We always drank good wine at Christmas, but the only time we opened a very good bottle (read: very expensive) was last year, when the parties were just in one family and, for the first time, it did. there were only two of us.
In 1993, a wine merchant saw a 12th bottle of Ch Lafleur 1982 in the basement of our house. He had a client who could pay a lot of money and persuaded me to swap red bordeaux to buy £ 1,415 wines: six bottles of rare bordeaux, Ch Latour 1970 (formerly drunk, unfortunately), Ch de Fargues 1983 case (good Sauternes) most – one bottle left) and a 12-liter bottle of red burgundy, the 1989 Chambertin wine of the famous Domaine Armand Rousseau, then sells for £ 540, equivalent to £ 45. a bottle.
Modern burgundy lovers will breathe a sigh of relief at this price. This has become meteoric rising interest in burgundy, which is made much smaller than bordeaux. A rare wine like Chambertin from one of Burgundy’s most famous producers sells for thousands of pounds today. And 1989, a good vintage, is impossible to buy (but now it may be more expensive than Ch Lafleur 1982).
During those years, I gave birth to a seven-year-old daughter-in-law from Chambertin in 1989, and my fiancé’s hard work paid off to keep the wine in his state. But last year one was left in our basement (room temperature up to 13C), so as the Christmas festivities ended smoothly in the UK, I thought it was a bottle to pay for missing children, grandchildren, siblings and the lost. Other than that, I always think that the green burgundy, or Pinot Noir that grows anywhere, goes very well with Turkey and the sweet series that is often known as the “decoration”.
In 2020 our Christmas meat was tragically cut, and the other half was eaten by our son and his family who live 20 minutes away. more violets over time. These notes were the strongest in an inch or two that we keep in the freezing cold on Boxing Day.
Usually, we are about 20 around the Christmas table. When the grandchildren arrived, my husband’s habit of inviting anyone who could enjoy the chair had to be reduced. For years, perhaps the most unappreciative visitor was the Russian boyfriend of someone we know well, who spent so much time on Christmas Day just looking Hello! magazine. Neighbors in various neighborhoods seem to enjoy our hospitality.
As the children grew older, we had a succession of families from faraway places, mostly from New York, Singapore, Auckland and Adelaide. Australians loved to celebrate Christmas in the winter and were very welcome, less so because they brought the magnum of Penfolds Grange, Australia’s most famous wine.
But in the pre-Uber era it was the devil’s job to get them back to their hotel. Well, really, it became Nick’s job, after, as usual, to cook and prepare a lot after Christmas. (As for my contribution, it’s hard to pull the strings, I assure you, and I make brandy butter compassionately.)
For at least two Christmas we congratulated Robert Thomson, also an Australian, former editor of Life & Arts (this was before FT Weekend Magazine) and is now the CEO of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. He came with his beautiful wife Ping. . They got married while working in Asia, and Christmas Day was their wedding anniversary.
For many years a family joined us for a Christmas dinner with their mother, who had already celebrated Hanukkah with their family, sharing a mass of thin salmon slices on rye bread served as we ate before we dipped in champagne gin. After the couple separated, the salmon job fell to our eldest daughter. When I asked her to remember our family Christmas they also included “Kettle Chips before they were known” and “you always have a pen and paper to keep the thank you notes we need to write”.
He also reminded me that on Christmas day we would leave my father’s socks in front of the fire, each with his name on it, and close the door to the room and hide the keys. On Christmas morning, we were often harassed by words like “Just make a cup of tea” or “Let me light a fire” before finding the key (not always) and shoving it into a fragrant room. and the scent of Christmas tree pine, mixed with broomsticks left for Father Christmas.
Surely the three were tired of opening their gifts. There was a time when our son was out of control so we had to put the tree, the gift maker, in the dining room.
The first time the girls took to decorating the Christmas dinner table – my mother-in-law’s silver-plated candles with lots of candles – seemed like a big deal. It also left me more time to wrestle with wine. White for red-phobic girls is a good, heavy red (not usually bordeaux red, very dry) for all of us.
At the end of the meal, I put a glass of sweet wine on the table, almost always including the decanter of the port (senior by Stichelton), before returning to the fire to sleep or Trivial Pursuit or, for that matter. every child, the last gift I left with care. Not really necessary. But then, Christmas, fortunately for most of us, is not important.
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