A Treasured Holiday Tradition

November 23, 2021

Since 2004, our etched and hand-painted Holiday Wines have been one of our most treasured holiday traditions. Created especially for our wine club members, these limited edition bottles are a way of thanking members for their loyalty and providing them with uniquely elegant bottles ideal for festive holiday celebrations and thoughtful gifts.

Holiday Wine Bottles 2021

A Labor of Love: One-of-a-Kind Holiday Designs

Meticulously etched and painted by hand, with capsules and back labels applied one by one, Flora Springs’ Holiday Bottles are a labor of love from start to finish. As the only Napa Valley winery to offer new holiday designs each year, we pour ourselves into this annual project, ensuring that each bottle is absolute perfection inside and out. Our holiday illustrations this year were inspired by Flora Springs’ matriarch and muse, Flora Komes, whose love for all living things, both great and small, was legendary.

Peaceful Dove Design

Peaceful Dove

For millennia, the dove has been a universal symbol of hope, purity, gentleness and devotion across many cultures. It also represents the renewal of life, which is why our family chose the dove as a particularly meaningful illustration for our Holiday Bottles in 2021. Framed in seasonal holly and carrying an ornament gift, our dove welcomes the season of love with outstretched wings. See design.

Festive Fox Design

Festive Fox

Foxes are known to be clever, and a single fox crossing one’s path is said to bring good luck. Sitting in a bed of holly wrapped in his luxuriant, white-tipped tail, our Festive Fox is back on our Holiday Bottles for the second year in a row due to his popularity and our love for the design. No wonder, since the hand-painted gold of his fabulous fur coat glimmers more brightly on the “real-life” bottle than can be captured in a photo. See design.

Solstice Hare Design

Solstice Hare

As farmers we are always aware of the relationship between the earth and our sun and the solstices that mark the seasonal transitions. Attired in a golden crown and necklace, our Solstice Hare celebrates these cosmic occurrences from his perch on our Holiday Bottles. We like to imagine him watching over our dormant vineyards as the Winter Solstice approaches on December 21st. See design.

Bearing Gifts Design

Bearing Gifts

Polar bears are one of nature’s most majestic creatures, symbols of strength and endurance, and as a spirit animal, a signifier of transcendence. Representing this regal creature on our Holiday Bottles was a challenge because of his size and our desire to include as much detail as possible. Gazing at us as he makes his way through a snow shower, our polar bear carries a bright red bagful of gifts to ensure a merry and bright holiday for family and friends. See design.

Holiday Order Deadlines

Shipping is expected to take longer this year. Get ahead of the holiday rush and shop early. Order deadlines for delivery by the holidays are in effect. Check shipping times.

Winter Solstice: What Is It, And When Is It?

November 18, 2021

The Komes and Garvey’s have always been farmers first, and over 40 years the family has acquired 500 acres throughout Napa Valley, 300 of which are planted to vineyards. As farmers we are always aware of the relationship between the earth and our sun and the solstices that mark the seasonal transitions.

Napa Valley Vineyard in Winter

What is the Winter Solstice?

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, winter solstice is “the astronomical moment when the Sun reaches the Tropic of Capricorn, we have our shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere in terms of daylight.” The solstice marks the official start of winter.

When is the Winter Solstice?

The winter solstice for the Northern Hemisphere occurs on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 10:59 a.m. Eastern time.

What Does “Solstice” Mean?

The term “solstice” comes from the Latin words sol (Sun) and sistere (to stand still). During the solstice, the angle between the sun’s rays and the plane of the Earth’s equator appears to stand still.

Winter Solstice Traditions Around the World

The shortest day and longest night of the year inspire mystical celebrations, both old and new, in anticipation of the sun’s return. According to Wikipedia, “The solstice may have been a special moment of the annual cycle for some cultures even during Neolithic times. Astronomical events were often used to guide activities. Many cultural mythologies and traditions are derived from this.”

The start of winter and the winter solstice are celebrated in cultures and religions around the world with various traditions, holidays, and festivals. Today, the winter solstice is a reminder to honor our connection to the natural world. Learn more about holidays and traditions around the December solstice including but not limited to Christmas, Feast of Juul, Saturnalia in Ancient Rome, Gody in Poland, and Chaomos in northwestern Pakistan.

Solstice Holiday Wine

2018 Holiday Blend – Solstice Hare

Attired in a golden crown and necklace, our Solstice Hare celebrates winter solstice; we like to imagine him watching over our dormant vineyards as the winter solstice approaches on December 21st. Like our other holiday illustrations in 2021, the illustration is inspired by Flora Springs’ matriarch and muse, Flora Komes, whose love for all living things, both great and small, was legendary. Shop now, and see our Holiday Shipping Guide for helpful ordering details including order deadlines to receive your shipment in time for winter solstice.

