You know the famous Christmas song, “Chestnuts roasting on your Weber grill… ?”

Chestnuts Roasted on a Weber Grill

Oh wait. Those aren’t the lyrics?

Well, they are in my house, because we just can’t hold back from any opportunity to use the grill or smoker, even in the wintertime. Yes, even when it comes to roasting chestnuts for the holidays.

The song, written in 1944 and made famous by Nat King Cole, depicts the warm memories associated with the season of Christmas. One of those memories comes from the toasty and festive smell of roasted chestnuts. When cooked correctly these special treats will be sweet and buttery, and downright delicious.

Sure, you can roast them in your oven. But why not the outdoor grill?!

Roasting chestnuts on a weber grill

This is a special experience saved for only a couple times a year. So this year, I encourage you to move your grill into your front yard while welcoming guests over for your holiday party, and have these bad boys toasting as guests arrive. The inviting smell will instantly prepare your guests for holiday fun to come.

It’s so ridiculously easy to grill chestnuts; you’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t been doing this your whole grilling life.

Start by preparing your charcoal grill, or simply preheating your gas grill to Med/Hi.

How to roast chestnuts on a grill

Meanwhile score your chestnuts. Just take a sharp knife and slice an X into them, breaking the shell.  This will help keep them from exploding when in the high heat. That would be bad.

How to score a chestnut in preparation for roasting

When your grill is ready, place scored chestnuts in a cast iron pan and lay directly on the charcoal and cover. Stay close, as this only takes a few minutes, and you’ll want to check on them frequently.

How to roast chestnuts on an outdoor grill

Roasting Chestnuts on a Weber Grill

Optional – In a gas grill you can use a veggie pan or a cast iron pan but just place over direct heat.

Chestnuts Roasted on an Outdoor Grill
 
Roasted chestnuts are easy when cooked on an outdoor grill.
Author:
Cuisine: Holiday
Ingredients
  • 1 pound whole chestnuts (usually found in produce section)
  • 1 tablespoon finishing salt like Maldon
Instructions
Prepare Grill
  1. Charcoal Grill – Prepare charcoal basket with ⅔ charcoal and the remaining ⅓ with wood chunks (I used apple) for aromatics
  2. Gas Grill – Preheat to Med/Hi
Prepare Chestnuts
  1. Score the chestnuts. Chestnuts have a (somewhat) flat side. Lay on flat side and score the rounded side facing you with an X. It does not need to be too deep but scored enough to get through the outer later.
  2. When charcoal is heated (grey and flame coming from top) lay out in the grill.
  3. Place scored chestnuts in a cast iron grill and lay grill directly on the charcoal and cover.
  4. Every few minutes open cover and look for charring. Shake the chestnuts in pan to move them around. (Cue the music because you won’t be able to keep the song out of your mind)
  5. Optional – In a gas grill you can use a veggie pan or a cast iron pan. Just make sure to place the pan over direct heat.
  6. Chestnuts will take roughly 8 – 10 minutes to cook, but watch for the scored area to split some and develop a nice golden color.
  7. Remove from heat and sprinkle with salt while still hot. Cut open and removed the chestnuts from their shell while still warm, but not scorching hot. Enjoy alone or use in your favorite recipe that calls for chestnuts.

This is such a festive idea if you’re hosting a holiday party over the weekend, or hosting the big day next week. Imagine the toasty sweet smell of chestnuts roasting to welcome your guests. (Make sure to have the Nat King Cole song playing in the background for added ambiance.) They’ll certainly be impressed by your efforts.

Speaking of impressing… if you’re still looking for a special bottle for the wine enthusiast on your list, look no further than Stoller Family Estate.

Wines To Impress This Holiday Season

 

Stoller Family Estate Pinot Noirs make great Holiday Gifts

When I gift a wine to someone special — whether a loved one, a client, a teammate, a boss, whomever — I give a wine that has significance to me. Whether it was from a region I had the pleasure of visiting in person, a favorite winemaker, or rare wine, it has to be something with a good story behind it. I never recommend a wine just because it has achieved some kind of cult status, high score, or is the “hot” thing at the moment (I’m talking to you orange wine!). If the wine has significance to me, it has more meaning as a gift.

I’ve grown to know Stoller Family Estate, first as a writer, second as a club member and fan. I’ve always respected and enjoyed the wines of Stoller, ever since I started writing and teaching about wine. Heck, in one of the first classes I taught on wine, I recommended the Stoller JV Estate Pinot Noir as a great Thanksgiving wine. Throughout the years I’ve developed deeper appreciation for their wines, story, and stunning tasting room and property. And as a result I joined their wine club earlier this year to express my further support for what they are doing there.

