Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Holiday Spirit(s)

My two families are really interesting, especially when it comes to the differences in how we spend the holidays. This is even more evident when it comes to how wine is involved with each family. For example, we just spent the weekend in KC with my parents, my grandmother, my brother and sister, and their respective families. On Saturday evening, by dad looked over at me, and said "Well, I guess we should go ahead and pick out the wine for dinner"- we were eating in an hour and a half, and we were going to have Barbecue. He then said "Pick out whatever you want- the cellar is yours". In the past, this would not have been a very exciting proposition. Five years ago, my parents had the greatest collection of cheap, crappy wine that I have ever seen. Since then (and since I have started selling wine professionally), they have changed their tastes, and their price point. Now my dad has a collection of about 130 bottles, 99% of which I would be more than glad to open on any given day. For appetizers, I chose a bottle of Oregon Pinot Gris for my mom, as that is just about all she will drink, and a bottle of Fisher Unity Napa cab for me and dad. My brother doesn't drink, and my sister only likes moscato when it comes to wine. With dinner, to match the spicy barbecue, I grabbed a Pride Syrah. It matched perfectly, and we were tempted to open another bottle. Later in the evening, my dad said "how about an apertif"? I corrected him, called it a digestif, and poured him some limoncello, myself some Navan (he loves that stuff, and always has some on hand- it's not bad at the end of the night), and some Moscato for the ladies. It was a pleasant way to add wine to a meal that you normally wouldn't care about wine with. The point to all of this is that my dad and I have something in common that we can talk about in wine- he is interested in learning, even if the rest of my family doesn't give a rip.

My in-laws are a different story. Even when they lived in Monterey, CA they didn't care much about the wine industry. They have a little bit on hand, and it's a mixture of "okay" and "decent". Because they focus on other things when it comes to entertaining (they cook really well), they don't spend much energy or money on their in-house wines. They will each have maybe a glass with dinner, and that's about it. After dinner drinks are all but non-existant there. This isn't a bad thing, it's just how they are. In fact, I don't even know if they will have a Christmas tree, whereas my mom has one that looks like it came straight out of Martha Stewart Living.

Neither approach is better or worse, just different.

Have a Merry Christmas- don't stress too much, and drink something good.

I'll be having Champagne, whether anyone drinks it with me or not.


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