December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011 at home

Merry Christmas, dear reader. I'm home this year after several holidays at my childhood home in Los Angeles. Everything is focused on home, how good home feels, especially at Christmas.

For me, wine is always secondary at the holidays. Essential for the great holiday meals. Enjoyable for visiting with neighbors, family and friends. Just not the focus, and not necessarily the best match for my favorite holiday foods. One thing I'm missing this year in Portland are some good tamales, something I'd like to make fresh for Christmas one of these years, once I learn how to make them.

On Christmas night, it's just the family at home at the 1998 Laurel Glen Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain and flat iron steak, a onion and gruyere tart, Brussels sprouts (yes, named for the city) and the most essential of holiday foods, the mashed potato. Dinner will surely be delicious.

But the wine? It is mature, lovely and ready now but I'm sure has the staying power this producer is known for. This is aromatic cabernet, more in the Loire style than Bordeaux, more about tobacco and herbs and the caramelization of age than heavier, richer cabernet of the Medoc. If you're into that, and I am, this is a wine you will love, treasure even. Something you'll keep when others might not, sure you'll be rewarded. I'm sure you will.

This is how Christmas should be. Home. And for those who can't be home yet, a taste of what will be.

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