Magazine article Sunset

Cab's Big Night: Chef and Wine Pro Maria Helm Sinskey Serves the King of Reds with the King of Beef for a Pull-out-the-Stops Holiday Meal

Magazine article Sunset

Cab's Big Night: Chef and Wine Pro Maria Helm Sinskey Serves the King of Reds with the King of Beef for a Pull-out-the-Stops Holiday Meal

Article excerpt

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Crispy shrimp with arugula and lemony mayo

Salt-and herb-crusted prime rib with fresh horseradish sauce

Golden olive oil-roasted potatoes

Braised winter greens with bacon

Caramelized pears with toasted hazelnuts and chocolate sorbet

"SOMETIMES WE HIDE our wine in brown bags so our friends aren't swayed by the labels," says Maria Helm Sinskey. Especially when one of the bottles is an exquisite $80 Cabernet from Robert Sinskey Vineyards, which Maria owns with her husband, Rob. Tonight, thought, all bottles stand unmasked. It's Christmas, and for Maria, it's the best time to present a cast of wines--with the king of reds in the lead role.

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This year, the big dinner at the Sinskey's rustic remake of an old Napa Valley barn consists of a group of good friends--"a lot of wine geeks," as Maria puts it. Flutes of bubbly handed out at the door set the tone for the evening's festivities. …

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