Leslie Frank’s Guide to the Holiday Season

The holiday season has arrived once again and is teeming with joyful festivities. Leslie loves the holidays, especially in Napa Valley. It’s a time to indulge, imbibe, and above all, to gather with those who matter most. Get inspired this holiday season and feel prepared for the gifting, hosting, and celebrating to come with Leslie Frank’s Holiday Season Guide.

Go-To Wine

Growing up in Ontario, Canada, the holidays to me are synonymous with cozy, snow-covered winter nights. There’s nothing cozier than a fireside nightcap of our RHF Cabernet Sauvignon to bring out those nostalgic holiday memories. This is a special wine named after a special man, Richard Harvey Frank, and for a limited time it is available in magnum format on the Frank Family website.

Can’t Miss Dining Spot

Napa Valley is such a culinary scene that it’s hard to pick just one! Rich and I love Chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro for its timeless French dishes and intimate, Parisian chic atmosphere. We try to get a stool at their oyster bar, which is the spot where Rich and I shared our first bottle of wine together.

Where to Stay

One of my favorite things about the holidays in Napa Valley is that the pace becomes slower as the excitement of harvest wanes and the new vintage takes its long winter’s nap. Take advantage of the break in the action and plan a sweet escape in wine country. I love the remote and luxurious feel of Meadowood Resort nestled in the hillside of St. Helena. Head to The Grill and order their artisanal cheese board and a bottle of Frank Family Carneros Chardonnay. It’s one of my favorite pairings!

Must Visit

I love visiting Yountville this time of year to get into the holiday spirit. Be sure to take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the town and take in the beautiful twinkling lights. Then, stop in for dinner and wine at Chef Michael Chiarello’s creative Italian restaurant, Bottega, or for casual Spanish tapas at his newest restaurant, Coqueta. Turn your day trip into an overnight adventure with a stay at Vintage House located off Washington Street.

Where to Shop

Head to Forty Five Ten in downtown Yountville for the best holiday shopping. This boutique has stylish clothing for men and women and also offers cosmetics and other small gifts.

Favorite Dish

My homemade turkey stuffing is always a crowd-pleaser. I use my mom’s recipe which calls for ground breakfast sausage, a spice called savory, and a combination of whole wheat and white bread. I prefer to not dry out the bread beforehand which makes my stuffing moist and flavorful.

Charity of Choice

The holiday season is the greatest time to give back to those in need. Through December 3, Frank Family Vineyards is supporting Feeding America, a nationwide network that is leading the fight against hunger in the United States. We are donating 10% of all proceeds from each online purchase of our Carneros Pinot Noir to help provide meals to children and families in need. Frank Family Vineyards is then matching the final donation amount to make our impact that much greater. For more information about our Frank Fights Hunger campaign please click here

Gifts for Her

I know I love receiving the gift of comfort. A cozy blanket is a small gift that goes a long way. I’m partial to Frank Family’s cable knit throw blankets that are now available in black and champagne colors. You also can’t go wrong with a beautiful coffee table book like our custom-cover Napa Valley Entertaining book. The pages bring Napa Valley to life and is sure to inspire conversation at any gathering.

Gifts for Him

If the men on your shopping list are anything like Rich, then he’ll love Frank Family’s collection of three Rutherford-designate Cabernet Sauvignons. I also think our Zinfandel Port is a unique and delicious wine to gift to the cigar-loving man in your life.

Best Stocking Stuffers

I like to reserve stockings for small and practical gifts. After all, the best gifts come in small packages like Frank Family’s leather wine accessory set or a set of decorative coasters.

Hostess Gifts

Holiday hospitality calls for a generous and thoughtful gift in return. I think there’s no better way to express your appreciation than with a bottle of sparkling wine. Opt for Frank Family’s Reserve Sparkling wine, Lady Edythe Brut for the lady of the house.

Entertaining Tip

Holiday entertaining does not have to be overly complicated. I recommend choosing flavors and recipes you enjoy and offer your guests a few options in terms of food and wine. What matters most is relaxing and enjoying the meal and wine together with the ones you love.

Holiday Décor Tip

There’s no need to splurge on elaborate centerpieces and décor elements when you already have the colors and textures of the season sitting around and outside your house. Make your tables festive and natural by adding in seasonal florals such as seeded eucalyptus, pine cones, sprigs of pine, or red berries. I also like to incorporate a series of votives into my table décor for a warm glow and cozy feel.  

Wine Serving Tip

I always start celebrations with a bottle of bubbly, and Frank Family Blanc de Blancs is just the ticket. Opening the bottle has a sense of joy and celebration in itself, but most importantly, its crispness and vibrancy perfectly prepares your taste buds for the meal to come.