For this month’s Wine Writing Challenge the theme is “Tradition”. Given the fact we’ve just been through arguably the busiest time of year when it comes to family-meet-ups, some of the things we all do when we’re together are still fresh in the memory.
Whatever the occasion, be it birthdays, holidays, or whatever other reasons you need, whenever you get together with your family there’s always the odd tradition that springs up over the years. Either by accident or by design.
This Christmas just gone was probably going to be our last all together. My niece is going to be 3 next year and my sister and her fella will be looking to have Christmas at home, as a new family. Both myself and my other sister have foreign in-laws, so as much as a pain in the arse as travelling over that period is, it’s really unfair for us not to. Ok, so my mum’s empty nest syndrome will be going on overdrive, but she’ll get over it…I think!
Traditions in our family don’t always involve wine, but the ones I think about fondly do! We rock out of bed on Christmas morning, someone sticks the bacon on, the muffins are popped in the toaster, and the champagne bottles get…well…phutted these days cos I’ve got the technique down.
As I said earlier, when I did Champagne for the last “New Wine This Week” of 2014, Champagne and bacon muffins are a great pairing. We gloriously munch them all morning whilst (this year at least) watching the niece open her presents. Bubbles and bacon, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without them anymore.
So given the change in future plans it got me thinking about coming up with traditions of my own for the next years to come. My wife and I don’t have kids yet (although our puppy’s keeping us on our toes!) so it is all about what we enjoy doing for now. Well that’s easy enough: eating great food and drinking great wine!
I know turkey’s what you’re meant to have, and for people who suffer from bouts of depression like I do, it’s a fantastic meat to eat cos it really encourages the production of serotonin. It can be too easy to dry out and it’s about twice the price it usually is over the festive period. But maybe if I butcher it up before cooking it’ll give me some more options. Then I can get the big chardonnays involved!
A couple of years back I went with roast pheasant and gratin potatoes, with red burgundy. I love red burgundy over winter. It’s light enough to put you at ease, but warming enough to get you through those nippy days.
I’m now an importer of Bordeaux wines. I’ve got access to wines that a couple of years back I could only dream about trying. Maybe push the boat out, get in a bottle of 1st growth and enjoy with a hedonistic sirloin steak.
Am I going anywhere with this? Well yeah I think so. I do have a point, and it’s this: we all have traditions, and love them for what they are. But sometimes the most enjoyable thing to do is to search out those things that will become your traditions for years to come.
I’m looking forward for the trials and errors to begin!