Christmas Day is just about over with here in Japan, but it's just beginning in the US. In case you're wondering how it's going to turn out, I can tell you it will be a good one, so get ready to enjoy it.
Christmas in Japan, like most things in this country, is done a little differently. As a holiday, it's much closer to Valentine's Day than any other holiday -- it's all about couples. In particular unmarried dating couples, who spend the holiday snuggling, going out for fancy meals, and giving each other (often expensive) gifts.
Which ain't a bad way to spend Christmas no matter who you are.
I've always thought that holidays are the best time to give yourself a gift, though that may be just a convenient rationalization for retail therapy on my part.
But one of the best gifts you can give yourself this holiday is to actually enjoy that nice bottle of wine that you've been saving for a good occasion. You know, the one that's just a little too expensive to justify opening on most occasions? Or the one that you've been aging for a few years in anticipation of it getting just a little bit better?
No matter what your religious affiliation, the winter holidays are at least an occasion to celebrate all the ways that we are so lucky in life. And one of those is certainly the love of wine and the ability to afford it.
So pop open that special bottle, or convince your partner to do it, and enjoy yourselves a bit. It's Christmas, after all, and we all enjoy a little present, even if we have to give it to ourselves. Just remember, gifts of wine are even more special when they are shared.
I'm drinking (sake) to your health. Merry Christmas.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Warm Up: The North Fork of Long Island I'll Drink to That: Kareem Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards 2015 Family Winemakers Tasting: August 16, San Francisco I'll Drink to That: Ryan Looper of T. Edward Wines Lost Treasures in the Sierra Foothills: The Wines of Renaissance Vineyards Warm Up: The Wachau I'll Drink to That: Leo Alzinger of Weingut Alzinger Petaluma Gap Wine Tasting: August 8th, Petaluma, CA I'll Drink to That: Monica Samuels of Vine Connections Vinography Images: Cool Climate Chardonnay
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune