How to Enjoy the Holidays from the Point of View of Wine

madrona-solsticeOK, here’s a real question. How many of us stress out with the upcoming holidays as we try to shop, entertain, write Christmas cards, put in a seasonal movie or two, cook, be with family and still breath? I’m thinking maybe 99.2% of us.

And then we harken back to the days of being kids where running the electric train around the tree or finding a new pair of slippers by the side of the bed was the pentacle of our stress.

What is the secret of enjoying the month of December? In my book, it’s slowing down and smelling the holly and mistletoe!!!

As adults, we do need to balance the fact that we have responsibilities this time of the year. Marking off these responsibilities early in the season is one way to reduce the stress later in the season. “How?” you may ask!

So, here is the secret.  Wine!

Bear with me as I endeavor to explain.

Situation #1!  Uncle Bethusela and Aunt Kim in North Southern Nebraska are your favorite relatives. They deserve the best, most thoughtful, gift out there. You think of giving a cheese grater or maybe a raccoon, but neither gift really says what you want to say (and what if they already had a cheese grater!). And here’s where wine fits in perfectly. Everybody loves wine!

Knowing that Aunt Kim loves special wines, I’d do the “no-brainer” gift of The Cabernet Collection. This is a trio of our 2007, 2010 and 2014 Signature Cabernet Sauvignons. We put this exquisite collection together precisely for the intense oenophile (wine lover), and they don’t need to know that you only paid $100 for it ($95 for Wine Club Members)!

Now they’re happy because they have an amazing set of wines to enjoy over time, and you’ve already found them the perfect gift (and it’s not even December yet!).

Situation #2!  Like the 12 days of Christmas, you know that you have at least 12 holiday parties to attend this year because you’re that awesome! But with this awesomeness has come a packed schedule that leaves little time to find the perfect gift for the hosts.

So, here’s the question. Knowing that you are already late for the party, and you look around your house for something to bring, which of these items would be most appreciated by the hosts?

  1. A pound of hamburger from your refrigerator
  2. Two rolls of toilet paper
  3. A bottle of Madroña’s 2014 Hillside Collection Zinfandel

The answer is #3! And that is why you, as a clever person wanting to simplify your life, had already purchased Madroña’s Holiday Stock-up! For just $130 ($123 for our Wine Club Members), you get 4 bottles of our 2014 Hillside Zinfandel, 4 bottles of our 2014 Hillside Merlot, and 4 bottles of our El Tinto Lot 37.  Normally, this would cost $200, but your quick thinking and reactions by getting up to the winery for this special now means every perfect host gift is a mere pick out of the selection of Madroña wines right there next to the door.

Situation #3!  Your daughters have chosen to watch “The Mistletones” (their favorite holiday movie) for the seventh time this season. It’s true that you now can sing all the songs even when the volume is down, but it might just take a bit more patience this time. Luckily you had been up to the winery to pick up The Californian. This is a two bottle selection of “California’s” Variety, Zinfandel* with a bottle each of our 2014 and 2015 Hillside Collection Zinfandel ($32, and $27 for Wine Club Members).

Ah, with a glass of our spectacular Zinfandel, the meaning of “The Mistletones” becomes clearer, you relax, and life is better!

Situation #4! You’re hosting a party at your house. There’s a hint of stress in the house as the turkey went in the oven an hour late, the green beans with the mushroom soup and fried onions were done an hour ago, Aunt Freta is bringing her new politically opposite boyfriend, Frank, and Sparky (your dog) has made friends with a skunk.

This situation warrants screaming and crying, but you calmly remember the The Santa Special ($28) you picked up at the tasting room. With a half-bottle of our 2008 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon and a full bottle of our Non-Vintage Port—Lot 21, you have everything covered. The split of the ’08 Cabernet Sauvignon is aging perfectly, with smooth sultry palate just perfect for taking the edge off the beginning of the evening.

It turns out that Frank (who can’t smell anything since the operation) loves dogs and volunteered to wash Sparky with tomato juice. Aunt Freta had her deep-fryer in the car, and the turkey was done in 25 minutes.

And just after everyone had left the house, you relaxed into your leather chair in front of the fireplace with a glass of Non-Vintage Port while waiting for Santa to come after this perfect evening.

Situation #5The Stocking Stuffer is exactly that. Do you want to surprise your spouse with something wonderful? The above-mentioned ’08 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon is tasting spectacularly right now with rounded fruit and rounded tannins. And a half-bottle fits beautifully into a stocking hung (well) by the chimney with care. With only 10 cases left of this wine, this will go very quickly at the special $18 per bottle holiday price.

Ok, so I know that this blog is pretty much a blast of shameless promotion. But the original thought is still valid and important. The holidays are a time to enjoy, celebrate, and smile. And to do this with our busy American lives takes some real effort to relax.

So, treat yourself and your friends to the best gift of all, and that is time! (Wine actually comes in second!)

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!


*Zinfandel is actually from Croatia, not California. But we’d like to claim it if we could!

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