Between shopping for the kids, office parties and decorating the house, the holidays are a hectic time of year! Luckily the fine folks at our Dry Creek Valley wineries have wonderful holiday recipes that will make entertaining easy. Wow your guests with these delicious dishes and wine pairings from the wineries of Dry Creek Valley.

This chicken mole, recipe courtesy of Duskie Estes of zazu kitchen+farm, is a knockout with Passalacqua’s Dry Creek Valley Old Vine Zinfandel. The rich, brambly fruit and peppery spice of this beautifully balanced Zinfandel is the perfect complement to the complex flavors of the chicken mole. Stop by the Passalacqua Tasting Room on Lambert Bridge Road to pick up a few bottles to enjoy with your friends and family over the holidays.

Passalacqua Zinfandel Chicken Mole


  • 4 pounds free range chicken thighs, skin on

  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 10 guajillo chiles

  • 10 ancho chiles

  • 1 cup pig lard

  • 1- 28oz can San Marzano tomatoes

  • 5 whole cloves

  • 20 whole black peppercorns

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 3 star anise

  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted

  • 8 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

  • 4 garlic cloves, roasted

  • 3 Tablespoons golden raisins

  • ½ cup whole almonds

  • ½ cup pepitas

  • 5 corn tortillas

  • 4 cups reserved chicken broth

  • 1 bottle Passalacqua Zinfandel

  • 2-3 oz Mexican chocolate, chopped

  • chopped cilantro, kosher salt, and fresh lime juice to taste

Cover chicken with water, season with salt and pepper, simmer until cooked. Remove from heat, reserve broth. Pick meat from bones and set aside.

Clean the chilies by removing stems and seeds. Heat ⅓ cup of the lard in a heavy skillet. Fry the chilies until crisp, about 10 to 15 seconds – do not burn. Drain on paper towels. Put the chilies in a bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside for 20 minutes. Drain the chilies, reserving the soaking water. Puree the chilies in a blender with enough of the soaking water to make a smooth paste. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat an additional ⅓ cup lard over medium heat and add the chili puree. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside.

Puree the tomatoes in a blender. In a spice grinder, grind the cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon, star anise and toasted seeds. Add the seed mixture and the garlic to the pureed tomatoes and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Heat ⅓ cup of the lard in a heavy frying pan. Fry each of the following ingredients and then remove with a slotted spoon: the raisins until they puff; the almonds to golden brown; the pepitas until they pop; the tortillas until golden brown. Add all these to the blender with the tomatoes and blend in batches until smooth. Add the tomato puree and the Mexican chocolate to the pot with the chili paste. Add the chicken broth and wine. Cook over low heat for about one hour to thicken and marry flavors. Stir often. During the last 15 minutes of cooking time, add the chicken and heat through. Season with salt, lime juice, and cilantro to taste.

recipe courtesy of

zazu kitchen+farm

6770 McKinley, #150

Sebastopol, CA 95472

Pedroncelli Four Grapes Port Caramelized Onion Jam Crostini paired with 2008 Pedroncelli Four Grapes Vintage Port, Dry Creek Valley.


  • 1 baguette thinly sliced

  • 1 TBS unsalted butter

  • 2 large onions chopped

  • 1 TBS granulated garlic

  • 1/3 cup Pedroncelli Four Grapes Port

  • 1 to 1.5 cups finely shredded Asiago cheese

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. Then add onions and cook (stirring occasionally) until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic, thyme and savory mixing well. Stir in the Pedroncelli Four Grapes Port, reduce heat to low and let simmer. Reduce down to a “jammy” consistency.

Preparing the crostini:

Preheat the oven to 375F and put a rack in the center. Slice the baguette into ¼” slices and spread out on a cookie sheet. Put in the oven and cook until they just turn a light golden brown (about 6-7 minutes). Remove when done. Place a schmere of the Port and Onion Jam on each toast and top with Asiago shreds. Lower the oven to 300F and put the crostini in the oven just until the cheese is melts. Remove from the oven and place on a serving tray for your guests.

Other uses for the jam:

The Port/Onion Jam also goes great as “condiment” on steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs or sausages and even as a standalone side dish.