For this simple wintry meal, we recommend a lighter red wine with some fruit and complex spices. Choices such as a Pinot Noir from New Zealand or a Grenache-based wine from the Rhone are both perfect (and affordable) options.
The cake can be made the day before serving. Once it is completly cooled, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Just before serving, dust it liberally with confectioners' sugar.
You won't need a whole butternut squash for the salad, but you can roast a whole one, and then use the extra for these butternut squash pancakes with maple butter for breakfast the next day.
To add some seasonal plant decor to your table, compose a simple arrangement of ornamental cabbages and kales, available at most farmers' markets during the winter season. For inspiration, see Ornamental Kales & Cabbages on our sister site GARDENDESIGN.com »