When I think of Christmas, two words stand out: family and tradition. As everyone becomes older and grows in their different directions, Christmas becomes that time when family members can get together. The fondest memories I have with my family are over a good meal and a glass of wine.
Christmas also becomes a time when my family gets back to our traditions. One of my family's Christmas traditions is to eat the same thing, every year. And every year, my grandmother would also start preparing this meal months in advance (fruit cake takes time you know!). Since I am not American or Canadian, I have never really celebrated Thanksgiving or its hipster offspring, Friendsgiving. So, bring on the turkey, ham, cassava pie and all the other glorious sides that my North American friends enjoy in October and November!
Don't get me wrong, I look forward to this glorious feast, but I find myself browsing through new recipes, trying to make "improvements" to our traditional family meal. I had suggested having spiny lobster and a standing rib roast one year and it fell on deaf ears. Instead of the fruit cake, I made a Christmas Log (that was allowed). Last year, my family permitted another one of my "improvements" to our traditional family meal, a wine pairing. This year, they have allowed me to keep this improvement (hopefully it too will become a tradition).
So what does my improved Christmas dinner with wine pairing look like? Personally, I think you're doomed from the start if you don't offer a sparkling wine on arrival at your holiday party. Christmas is such a celebratory time. I think surviving another year deserves a cheers with a glass of something bubbly. The Cum Laude Cava is a great option- dry, juicy and emanating green apple!
Because this is Bermuda, a party would not be a real party without a Sauvignon Blanc. The demand in Bermuda for Sauvignon Blanc has accelerated astronomically because it is an easy, quaffing, non-polarising white. Henri Bourgeois is the quintessential Loire Valley Sauv Blanc. If you don't feel like shelling out for a pricier Sancerre, try this instead!
There is something quite seductive about a good Burgundy Pinot Noir. After spending some time napping in our cellar, David Butterfield's Beaune 1er Cru "Les Boucherottes" 2009 has finally awoken and it is mighty tasty! Fruity, savoury and definitely in my glass when I will be eating my obligatory ham and turkey! Every time I drink this wine I feel like I can taste the wizardry of a place so magical.
Now for my night cap. My Christmas dinner really is a "linner". We start around lunchtime and finish around 9pm. After I have worked my way through the sparkling, white and red, I need to finish on an ummph. That ummph is the Diane de Belgrave. It goes well with sitting around a fireplace in a tacky christmas sweater talking grownup talk. (It also goes well with a standing rib roast that will hopefully one day make on the Christmas Menu.)
When I am not talking grown up talk, I am usually reflecting on what it great day it was. I am also counting the next 364 day I have to try and convince my family to add another improvement to the menu and repeat our tradition again!