Christmas is nearly upon us. So, this month our team share what they’re looking forward to eating and drinking over the festive season – as well as what traditions, old and new, they’ll be celebrating. Have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Sarah Abbott MW, our founder and director
This feels confessional, but for various reasons this is going to be a restrained Christmas for me when it comes to actually drinking. I still taste wine of course, and I’m using that skill, previously reserved for professional contexts, much more at home. I’m grateful that I’m still able to explore and stay connected to that wine world. I always choose the wine for Christmas dinner with my extended family and I love doing that. They appreciate quality and are all brilliant cooks, but they’re not wine geeks. And that encourages me to think beyond the usual wine classics. I’ve seen from my family that people can be turned onto wine in a moment. My twin nephews have recently turned 21 and, following a skartvelian conversion involving Saperavi last Christmas, have emerged as huge wine fans. They’re medical students but they don’t confirm to the student cliche (well, the one I remember) of selecting wine by correlating the lowest available price with the highest available alcohol. They are so into good red wine, and save up to buy it. So I’m arranging a Wine Auntie red wine masterclass while they’re home this Christmas. Grenache. I’m currently quite obsessed with Grenache. And my family are really curious about English wine so I am going to go for that. I hope this doesn’t make me a bad person, but I’m saving my really smart bottles until next Christmas. When I can drink them.
Niki Shefras, our operations whizz
Being vegan and spending the festive season with my folks (diehard carnivores and lovers of all things dairy!) in Spain, is always an interesting challenge and lesson in balance and going with the flow. So guilt free, I will be sure to enjoy a little Panettone indulgence as it is always on hand at home and so good toasted with butter for breakfast. Each year even though I make the traditional turkey for everyone else, I am still perfecting the ultimate nut roast for myself!
At midday there is always a champagne cork popping at my folks home, and no doubt a glass of whatever they are opening will be thrust upon me from the raid on my step-father’s cellar. There is a fine Hacienda Monasterio Reserva Especial Ribero Del Duero that always seems to go down well, and no doubt the Port will be going around which will delight my other half. But (and I appreciate that I am writing this on a wine blog!), what I am really, really looking forward to, is freshly squeezed organic orange juice from the local “campo”, there is nothing like it; liquid sunshine for the soul.For me Christmas tradition is about family and getting together in community singing, dancing, eating together, living life and honouring connection. I can’t wait for that.
Madeleine Waters, our PR partner
I’m a creature of habit and I love the whole traditional turkey with all the trimmings so that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’ve decided that we will be drinking cocktails this year so I’m looking forward to experimenting with my shaker. I’m going to be using my client Domaine des Tourelles’ new Lebanese gin, GinBey, as the base for some of them, it’s delicious.As for Christmas traditions – we’re not starting any new ones as such. I’m just so excited to be together as a family again. I’m sure that’s everyone’s wish but last year was the first Christmas we spent without our daughter and I’m very much looking forward to having her home this year!
Celia Bryan-Brown, our content writer
Like Madeleine I am a huge fan of the traditional Christmas spread. I must be one of the few people who truly love turkey, sprouts and bread sauce! I am very much hoping that we make it to my mother’s house this year for lunch with the family after last year locked down with just my husband. As for what we’ll be drinking – we recently moved out of London and have become huge fans of Harrow & Hope fizz, which is made locally to us.
Traditions wise, I was hoping to go to Midnight Mass again, but suspect that may be cancelled again, sadly. But I am looking forward to a new tradition my husband and I have shared for the past couple of years. Vaguely Scandinavian-inspired, we have homemade blinis and really good smoked salmon with caviar and a bottle of champagne on Christmas Eve, just the two of us.
Ellie Voci, our digital guru
Based on the hopeful assumption I’m still heading stateside for the holidays – I cannot wait to eat my mom’s chocolate chip M&M cookies, her gingersnap cookies, and my sister’s homemade birthday cake. It’s been 2 years without these delicious goodies in my life and I could not be more excited. And as for what we’ll be drinking, I’m looking forward to bringing some Prosecco Superiore DOCG back to the states.
My family being altogether again is the tradition I’m keenest to reinstate! But we’re also starting a new tradition this year where anyone who brings up politics (my uncle), has to put $5 in the pot…