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Merry Christmas Fellow Winos!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

As the holidays ramp up I just wanted to share a Merry Christmas to Leah and all our fellow Winos!  May your days be filled with laughter, good food, and the Love from holiday memories you cherish. 


We shared a bottle of 2011 family Chardonnay last evening.  A 2009 bottle of family Pinot Noir, a bit past its prime, is disappearing with family stories as I type.  And later tonight as we feast on the Italian Christmas Eve tradition of seven fish, I suspect we'll uncork a favorite no year white table wine from a friend's vineyard.


Merry Christmas all and have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!



post #2 of 17
Merry Christmas Ray and all!

What a sensational post!

The seven fish meal, or any major fish and seafood meal, always gets me so very excited and the tradition sounds exquisite!

Your wines also sound so meaningful and sentimental with the family connection!

My plans are to get on tomorrow and post something to all, but I am delighted to see that you are here Ray, and hope that others will chime in as well with their holiday fare.

I recently had a Hall Cabernet that I just adored, and will now have another on New Year's Eve with my cattlemen's cutlet bone-in New Zealand grass fed ribeye steak, encrusted in a Tuscan herb salt that I am whipping up. Yeehaw!

So here is a wonderful Christmas wish, that everybody is both naughty and nice! I do believe that we need a little of both, and perhaps wine blends those two qualities together! (And that's why I love wine)!

Cheers and warm wishes, Leah
post #3 of 17
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

We had a happy accident last night as I was preparing the Seven Fishes Christmas Eve meal.  It varies from year to year but I normally include cod, shrimp, clams, scallops, haddock, halibut, and calamari.  I normally fix a Cioppino style fish soup using shrimp, clams, calamari, and scallops.  I was actually going to smoke the scallops but was outvoted on that point.  Then it turns out no one was in the mood for the red soup but I had already thawed the fish.  We went about eating the cod salad, aka, baccala, haddock, shrimp and halibut but suddenly I was without 3 of my 7 fishes.  As I finished my plate I thought, "What the heck, I'll just sauté the remaining shrimp, clams, calamari, and scallops so I can eat it that way and have my seven fishes."  


As the sauté was simmering in a buttery EVOO with salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and fresh chopped garlic I looked into the fridge to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything for dinner.  I spied the container of heavy cream I had used a small part of the night before to make a tomato basil soup.  WHAM! A flash of inspiration.  The cream went into the sauté and with the liquid that had sweat out of the fish............instant fish soup!  It wasn't a chowder because it had no onion and potato, but it was delicious! 


I put the soup in a bowl with some oyster crackers and fresh chopped chives.  My wife and daughter saw me eating it with the Amish bread I had made the day before. "What's that? they asked.  "Fish soup no one wanted" I answered.  They both jumped up and ran to the kitchen.  My wife is a born and raised Texan who tolerates my Christmas Eve tradition.  Fish to her is a close cousin to Kryptonite and Superman.  She looked at me and said "This is absolutely delicious.  It is so light and refreshing.  Please make this again next year instead of the red soup."  In that instant a new Christmas tradition was born.


The wine never got uncorked, but it will today! 


Sorry no pics, but lots of memories!


Merry Christmas Leah,



post #5 of 17

Oh Ray this sounds so incredible!!!! I love those things, discovered by accident, (just as Champagne was after all), and your meal did just sound so very tremendous!


As a cioppino lover, who once held a cioppino party for 80, and requested that everyone wear red, your palate and family doings just ring true to my heart!


Merry Christmas to you and your wife and your family! It sounds indeed like you are doing it well!


Cheers! - Leah




post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Wow, a cioppino party for 80!!!!  I can't even imagine.  Very impressive Leah, and those pics made my mouth water.


Here's a bit more Christmas joy we shared.  As a tribute to my wife's German ancestry we made Gluhwein Christmas night.  Here is the recipe and the backstory.   




This traditional hot beverage is called Gluhwein (pronounced Gluu-vine) in Bavaria.  Gluhwein means "glow wine."  It is a festive seasonal drink.  I was introduced to Gluhwein when my wife and I went to Innsbruck, Austria on January 1, 1988, the day after I got out of the Navy. A senior chief I worked with at the time said I had to try the local seasonal beverage called Gluhwein.  The tavern in the basement of the hotel where we stayed served Gluhwein in ceramic carafes and cups.  We loved it!  We tried for years to duplicate the flavor since with no success.  When we found the recipe below we could tell just from the smell alone it was perfect. 


I got this recipe from Panera Bread Company.  It was called Donna's Glow Wine.  It makes a party sized volume of Gluhwein so the recipe can be cut in half, which is what I do at home.  With the minor adjustments I made to her recipe (already included below), this is EXACTLY what we remember drinking in Innsbruck.  The type of red wine you use makes a big difference in taste. Choose a fruitier wine for smooth drinkability, sometimes too smooth, but it is by far the wine of choice when served at a party.  We typically use an Old Vine Zinfandel.  A dry red wine changes the flavor quite a bit, slows down the consumption, but is less popular for people trying it for the first time.  


Ingredients (Cut in half for two - four people)
3 quarts water
6 tea bags (black tea)
1 lemon, peeled and cut into wedges
2 oranges, peeled, thinly sliced
1 cup sugar
2 bottles  red wine (choose a fruity one like Red Zinfandel, Merlot, Beaujolais, Pinot Noir)
1 pint dark, spiced rum
3 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves



1. Bring the water to a boil in a large nonreactive pot. Add tea bags. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Steep tea for 5 minutes.

