mulled wine with oranges

Taste A Delicious Tradition


In the name of tradition…

In this season full of family holiday traditions, we are exploring the Christmastime customs of our two family heritages! Our name, Messina Hof, is derived from the cities Messina, Sicily, and Hof, Germany, where the families of founders Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo originate.

Grab a glass, make sure you have an appetite, and learn how you can incorporate Italian and German holiday traditions into your winter season.

Our Favorite Italian Tradition: Festa dei Sette Pesci

On Christmas Eve, instead of chicken and red meat, many Italians celebrate with a magnificent 7-course seafood feast. This tradition first emerged from the Roman Catholics’ practice of fasting meat and dairy on the night of significant holidays. This custom, combined with the religiously notable number 7, transformed the popular Feast of the 7 Fishes into a tradition that many Italian-Americans celebrate today.

Want to host your own Feast of the 7 Fishes? 
We recommend the following courses:
1. Appetizer
2. Salad
3. Grilled Protein
4. Soup, Stew, or Risotto
5. Pasta
6. Vegetables
7. Dessert

Be creative and, of course, don’t forget the most important part: wine!

Our Favorite German Tradition: Glühwein

Drinking Glühwein, or glowing wine, is a classic German tradition. Created to fight off the winter chill, this mulled wine is made in German homes, sold in Christmas markets, and often found at celebrations to evoke those festive holiday feelings.

1. Pour 1 bottle of your favorite Messina Hof red or white wine, 12 oz of water, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a deep pot or crockpot.
2. Add in a bag of Wine Mulling Spices.
3. Simmer the mixture slowly, making sure it does not boil, for at least an hour. The longer it simmers, the better the blend will taste, and the better your home will smell!
4. Pour a glass of Glühwein and enjoy!