What makes this season so magical is the events you know to look forward to. Now not every tradition will go on. Not every tradition is going to last forever. Things end, but things also begin. Most importantly the new traditions that just came together effortlessly are the ones you look forward to the most.
With that being said, this is the fourth year of our dear friends’ tree decorating party.
Here’s the previous two years’ decorating parties (here and then over here).
It has gone from a spontaneous event to one that I look forward to every December. And it’s gone from one house to a new location, yet the principle folks remained en tact. While the group was smaller, it was still the perfect set of people to celebrate this spectacular time of year with equally spectacular company.
I brought two bottles to share, and I chose to splurge just a little more. It’s part of what life and the holidays are all about. And when i mean splurging, I mean around $14-$15 for these two wines.
One was for the dinner, the other was for everything else. And actually both bottles were meant for the snacks, the meal, the decorating, and then the admiring.
With that being said, both bottles deliberately had fancy red labels to commemorate this wonderful time of year.
First was the 2015 Red Knot Shiraz from Shingleback Wine.
The purpose of this was for the main course. But you know how that goes. Around this time of year, or even many other situations, wine just starts getting opened and before we even let it breathe for a few minutes, it’s almost done.
The snack display was more than enough to help complement this bottle and please even the most discriminate of palates. Fortunately, this group is pretty laid back that the wine snob factor is kept at bay, or in this instance, kept at umm.. Well I had something clever to say but I forgot, so I’ll just leave that one on hold.
This wine is fairly dark and what else would you expect from a Shiraz? It’s full bodies and loaded with dark fruits and maybe some cloves to add a little stimulation to our holiday feast. Honestly, this wine was solid but it didn’t really wow me in any way. Thankfully, it was shared, devoured, and decimated before I could get to having even a second glass.
But it paired perfectly with this incredible dinner. The plate of fish, potatoes, and other various vegetables was stellar enough that any halfway decent wine was going to work here. Everyone was enjoying themselves. Our hosts broke out the fancier plates so you know we were a part of something special.
Then came the tree decorating. Actually we were intermittently decorating, snacking, eating, drinking, and singing along to our favorite Christmas Carols. At times it seemed like we were making fun of some of these songs we’ve heard so many times. But that’s how you know you’re having a good time. The same joke, the same song, or the same anything can still resonate and give you a positive feeling and association after all this time. This is where I really started to feel it. But I felt it before I even got there. More on that near the end.
The 2014 Three Rivers Red from Three Rivers Winery was more along the lines of what I like to drink. One of the descriptions I read noted Strawberry Pie. That along with the color is what drew me to it. I wish I tasted some of that strawberry, but I did taste a lot of berries, cherries, and what I assume may have been hints of black currant. In some descriptions I’ve read cedar and tea. Could it be?
But this was the after dinner wine, which fits the any time of wine that this red blend perfectly represents. I hope my friends finished off the rest as half the bottle was still there.
Both wines are likely available in retailers near you. Here’s Shingleback’s contact info and likewise here is Three Rivers’.
Three and a half hours of celebrating, decorating, and enjoying each others company felt like five minutes. It went by so quickly, that I almost feel it wasn’t enough. Maybe it was just right. Our lives are getting busier, life goes on, things pile up, and our schedules continue to spread and stretch us too thin. But I’m so grateful this party continues.
Not one year versus another is my favorite. They’re all my favorites. A different story is told each year and the joy of how we celebrate is the constant that keeps us coming back.
There’s a few traditions I’ve already attended that I wasn’t feeling as in previous years, and didn’t feel the inspiration to write about. This one was a no brainer. A small gathering of some of the best people is going to make this easier to write about, and all the other little details (which to me are the most important) are easier to remember.
I will always remember and cherish this event. It’s so much fun when Christmas comes to town.
Peace Be With You.