Putting on my Covid-19 mask recently, I began to think about Christmas Day wines. For instance, I heard that a statement from the WHO’s European regional office urged family gatherings to be held outside if possible, and if indoors participants should wear masks and practice social distancing.
Whilst this may not be 100% possible, I think that it is up to everybody to adjust their own actions on the day and err on the side of caution.
In this post I want to share my thoughts on how we might take all precautions in our own houses this Christmas. I also want to reflect on my previous Christmas Day Wines suggestions and share a chat I had with Raymond Blake on that topic.
Getting Christmas Day Wines and Food
So, every year, around this time, I usually write some tips about pairing Christmas day wines and food. This year will certainly be different for many people due to the restrictions on trading that exist. However, all is not lost, at this stage we are well used to ordering wine online or clicking & collecting stuff.
With that in mind – this year, we, in Green Acres put together an option for people to order their full Christmas Day Dinner online. That offer is finished now as orders had to be made before close of business on Friday, Dec 18th. There are hampers still available though.
Choosing Christmas Day Wines
Anyway, back to the food and wine pairing for Christmas. Instead of reinventing the wheel here, I am going to refer you to two previous posts, we wrote, about Christmas wines.
Previously, I outlined a list that the wine team here in Green Acres put together and we can see no reason to change our recommendations. We provided you with a list of:
3 Refreshing and celebratory starters
5 Reds for the main course (or 4 whites to mix’n’match)
4 Something specials for desserts
The post was called 12 Merry Christmas Wines to Choose from on the Big Day.
We have over 1,500 bottles of wine here in the shop. We promise to find you one that will suit your taste, your budget and your food or you can browse online here.
The second post I referred to was published last year. Titled Is Christmas Food and Wine the Most Trending Thing Now? In that post I suggested that when deciding what wines to drink, you should pair the wine with your mood.
I then went on to outline some suggestions on what to pair with turkey, ham and lots of other foods.
Have a read of them both – they are linked through the titles above.
Raymond Blake and Christmas Day Wines
Most of you will know or at least heard of Raymond. He is one of Ireland’s leading wine writers (wine editor at Food & Wine Magazine) whose spiritual home lies in Burgundy. Raymond usually hosts tasting sessions for us during the Wexford Festival Opera but unfortunately, that wasn’t possible this year. You can browse his website here: www.blakeonwine.com
I touched base with him recently and we were discussing wines on Christmas Day. Instead of trying to paraphrase him here though, I thought that I’d reproduce what he said to me word for word. I’m sure he won’t mind.
“I have often referred to the traditional Christmas dinner as a Grand National for wine, a gustatory assault course, consisting of turkey, ham. bread stuffing, sausage stuffing, sprouts and other veggies, roast spuds, bread sauce, gravy, cranberry sauce. So, I have always counselled that your best bottle should not be served on Christmas Day – the occasion itself will overwhelm the wine.
What you need is fruit rather than tannin. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a baroque wine, well up to the challenge. Something lighter would be a racy, perky red Burgundy. Red Chassagne springs to mind, or Volnay. Being adventurous you might go for white. A rich Meursault perhaps.
Serve your best wine early, I’d say. Good champagne, then a white Burgundy with fish/seafood. As the wheels come off quantity tends to be valued over quality!”
Thank you, Raymond. For me these words encapsulate my thoughts much better than I could have put-it myself.
Christmas Day Wines and Masks
There are plenty of retail outlets for sourcing a nice seasonal mask that will either match your Christmas outfit or just match the seasonal sentiment on the big day.
Of course, there is a serious side to our planning too. Mainly for our personal health, and also if we are to avoid further restrictions in the New Year. I put together a list of guidelines below, as a general reminder. But of course, there are formal guidelines on Gov.ie.
I believe that there are two main areas where we can adhere to the ‘rules’ and not throw all our hard work fighting Covid-19 away, just to have a merry Christmas.
- If visiting friends or family, social distancing should still be observed.
- If you are a visitor or people visit you, hand sanitiser should still be used.
- Try to avoid hugs, kisses and handshakes if reunited with friends and family.
- Don’t share items like crockery and glassware.
- Provide details to others for contact tracing
Give a little extra space
- If you can, make extra space between table settings.
- People from the same households should sit together.
- Avoid a buffet style Xmas eating set-up.
- Keep homes ventilated by opening doors and windows where possible.
- It might be good to wear masks when preparing and serving food.
One more thing
All that remains for me to say to you all is thank you for reading the Green Acres blog during 2020. On behalf of my family and the wider Green Acres family, I would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas and even better 2021. Take care and enjoy the wine you’re with.
#maskingforafriend – Talk Soon – James.