What Is Friendsgiving? Your Guide to this New(ish) Holiday Tradition

November 11, 2021

Friendsgiving Table Setting

What Is Friendsgiving?

Friendsgiving is a blend of friend and Thanksgiving. According to dictionary.com, Friendsgiving is “a gathering of friends to celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast, falling near or on Thanksgiving Day, in contrast to the traditional celebrations that typically involve family.” While the word first appeared around 2007, it’s actually new enough that Friendsgiving didn’t make it into the dictionary until January 2020.

When Is Friendsgiving?

Friendsgiving can be celebrated any day, any time of year, but most gatherings take place in November, particularly the weekend before Thanksgiving. Many people celebrate Friendsgiving on Thanksgiving Day too.

How to Celebrate Friendsgiving

Friendsgiving can be as formal or as casual as you and your crew want. We suggest a balanced “Napa Valley Casual” theme – take the food and wine seriously (but not too seriously), but mostly importantly have fun.

Friendsgiving Appetizers

Friendsgiving Menu

Set the tone with hors d’oeuvres that look fancy, but are easy to make. Bonus points for appetizers that can be made or prepped in advance. And don’t be shy about asking your guests to each bring a dish to share. Here are a few of our favorites.

Gougères
Recipe from Bon Appétit
These delicate cheese puffs always impress. Once you get the hang of the dough, you’ll serve them at every opportunity.

Ingredients
Makes about 50 Servings
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
6 ounces (1½ cups) grated Comté cheese or Gruyère
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Bring butter, salt, nutmeg, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add flour, and stir to combine.
  2. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring vigorously, until a dry film forms on bottom and sides of pan and dough is no longer sticky, about 2 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and let dough cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole eggs one at a time, incorporating fully between additions. Mix in cheese and pepper.
  3. Scrape dough into a piping bag fitted with a ½” round tip (alternatively, use a plastic bag with a ½” opening cut diagonally from 1 corner). Pipe 1” rounds about 2” apart onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Whisk egg yolk and 1 tsp. water in a small bowl; brush rounds with egg wash.
  4. Bake gougères until puffed and golden and dry in the center (they should sound hollow when tapped), 20–25 minutes.
  5. DO AHEAD! Dough can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Gougères can be baked 2 hours ahead; reheat before serving.

Crostini
Recipe by Flora Springs Wine Club Manager Madeline Nossiter

Ingredients
Makes about 50 Servings
2 French-style baguettes
12 oz plain goat cheese
Mixed fresh greens herbs of your choice (we recommend thyme, basil, tarragon)
Red Relish – can be store-bought or made with tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, onions

Preparation

  1. Cut baguettes into ¼-inch thick slices.
  2. Arrange in one layer on sheet pan and brush each slice with a nice olive oil.
  3. Toast in 350 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes, toasts are done when slightly brown and crispy – let cool.
  4. Spread room-temperate goat cheese on toasts in thin layer.
  5. Top half of toasts with herb mixture and other half with red relish.

Friendsgiving Menu Ideas - Salad

Autumn Mixed Greens Salad
Recipe by Flora Springs Wine Club Manager Madeline Nossiter

Ingredients
Makes about 10 Servings
Approximately one pound of fresh mixed greens/mesclun
4 ounces aged Asiago or Parmesan Reggiano
3 ounces roasted hazelnuts

Dressing
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons vinegar of choice (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. If greens aren’t washed, wash and dry.
  2. Put greens in large salad bowl, toss with vinaigrette.
  3. Garnish with saved cheese and nuts.

Dressing

  1. In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir well with a small whisk or a fork until the ingredients are completely mixed together.
  2. Taste, and adjust as necessary. If the mixture is too acidic, thin it out with a bit more olive oil or balance the flavors with a little more honey. If the mixture is a little blah, add another pinch or two of salt. If it doesn’t have enough zing, add vinegar by the teaspoon.
  3. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for future use. Homemade vinaigrette keeps well for 7 to 10 days. If your vinaigrette solidifies somewhat in the fridge, don’t worry about it—real olive oil tends to do that. Simply let it rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes or microwave very briefly (about 20 seconds) to liquify the olive oil again. Whisk to blend and serve.

Regarding the sides and main dish – go traditional Thanksgiving with turkey and all the trimmings, or try something new; we’ll let you decide!

Friendsgiving Wine

Friendsgiving Wine

Err on the side of more is better—you don’t want to run out. Like purchasing Thanksgiving wine, figure one bottle per drinking person, and offer a nice mix of red, white, and rosé. Be sure to offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages as well. You don’t want anyone over-consuming either. Our wine experts are available via phone at (800) 913-1118, email, or chat if you’d like a hand putting together a mixed case that will please your crowd. Shop now, and see our Holiday Shipping Guide for helpful ordering details including Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving shipping deadlines.

Friendsgiving

Relax, have fun, and enjoy your friends’ company – cheers!

Menu