroughly.
  • On timing: Cook Turkey early in the morning so that is it done an hour ahead (at least-- you can always throw it back in to warm it up.)
  • Be savvy with your appetizers: Throw together plates of amazing cheese, bread, jam, and other appetizers that you don't have to manage.

Finally, Jeremy's Turkey tip: Brine, and then brush w/butter using a bundle of fresh thyme as a brush!

Jeremy just published his first cookbook, The New England Kitchen, and it is available for purchase now! I grabbed one for both myself and my parents, and we love it. All of the recipes are classic New England fare, elevated by Jeremy's signature style, with an emphasis on seasonal cooking. I already made the apple cider donuts and they were to die for...A New England Kitchen would make a perfect Christmas or Thanksgiving hostess gift for the foodie in your life, and I made it so easy for you...just click the picture at the beginning of this post and purchase today!

Cheers!

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on instagram and pinterest! And Twitter!