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Friday, December 21, 2012

Celebrating the Holidays

If you’re reading this blog post, it means the world did not end as “predicted” - you didn’t really believe that, did you?  I didn’t!  And I certainly hope you didn’t deplete your best bottles you’ve been saving in your wine cellar just to make sure you drank them all before the world ends.

Let’s just assume you did not drink all those great bottles.  I think I know what we should be doing with our favorite bottles, or some bottles we’ve been holding on to for a while - we can enjoy them over Christmas and New Year’s with the people we care about the most.  I think a lot of us get caught up in the rush of the season, the material things, most of which don’t amount to a whole lot in the end.  What matters most is that we remember what we’re celebrating and we take the time to enjoy the presence of those dearest to us.  Hurricane Sandy, the tragedy at the elementary school in Connecticut, and other very unfortunate events remind us that while the end of the world may not have happened, the fact is that sometimes tomorrow never comes, and we’re left without the special people in our lives.  This is probably the best time of the year to realize just how important our friends and families are, to spend quality time together, and not just focus on the material things.

This is how I suggest we enjoy those special bottles we have - share them with family and friends.

For me, in our Italian-American household we have the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve.  Last year I reviewed the off-beat Italian whites we had (Petite Arvine and Erbaluce di Caluso).  This year I’ve picked some interesting Italian whites for the feast.  For Christmas Day, I’ve picked a few Italian reds and a Prosecco.  I look forward to posting my tasting notes next week.  And as for New Year’s Eve - it’s time for bubbles.

Many of us realize that times are difficult these days.  The economy has suffered a great deal, rough weather and tragedies have affected lots of people, and often, things don’t turn out the way we had hoped they would.  If you’re like me, you’ve probably been disappointed by some of these things.  But I also know that there’s a lot to celebrate, a lot to be very happy about, and to me, New Year’s Eve is a great way to mark the completion of another year that’s hopefully brought blessings and good times, and also to begin another year with great hope and excitement.  I think that’s an excellent reason to celebrate, so bring on the bubbles!

Last year, my New Year’s resolution was (believe it or not) to drink more wine from small producers, vignerons independants, etc., and to leave the mass produced products on the shelves as often as possible.  And interestingly enough, this is the first time I’ve been so successful in keeping my resolution throughout the year - nearly every night, I open a bottle of wine from a small producer, usually made from unique grapes from a lesser known region.  It’s taught me more than I thought possible in just 365 days.

Cheers to a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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