Happy Christmas! If you didn’t know already, I’m Jewish and my husband is atheist so we’ve never been super into Christmas. That said, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to enjoy the time off and the ability to become a shut in for 24-48 hours. Our Christmas tradition is to binge watch Harry Potter and make some really great food. On the menu this year is Jack Wife’s Freda’s eggs benedict for brunch and pulled pork for dinner. As far as the eggs benny go, they are basically the Jewiest eggs benedict one could make, with the poached egg sitting atop a base of a sweet potato latke, lox, and topped with a beet hollandaise sauce. I bought the Jack’s Wife Freda cookbook for my mother in law for Hanukkah and stumbled upon this recipe and thought, YES. Perfect for a Jewish Christmas.
I was unsure what wine to pair this brunch dish with until I went to my favorite wine shop, Underdog for a tasting on the 23rd. The real reason I was there was to meet Andrew Major (he’s a KC dude, did you know?) and try his new Gamay. In addition to pouring the Major Wine’s Gamay (more on that later) they were pouring several bottles from Broc Cellars. I fell in love with Broc when I was in Dallas for Thanksgiving. I tried the Old Vine Zin and rather than taking notes on it (or sharing it with anyone else) I savored it all myself and didn’t write a blog post about it. Oops. But when I told Ryan from Underdog how much I loved it, he promised that he would be getting in some Broc before the end of the year. Well the time has come and I was able to try four bottles. All were amazing, but one stood out to both my husband and me-- the sparkling Cabernet Franc.
This sparkling wine is 100% Cabernet Franc grown in Santa Barbara using sustainable practices. Total production was only 72 cases of this, their 2016 vintage. This is their fifth vintage of the sparkling Cabernet Franc. On the nose it is bright cherries and red fruits. On the palate it is cranberries and seawater. The acidity of the Cabernet Franc cuts through the saltiness of the salmon and latke and the richness of the egg and hollandaise perfectly. This was both my first time making poached eggs and my first time making hollandaise sauce so I’m super happy with how it turned out. I asked my husband if it was beautiful and he said, “not really, but it tastes great.” I disagree, I think the fuschia beet hollandaise is both surprising and gorgeous but then maybe I’m biased because I slaved away over it for an hour and some change.
This whole dish is a super fun take on eggs benedict and perfect if you’re serving pescatarians or someone who keeps kosher. Or it’s perfect for a Jew and an atheist to each on Christmas morning. Despite being Jewish, there are still some Christmas traditions that I enjoy, like listening to Sufjan Stevens’ Christmas album and watching Christmas movies. When I expressed this sentiment on Facebook and noted that I wish people would quit policing others’ Jewishness, some dude who I don’t even really know informed me that “he didn’t want to sound like he was policing me but Jewish law forbids Jews from celebrating even the secular aspects of Christian holidays.” I didn’t handle this well, as I tend to have little tolerance for mansplainers. I informed the guy that yes, this was the policing behavior I was talking about and I could decide if and how I celebrate holidays, including Christmas.
I’m over it now for the most part but seriously, can’t we trust other adults to make the right decisions for themselves and their lives? Oh well, I am going to go back to watching my Christmas movie and drinking this sparkling wine. Oh, and as I mentioned, we are eating pulled pork for dinner and I give zero fucks. I hope you have a very merry Christmas or Festivus or whatever you celebrate or don’t celebrate but whatever you’re doing, I hope you’re doing it with good people and good wine.