Rodney Strong

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Holiday Pairings with the 2013 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

November 13, 2015

Winery Chef Tara Wachtel crafted these unique recipes with the specific wines and your holiday festivities in mind. With winter celebrations often being a traditional time of year, Chef Tara created a classic recipe for each wine as well as a more avant-garde one for the more adventurous home chefs!

The deep colored Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with rich tannins and a lingering finish is the perfect accompaniment to these cherry dishes: Cherry-Cranberry Sauce and Sausage Stuffing with Cherries and Cocoa Nibs.


  • 1 cup Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 6 ounces dried cherries
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 3 strips orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick

In a small saucepan bring the wine to a boil with cherries, and remove from heat. Keep covered for 20 minutes. Strain cherries and set aside. Add cranberries, molasses, zest and cinnamon to wine and bring to a simmer again over medium heat. Stir and simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until cranberries pop and mixture has thickened. Remove from heat, remove orange zest and cinnamon stick. Stir in cherries and let cool before serving.


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 - 1 pound loaf of day old sourdough bread, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 3 onions, medium diced
  • 4 sticks celery, medium diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon toasted and ground fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon toasted and ground coriander
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup cocoa nibs
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups turkey stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 4 qt baking dish. Toast bread until golden, 15 to 25 minutes. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook sausage, until browned; breaking up lumps, about 5 minutes. Transfer sausage to a large bowl. Add remaining butter to skillet and heat over medium. Add onions, celery, garlic, fennel and coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown lightly, 12 to 15 minutes. Add vegetables to sausage with bread, cherries, and cocoa nibs, and toss to mix well. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, then whisk in stock, cream, and parsley, and pour over stuffing. Stir stuffing well, then spread it in baking dish. Increase oven temperature to 425°F. Cover stuffing tightly with foil and bake until hot throughout, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake until top is golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes more.