Sharing wine at Christmas without drowning in it

23 December 2021

This is the time of the year when wine consumption is at its highest. The most alert will have already made their selection of wines for the festive season. Some will even have been saving wines throughout the year to uncork them with their relatives in the days to come. There will also be those who, having bought wine throughout the year, will decide to save it and uncork other minor things for the family. Some people hope to make a splash over the festive season with wines that go off the beaten track, others go for the classics, well-known brands so that their relatives are aware that they have paid a little extra but without overdoing it, something that they themselves will know even though the rest of the family will not be aware of it. Be that as it may, it is wine time and that is a reason for all of us in the sector to rejoice.

The mind of each of us is set on the success of the wines we uncork and on not getting frustrated if the wines do not have the prominence we want.  There are a few things we can do to try to avoid this.

If you are going to put some of your best wines in these Christmas sessions, here are some tips that will help us to not crack up if the evening starts to go wrong.

The first thing to do is to define the order correctly. If we know the wines well, we will not need to uncork them beforehand, but if we are not sure about their style, it is advisable to uncork all the wines and taste them in order to define the correct order. The order must be marked not only by the level of intensity of the wines but also according to the moment in which we are going to consume them, that is to say, we will have to consider their consumption throughout the food that will be arriving at the table. Avoid anyone loitering around the wines with the intention of anticipating them. If you consider it appropriate and there is a certain familiarity, you can shake their hand to prevent them from reaching another of our wines. It is Christmas and all is forgiven. 

It may seem a minor issue, but wines are best enjoyed when we pay a little attention to what we are drinking. For this reason, it is important that those who contribute wines to the dinner act as masters of ceremony with a little information on the wine, because we run the risk that the bottle is drunk without paying the necessary attention, something that can irritate us if the wines are very good.

Avoid big speeches about each wine, it is only necessary to give the basic guidelines to understand where we are and what is expected from the area we are going to consume. Information about the grapes used, the vintage and a brief comment on the style of the area will be enough to start enjoying the wine more.

When we make a leap to the second wine, it is convenient to inform about the new wine, just as we did with the first one. There will be some absent-minded people who serve themselves without realising that the bottle is different. Don't lose your patience, this usually happens. If you see him/her, don't call his/her attention to it because he/she might think that you are an unbearable person and he/she might feel attacked. The lunch or dinner should be harmonious.  When serving the second wine, we can take the opportunity to make a small comparison between the style of the previous wine and the new one, allowing people to give their opinion. In this way you will allow the rest of the diners to get involved and generate a brief conversation around the wine. If they don't pay attention to you, you can always call the attention of the diner who speaks the loudest or laughs the loudest and tell him or her to share it so that "we can all laugh too", something that worked perfectly when we were kids.

If after the second bottle you see that the family members are too distracted, focus on those who are most like-minded. At this stage of the evening it is more than likely that you won't be able to get the more rebellious ones back on track. As the wines go down, we will lose followers, it is a reality, the sooner you assimilate it the better. This will lead us to tie ourselves to the unwary who continue to pay attention to us and literally give them the night.

It is more than likely that all your fears have been fulfilled, and that the wine is flowing but nobody pays attention to it as you expected. In this case, acceptance and assimilation of the new reality is the best advice we can give you. All will be lost, but you will always be able to tell yourself how wonderful the wine you are drinking is.

Although it may seem to you that everything has gone wrong, if your wines have been a success, you will notice a particularly relaxed and pleasant atmosphere, and you will know that an important part of this atmosphere is thanks to your careful selection. Surely by now you have already thought of a less ambitious selection for the next parties. Don't worry, this will be erased from your mind and you will go back to getting involved as usual with wines because you like them. Because Christmas with good wine and, above all, shared, is much better.

    Written by Redacción