2. Remove tea bags. Add lemon, oranges, sugar, wine, rum, cinnamon, and cloves. Gently reheat heat for about 10 minutes. Keep it covered while heating it to avoid cooking off all the alcohol.  Remove cloves, cinnamon sticks, and fruit. Serve warm.

post #7 of 17

Hi Ray!


Now that sounds incredible!!! (And, much like the Swedish, "Glögg" and like so much warming fun on a cold winter's day)!


I love the memories and stories - hence my enjoyment of this section or "group" the most on this site, as we share such very meaningful and fun times.


Indeed, try as I might, I have never surpassed the Cioppino party, despite entertaining since then - large and small - and have made a note, if even for 4 or 6 people even, to "play it again Sam" in 2015, and at least make cioppino, from scratch, on one day during next year!


Meanwhile, your recipe is "THE CHRISTMAS GIFT" to all of us! Amazing how heartwarming and terrific that sort of thing is! (I'm not a fan of much besides straight wine, and yet can bend for that type of thing, having been introduced to it in Sweden when living there for a year, and falling in love with it).


YOUR recipe looks just so incredible!!! Thank you for sharing! Everyone should try it!!!! Fantastic!!


Cheers and warm wishes, Leah

post #8 of 17
We had seafood chowder on Christmas Eve too!! I revised (I think improved) my recipe from years past in that I made it more like a traditional chowder and less like a super thick stew. It was very simple, shrimp and lobster meat, onions celery and bacon in cream seasoned with thyme and sherry. I honestly can't remember what wine we were drinking, which I guess could be a good or a bad sign 😜.
Hope you all had a Merry one!!

Edit: I forgot I also put diced Yukon Gold potatoes in the chowder.
Edited by Mdboatbum - 12/27/14 at 8:27am
post #9 of 17

Andrew, how fabulous!


I'm not sure which I love more...the fact that you have been playing with your seafood chowder or that you cannot remember which wine! Either way, Twas a damn fine night and season, right? Terrific to here!


This Group is such a gift! I love that people feel comfortable sharing their family stories, or travel stories, or any stories! That is what wine is about, and good toasting, smoking, grilling, and chilling, and all!


Happy Saturday to everyone!!!!!! (Drinking Greek white wine right now, and so "Steeneyasu, Steeneyamus," and so it goes!!!!!!!! - Leah

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Good Morning Leah,


You are always so generous and genuine with your compliments.  That is your year-round Christmas Spirit Gift to us all.


I have never heard of the Swedish Glögg so I looked it up online. I found a delicious sounding recipe on All-Recipes.com and put it in my personal recipe file.  YUM!  Thanks for sharing your experience. 


Have a fantastic Saturday.



post #11 of 17

Ray thank you tons for nice words, AND for this extra recipe!


Now I think we all need a winter party, and with Cioppino and this drink of yours, whether Bavarian style, Swedish style, or whatever mix between!


How fun!


I love learning! And love seeing ways to create new things! Thank you so much!


Everybody, are you getting this??? T'is good stuff!!!!


Happy all!!!!!! Cheers! - Leah

post #12 of 17
Happy new week great Winos and happy final week of 2014!

Here's today' simple scallops and brown rice spaghetti paired with Greek wine.

I am smoking and grilling on New Year's Eve and will thus come share my doings. Please do the same!
Cheers! - Leah

post #13 of 17

I brought coffee dusted grilled wild boar loins to a friend yesterday and we meandered through so much Bordeaux that I am now convinced my dreams tonight will be in French!
Happy New Year's Eve! Make it amazing!
Cheers! - Leah
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

Happy New Year's Leah!


Okay, you'll get a kick out of this.  We visited my Dad and sister the last few days.  They live in SoCal, we're in NorCal, so it is about a 7 hour drive with stops and holiday traffic.  We took them wine and I received a bottle in return from my sister.  I looked at the bottle and have been scratching my head for days trying to figure out where I'd seen that EXACT bottle before.  I even mentioned it to my wife, Dad, and sister when she gave it to me. 


This morning your post about the wild boar popped up and the mystery was solved!  Ahhhh, I can sleep again.


Enjoy the day and the evening.  Ring in the New Year with some fun!




post #15 of 17
Yay Ray!! I love that wine so much! Lucky you to receive one!

I WAS doing a reverse sear Bone-in ribeye, grass fed originally for today and encrusted in a Tuscan herb salt that I was whipping up, but my husband had a stomach flu and so the thick steaks will wait, The Hall Cab which I was pairing will wait too, and instead I just ate some brown rice spaghetti with canned snails and garlic and such but that was good as well.
Happy new year indeed and enjoy that quite beautiful wine! Glad you saw family!
Cheers! - Leah

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Yum, yum and more yum!  Too bad for hubby's tummy.  We've all had a bit of his issues off and on the last few weeks. 


I'm going with our traditional apple, onion, and "double smoked ham" (a new addition to the recipe) 15 bean soup for New Years.  It is simmering away and reducing on the stove as I type.  We'll finally break open the white table wine from the friend's vineyard we missed Christmas Eve as we curl up at home and miss all the craziness tonight. 





post #17 of 17
Oh that looks wonderful! Happy new year! I bet it smelled amazingly too! And, the adorable duck wine cover is just terrific!
Happy 2015!
More later on...
Cheers! - Leah
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