How to Host


Decadent Wine Tasting Dinner Party

 Accompany this four-course meal with bubbles,
a bright chard and big reds from Josh Cellars


The holidays are here. And after a few years of virtual dinners and socially distanced soirees, sitting shoulder to shoulder and splitting a bottle of wine with our nearest and dearest is just what we need. 

Sure, you could set out the usual spread, whether that’s a turkey feast or a buffet-style scramble. But why not elevate your holiday fare this season with a decadent, four-course meal, complete with complementary wines? 


Josh Cellars offers wine for every occasion. There are bubbles to make the season merry and bright, and big, bold reds to sip fireside. The wines are a nod to founder Joseph Carr’s father, so expect each bottle to be well balanced, exacting in quality and made with his (and your) family in mind. 


This season, we’re opting for the following perfect pairings. They are classic recipes that require little effort and serve lots of flavours, allowing you to focus on hosting. Just add beautiful bottles from Josh Cellars and you’ve got yourself a party.

What better way to celebrate getting together than with bubbles?

Josh Cellars Prosecco and Zucchini Parmesan Crisps with Creamy Lemon-Herb Dip

As your guests trickle in, set the stage with snacks that allow everyone to mix, mingle, dip and drink. One of our favourite finger foods? Zucchini battered with crispy panko and Parmigiano-Reggiano served alongside a creamy herb dip. 


Start with a platter of these easy-to-make apps and hand out chilled glasses of prosecco. The fresh acidity and vibrancy of Veneto-grown prosecco will cut through the rich nutiness of the parmesan crisps. Plus, the delicate bubbles are the perfect teaser for starting the night. 


Josh Cellars is well known and liked for its more popular cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, but as a former sommelier and wine executive, Carr has always had a special place in his heart for prosecco. What better way to celebrate getting together than with bubbles?

Limited time holiday offering; may not be available in all stores.

Spend your evening around the table instead of in the kitchen—preferably, with a glass of Josh Chardonnay in hand.

Josh Cellars Chardonnay

and Beet Salad

No one wants to get stuck slaving over complicated recipes when friends are over having fun. So this bright, fresh salad calls for just five ingredients: rosy beets, balsamic vinegar, a hit of fresh dill, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Easy? Absolutely. So you’ll spend your evening around the table instead of in the kitchen—preferably, with a  glass of Josh Chardonnay in hand. 


It’s the ideal white for cool winter nights: rich and round but bright and fresh on the palate. Paired with this salad, Josh chardonnay is rich enough to balance out the earthiness of the beets, with notes of juicy peach and soft lemon balm.

Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon with Beef Tenderloin and Roasted Winter Vegetables

There are benefits to buying tenderloin. Sure, it tends to be pricier than a lesser cut, but when set in the middle of a table, it makes a stunning conversational centrepiece. 


This recipe is as classic as it gets: well seasoned with mustard and thyme on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside. It’s delicious served with an easy roasted vegetable plate that highlights all of winter’s best veg, from carrots and parsnips to a rainbow of peppers. Just season, pop in the oven and roast, and they’re ready to serve.


Pairing-wise, it doesn’t get better than a complex cabernet sauvignon. Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon bursts with dark fruit, black cherries and toasty oak, with round, rich tannins that amplify the flavours of the tender beef. The subtle vanilla and spice notes also lend well to an after-dinner espresso, so keep some on hand for later.

Josh Cellars Pinot Noir and
Black Forest Trifle

A rule of thumb when pairing wine is that like goes with like. So what to serve with a rich chocolate dessert piled high with cherries, kirsch, Devon custard and fresh cream? This suave Josh Cellars Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California, offers initial notes of dark cherry and vanilla bean. After that first sip, the wine opens into warming spice and a long finish that works beautifully with this rich chocolate trifle. This make-ahead dessert combines sweet, fruity and chocolatey elements. Make it the morning of, pop it in the fridge, and simply sprinkle on shaved chocolate to serve. 

Recipe for Black Forest Trifle


Zucchini Parmesan Crisps


3/4 cup panko
3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese , plus more for garnish
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 eggs
1 large zucchini , cut into 1/4-in. thick rounds
vegetable oil
flaked sea salt (optional)


1. COMBINE panko and cheese in a shallow bowl. Stir flour, salt and pepper in another shallow bowl, and beat eggs in another medium bowl.