Stoller Family Estate

 

Stoller Family Estate Tasting Room

Native Oregonian Bill Stoller purchased his family’s former turkey farm in 1993 and has worked hard over the last 20 years to build the 373-acre property into the largest contiguous vineyard in the Dundee Hills. Thanks in part to a dedicated team — including Winemaker Melissa Burr and Vineyard Manager Robert Schultz — they have built a solid reputation of quality, innovation, and sustainability.

Winemaker Melissa Burr Photo Credit: Andrea Johnson

(Winemaker Melissa Burr. Photo Credit: Andrea Johnson. Used with permission)

Winemaker Melissa Burr is in one word, a badass. Also a native Oregonian, Melissa first got into the wine industry by working as an intern at Cooper Mountain Vineyard while taking wine classes on the side to learn the trade. But just before the 2001 harvest the winemaker quit and Melissa was put in charge of producing their 16,000 cases of wine. That’s quite the crash course for a newbie, but she took on the challenge with stride and succeeded.

Just a couple of years later she was approached by Bill Stoller to help grow the wine program there. She accepted, but also finished up her work at Cooper Mountain, essentially working two harvests at the same time. Like I said, a badass. Since 2003 she has been in charge of Stoller’s winemaking, helping it grow from 500 cases to more than 20,000 where it is today. She doesn’t just hide in the cellar like some winemakers; she is visible at most Stoller events I’ve been to, either pouring wine, or talking to guests.  If that wasn’t enough, she’s also a mother of two young boys. Basically, she’s my shero.

At Stoller they make three main tiers of wine, with a small addition of some single acre limited bottling of Riesling, Tempranillo, and Syrah.

Stoller Tasting Room

The Legacy, their highest end tier represents small barrel selections from the vineyards oldest plantings. All three wines in the Legacy tier are named after important women in Bill Stoller’s life — his late wife (Cathy), his aunt (Helen), and his sister (Nancy). These wines are all very limited production and thus won’t be found outside their tasting rooms. They are elegant, powerful, complex, rare, and unique wines that represent the best of Stoller’s vineyards. They are stunning!  If you’re looking for a high end Oregon Pinot Noir this year, something that will impress even the most knowledgeable wine enthusiast on your list, this is the way to go.

Reserve tier wines represent their flagship wines, and are blended from different barrel selections. Their Reserve Pinot Noir ($45) and Reserve Chardonnay ($35) are fantastic representations of the region. I could drink that Reserve Chardonnay everyday. Seriously.

They also offer their Dundee Hills line, designed to be approachable and affordable, ranging from $20-$25. Among that lineup was one of my favorite rosés of this past summer. These are wines you are more likely to find at your favorite wine shop if you live outside of Oregon.

Depending on your budget, any of these wines would be my choice to gift to someone special this year. If that wasn’t enough convincing, the regional publication, Wine Press Northwest, honored Stoller Family Estate as 2014 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year. They’re on a roll!

My Wine Pics To Give As Gifts This Year

Stoller Family Estate Pinot Noirs

Stoller Family Estate “Helen’s” Pinot Noir 2011 (Dundee Hills, Oregon)
85 cases produced ~ $70

Stoller Family Estate “Nancy’s” Pinot Noir 2011 (Dundee Hills, Oregon)
73 cases produced ~ $70

Stoller Family Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2011 (Dundee Hills, Oregon)
1300 cases produced ~ $45

The Stoller Family Estate Tasting Room

Stoller Family Estate Tasting Room, Photo Credit: Mike Haverkate

(View from the Stoller Family Estate Tasting Room. Photo Credit: Mike Haverkate, used with permission)

If you have a chance to visit their tasting room it’s worth the visit! It’s one of my favorite tasting rooms in the Willamette Valley, and it’s not hard to figure out why. The tasting room offers a 180-degree view that includes Mount Hood and the Willamette Valley to the west, but the focus is on the vineyards.

Stoller Vineyards in the Wintertime

(The view from the tasting room in the wintertime. That would be the hubs and my two boys braving the chilly weather and fog to go check out the tire swing.) 

No matter the time of year, the views are stunning and the ambiance is peaceful.

If you don’t have time to visit the winery, but live in the Portland metro area, you can purchase their wines at the kiosk located in Washington Square Mall through the end of the month. Get all your holiday shopping, plus your wines, in one easy location. Boom!

For more information, or to purchase online, you can visit their website.

Much like chestnuts are a special delicacy saved for once a year, the Legacy tier Pinot Noirs of Stoller Family Estate represent special wines worthy of an equally special occasion. Both are sure to impress your loved ones this year.

“Although it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you”

 


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