IT’S NEVER TOO early to start anticipating the upcoming season of overeating and drinking. Fluff Bake Bar’s Rebecca Masson and her mother, Dodie Wilson, owner of Fluff’s next-door neighbor Dodie’s Wine + Beer, are ready with jingle bells on.
While everyone is getting their fix of pumpkin-spiced everything, Dodie’s is armed with a menu of thoughtfully curated wines for whatever is served at the holiday table. Next door, Fluff Bake Bar is rolling out its annual parade of seasonal pies, tarts, cookies, and dessert party trays.
Fluff’s limited-edition Christmas Treat Box, on sale Dec. 6 until sold out, is always the star of the season. The collection of playful treats includes four each of gooey butter cookies, “Christmas Unicorn Bait” cookies, chocolate-peppermint cookies, and ginger-molasses cookies. Additionally, two DIY hot chocolate kits with housemade vanilla marshmallows are included. Boxes will be shipped on Dec. 13; pick-up and delivery will be available Dec.14.
For her part, Wilson stocks the Dodie’s shelves with a focus on rare selections from small, family-owned vineyards and female-founded wineries, breweries, and cideries. Her unfussy approach to recommendations and food pairings mixes knowledge with a dash of fun and sass. Wilson’s mission is for guests to leave her shop with something they love. “If you don’t like it, come tell me!” she says.
“Holiday meals often have a broad combination of flavors on the plate, so I try to find something dry with light fruity notes that can be versatile, complementary and celebratory,” Wilson explains. With turkey, she suggests bubbles, which can be served from start to finish, like the Jean Vesselle-Oeil de Perdrix brut from her shop. For a still white wine, she recommends Domaine Gondard-Perrin-Viré-Clessé 2018, calling it a “powerful wine that matches up to hearty stuffing and other rich sides.”
And while red is the go-to wine for meat, Wilson loves mixing things up. For something unexpected, she suggests a rosé and/or Brazilian brut with roast, brisket or tenderloin to balance the richness and match the heft of the flavor, fat and texture of red meat.
“For desserts, ideally your pairing should be sweeter than the dessert, so I love a good late bottle vintage port — the older the better.” Wilson also pulls cider and beer out of her hat to marry with holiday treats. “Cider is fermented apples, so it has an inherent sweetness making a great match. Texas Keeper Cider’s Golden Russet has light effervescence and complexity, so it complements pies, cookies, and tarts,” says Wilson. She makes and exception to her “sweeter pairing” mandate by recommending darker beers and stouts with holiday pies. “Something about the crust and the filling works wonderfully with creamy, rich stouts and ambers.”
Fluff Bake Bar's Christmas Treat box