2. DIP zucchini in flour, shaking off excess. Dip into egg, then into cheese mixture, patting to coat, then set on a plate. Place a rack over a baking sheet and set aside.


3. POUR enough oil into a large cast iron pan or deep, heavy frying pan to reach 1/2 in. up the sides, and heat over medium. Fry zucchini in batches, turning over once, until browned and crispy, about 2 min. Place on rack to drain, and immediately finish with sea salt.


4. TRANSFER to serving platter and finely grate more cheese over crisps.

Creamy Lemon-Herb Dip


3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon peel
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
pinch cinnamon


1. COMBINE sour cream, mayo, peel, parsley and cinnamon in a bowl. Serve with Zucchini Parmesan Crisps.

Dillicious Beet Salad


1 bunch beets, about 750 g
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp chopped dill
1/4 tsp salt


1. TRIM green tops from beets. Set greens aside. Wash beets well. Cover with water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium. Gently boil, partially covered, until beets are fork-tender, 30 to 35 min. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel beets. Slice each into 6 wedges.


2. WHISK oil with vinegar, dill and salt in a large bowl. Wash beet greens. Pat dry and coarsely chop. Combine with beet wedges and dressing and toss until coated.

Beef Tenderloin with Mustard-Thyme Crust and Pan Gravy


2-kg fillet or 2 1-kg fillets of beef tenderloin, trimmed
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp crushed black peppercorns
1 tsp kosher salt

Gravy Ingredients

3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
2 tbsp port
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp butter


1. PREHEAT oven to 500F. Set a rack in a large roasting pan. Pat meat dry with paper towels and set on rack.


2. COMBINE Dijon with thyme, peppercorns and 1 tsp salt in a small bowl. Brush mustard mixture over meat.


3. ROAST in centre of oven for 20 min. Reduce heat to 300F. Continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads 125F for medium-rare, 20 to 25 more min. Transfer meat to a cutting board and cover with foil. Remove rack from pan.


4. SET roasting pan over 2 burners on the stovetop over medium. Sprinkle with flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until flour starts to brown, about 5 min. Whisk in broth, port and 1/4 tsp salt, scraping up brown bits from pan bottom into the sauce. Boil until sauce is thickened, about 10 min. Stir in butter and any meat juices. Remove from heat. Strain before serving with tenderloin slices.

Roasted Winter Vegetables


5 bell peppers, preferably a mix of colours
4 parsnips, peeled
1 large red onion
340-g pkg baby carrots
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp honey
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried sage
2 tsp oregano leaves
1 tsp salt
pinch black pepper
1 green onion, sliced


1. ARRANGE oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Preheat oven to 450F (230C). Lightly oil 2 rimmed baking sheets. Cut peppers into quarters. Cut parsnips into thick pieces. Slice red onion into thick wedges. Place in a large bowl with carrots. In a small bowl, stir oil with honey. Drizzle overtop vegetables. Sprinkle with seasonings. Toss until coated. Tumble onto baking sheets, spreading vegetables out in a single layer.


2. ROAST on top and bottom racks in preheated oven until vegetables start to brown around edges, 25 to 35 minutes. Switch sheets halfway through roasting and stir vegetables. When done, arrange on one or two large platters and sprinkle with green onion.

Black Forest Trifle


600 g frozen cherries, thawed (4 cups)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp kirsch
1 cup 35% cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
114 g dark chocolate, (scant 1 cup), chopped and melted
800 g Devon custard
300 g chocolate cookies
30 g shaved milk or white chocolate, (1/4 cup)


1. STIR cherries and juices with granulated sugar in a saucepan over medium.


2. WHISK cornstarch with 2 tbsp water and add to cherry mixture. Cook, stirring until thickened, 8 to 10 min. Stir in kirsch. Transfer to a bowl.


3. REFRIGERATE until cool, about 1 hour. Strain cherry mixture; reserve cherries and half of the liquid.


4. BEAT cream and icing sugar in a bowl, using an electric mixer, until soft peaks form. Beat in sour cream and vanilla.


5. STIR melted dark chocolate into Devon custard. Spoon cherries onto bottom of a 3-L trifle bowl. Reserve half of the cookies, then arrange remaining cookies overtop.


6. COVER with custard mixture, then cream mixture. Layer reserved cookies overtop. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with milk chocolate and white chocolate shavings, and serve with reserved cherry liquid.


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