My family prefers holiday meals which are different than the traditional turkey, ham or chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and vegetable fare. There are so many wonderful meal options for a family holiday dinner. One of my family’s favorite holiday meals is Bouillabaisse.

I suspect some form of a fish and shellfish stew has been around since mankind discovered fish and shellfish could be captured from the sea and put in a pot to cook together for a fast, fresh fantastic tasting meal. One pot and one bowl! Who needs anything more?

The classic seasonings of saffron, orange peel and anise-flavored spirits surely came later and the French in Marseilles have claimed ownership of these additions to the traditional fish stew. With that in mind, who can really argue that French wine would be the perfect accompaniment?

Cool weather and a warm seafood stew with a glass of French wine make for warm hearts and lots of fun. The warm stew fills the stomach but is not heavy and the joy of soaking a scrumptious French baguette (Lionel Vatinet at La Farm Bakery makes a great authentic baguette!) in the seafood broth is enough to make any family joyous and grateful.

Personally I love Julia Child’s Bouillabaisse recipe. I have tried many others but simpler is better in my book and simple to me means fresh seafood (check out the selection at Locals Seafood . Lin Peterson has wonderful fresh NC seafood!) and great cooking technique. Sounds like Julia to me! Fresh and basic great cooking!

To complement the Bouillabaisse I tried a refreshing Viognier offered by The Wine FeedDomaine de Couron Cotes du Rhone Viognier 2010 produced by Marie-Lise and Jean-Luc Dorthe from southern France. The fruit with a touch of honey and undertones of anise make for a lovely pairing with Bouillabaisse during the holiday.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday filled with peace, love, joy, family and friends and Bouillabaisse, French Bread and Viognier from The Wine Feed.