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Merry Christmas from Vinography

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.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.