When it comes to holiday parties, I veer toward the approach that simpler = better. Parties that take minimal effort to pull together not only leave the host feeling relaxed, but guests, too. This year, I’d like to invite my friends over for a sparkling wine and fondue party. Inspired by a Jackson-Triggs après ski party that I attended, here are four easy steps (and two recipes). 1. Dust off your fondue set (or your parent’s old fondue set). 2. Buy the booze. Light and bubbly, Jackson-Triggs’s sparkling wines are the perfect foil for a heavier meal like fondue. The Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with savoury flavours, while the delicious Sparkling Merlot is an amazing match for chocolate. 3. Prepare your savoury fondue and its accompaniments. Serve immediately with crusty bread, grilled vegetables and cured meats. (See Chef Corbin Tomaszeski’s recipe below.) 4. Prepare your chocolate fondue. Serve immediately with brioche or pound cake and fresh fruits. (See Chef Corbin Tomaszeski’s recipe below.) Jalapeño Holiday Kick Recipe by Chef Corbin Tomaszeski & Jackson-Triggs Serves 6 Pairing: The cheddar and jalapeno melt is best complemented by light toasty notes in the Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, which balances the spice of the Worcestershire, Dijon and jalapeno mix. The light citrus notes in the wine are enhanced by the sharp Swiss and cheddar cheese duo. Ingredients ½ cup (125 mL) vegetable stock ½ tsp (2 mL) shallots, minced fine 1 clove garlic, minced fine 1 tsp (5 mL) Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon Mustard 1 -½ tbs (45 mL) cornstarch 1 cup (500 mL) shredded aged cheddar cheese ½ cup (250 mL) shredded Swiss cheese ½ tbsp (7 mL) jalapeno pepper, minced Method In a fondue pot, heat the vegetable stock until warmed through. Add the minced shallots, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard to the heated stock and stir to incorporate. Combine the cornstarch with the shredded cheddar and Swiss cheese and slowly stir into the heated vegetable stock mixture. Stir the cheese fondue until smooth and creamy. Add the minced jalapeno pepper and serve. Mom's Mistletoe Melt Recipe by Chef Corbin Tomaszeski & Jackson-Triggs Serves 6 Pairing: The hint of strawberry jam in the fondue couples nicely with the full fruit flavours in the Sparkling Merlot. Salty peanut butter brings out the aromatic hint of espresso in the wine and make this tasty treat a definite crowd pleaser. Ingredients 1- ½ cups (350 mL) milk chocolate ¾ cup (175 mL) heavy cream 3 tbsp (45 mL) smooth peanut butter 2 tbsp (30 mL) strawberry jam Method Melt the milk chocolate pieces with the heavy cream in small saucepan. Add the peanut butter to the melted chocolate with the strawberry jam. Stir until smooth and incorporated. Place the melted chocolate fondue into your fondue pot and serve. Serve with fresh berries and pound cake.