To make your holiday party even more spectacular, you need the perfect wine. Here is, the Million Dollar Chef, Walter Martino’s Top 20 Holiday appetizers, and guide to holiday wine pairings.

‘Tis the Season for… Chocolate Toffee

If there was ever a candy that was made for the holiday season, Chocolate Toffee has got to be right near the top of the list!

 PAIRING: El Joven Equilibrista Malbec – Juan Ubaldini


2 cups sugar

1/3 cup water

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

12 ounces salted butter (3 sticks), cut into chunks

1/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably Droste or Valrhona

1 cup whole blanched almonds, preferably Marcona, toasted and roughly chopped

How to Make It


Line a sided sheet pan with a silicone baking mat, or oil it well with vegetable oil (or use a heavyweight nonstick sheet pan).


Pour the sugar into the center of a saucepan. Pour the water around the edge of the pan and wait to allow the water to moisten the sugar.  Add the corn syrup and bring to a boil. Add the butter and boil until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F.


Turn off the heat and whisk in the cocoa, then stir in the nuts. Quickly pour the mixture onto the center of the prepared pan and let it spread out — it may not reach the sides of the pan. Set aside to cool at room temperature until hard. Using your hands (wear gloves to avoid fingerprints), pry the toffee out of the pan, and break into large pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Suggested Pairing: El Joven Equilibrista Malbec – Juan Ubaldini

Red wine with ruby ​​reflections, presenting a high intensity on the nose. The aromas of the ripe fruit of ripe carozo are noticed, generating a slightly sweet flavor, in conjunction with the aromas provided by the wood, such as vanilla and coconut. In the mouth, it presents a dry attack. The tannins are marked but are sedated. It is a balanced wine.

Let’s get cooking. For now, I’d love to know —tag @ChefWMartino on social and use the hashtag #AllThingsWine so I can cheer you on and share your dishes.