This month’s theme naturally involves the holidays, but as you might expect there is a little twist to it! This time, it’s all about the other holidays:
Pick any winter holiday or observance EXCEPT Hanukkah, Christmas Day, Kwanzaa, or New Years Day or Eve, and choose a wine to celebrate it! For purposes of this WBW, the holiday date chosen must be between December 7, 2009 and January 7, 2010. You may also pair a food with your chosen holiday and wine, but that is optional.
You can pick a special observance that already has meaning to you,
I was all set to go….then…my heart sank…Dates between December 7th and January 7th. As the famous Charlie Brown would say “UGH!!!”
The holiday I was set to pick was St. Nicholas day. Which is celebrated on DECEMBER 6th! Off by one friggin day!
As a child my brothers and I loved St. Nick day. We would wake up in the morning and find a stocking hung from our bead post. It was always filled with oranges or apples, pencils, candy, small toys, books, money, lotto tickets….you get the picture. For my brothers and I, this was the start of the Christmas season. St. Nick day was a day of happiness before we got ourselves ready for school.
Here is a little history about the holiday:
The tradition of Saint Nicholas Day, usually on 6 December, is a festival for children in many countries in Europe related to surviving legends of the saint, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts.
While feasts of Saint Nicholas are not observed nationally, cities with strong German influences like Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and St. Louis celebrate St. Nick’s Day on a scale similar to the German custom. On 5 December, the Eve of St. Nicholas Day, each child puts one empty shoe outside their bedroom door or on a staircase before they go to sleep. Some put it outside on a porch. The following morning of 6 December, the children awake to find that St. Nick has filled their footwear with candy and small presents (if the children have been good) or coal (if not). Gifts often include chocolate gold coins to represent the gold St. Nick gave to the poor and a piece of fruit, often an orange or apple. For these children, the relationship between St. Nick and Santa Claus is not clearly defined, although St. Nick is usually explained to be a helper of Santa. The tradition of St. Nick’s Day is firmly established in the Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Cleveland and St. Louis communities, with parents often continuing to observe the day with their adult children. Widespread adoption of observing the tradition has spread among the German, Polish, Belgian and Dutch communities throughout Iowa and Wisconsin, and is carried out through modern times. *(Taken from Wikipedia)
My parents, especially on my mother’s side have German in them, where this tradition may have started. My parents always told me that St. Nick was Santa’s helper, just as it states above. To this day, my parents still send me and my wife something…usually lotto tickets. This year we won $25.00! This is a tradition I plan on continuing with our own children.
So I decided to pick another holiday that falls in the category, described by El Jefe. I chose the Epiphany, Three Kings day, or Little Christmas. This holiday is a holiday that is very important in Latin American and Spanish speaking countries, but is also celebrated across the world. This is the last day of the 12 days of Christmas. You all know the song…”On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….”. The twelfth day is the day of the Epiphany. The day the Three Kings came to give gifts to the Magi. It’s official holiday is January 6th.
Doing research on this holiday, I also came to find out that this is celebrated throughout Ireland. There is alot of Irish in me, and this was a holiday I did not know the Irish celebrate. January 6th was also the official Christmas day in the Roman calendar; we now follow the Gregorian calendar, where Christmas is celebrate on December 25th.
As a child, our family never did much on this day, but it was important to my brothers and me that we put the three kings into the manger scene in my parents’ front window.
This has now been my official day that Christmas Cards must be received. So on this Wine Blogging Wednesday, I present you the wine I am drinking while finishing my Christmas Cards…Pindar Vineyards 2008 Viogner. This retailed for $24.95 in the tasting room and I am sad to say it is sold out. I wish I had picked up more of this. It truly was a fantastic wine. If you ever see it, grab it…and let me know where you saw it.
First a little history and Pronunciation: Viognier is pronounced like this “vee-yohn-yay” If you say it wrong…don’t worry, and it’s ok to be corrected. I still goof and get corrected all the time. Viognier is a very difficult grape to grow and there are very few who can grow this on Long Island. But when grown correctly and handled correctly, you have a beautiful fruit forward, highly floral aromatic white wine. This wine is so good; it could become my favorite white varietal.
The most interesting tid bit I found on line about this varietal was how I possibly got its name. From the roman translation, via Gehennae, when translated, it means “road to hell”. Is it that difficult?
On the nose I was getting alot of Apple and Pear with a touch of melon. There was a floral element that I could not put my finger on. I was also getting this aroma of yeast and nutmeg. Very beautiful nose. I could sniff this wine for days.
The taste was even better. It had some of the apple and pear elements, but with a hint of creaminess. I was also picking up a little apricot and a soft baking spice. It was velvety and lush with a long finish that kept escalating.
I enjoyed this wine alone, without food. And it was beautiful. This wine was perfect for writing out Christmas cards. With 20 something inches of snow of the ground, this wine brought be back to the summer. Great memories of fun in the sun on the North Fork. It did help clean the palate after licking 50 something envelops! (I’m kidding)
This Christmas, I wish for three things;
- More People celebrate St. Nicholas Day
- More People give January 6 more love & Christmas Cards
- More Viognier from Long Island
Before I go, I must thank Jeff “El Jefe” Stai from Twisted Oak Winery for hosting and running with the idea. I thank Lenn Thompson from the New York Cork Report for coming up with Wine Blogging Wednesday 64 months ago. And to Pindar and Less at Pindar Vineyards for introducing me to Viognier and this bottle of goodness!
“Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Night!”