THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE Wine and Food Diary of Giles MacDonogh

Reminiscing about Christmas Food & Wines 2022

Written by Giles MacDonogh

Reminiscing about Christmas Food & Wines 2022

Posted: 3rd January 2023

We are getting old. The house is the oldest, followed by me. The children are still young, but they too are getting older and they like wine more and more. With wine the story is much the same. We subsist on cheap stuff from local shops, but a lot of the rest is old. Some is certainly on the brink of being too old to drink, but it soldiers on, festering before the mellowing year; a situation aggravated by the infrequency with which we take a punt on some of these old bottles, I still abide by the illusion that we are waiting for the appropriate person to drop round to share them with us. ‘Some day he’ll come along…’

Certain collections are dying out. This year we said goodbye to my last bottle of great Italian wine. We have no more top white burgundy, and the red Burgundy cache is thinning out. We are also down to our last bottle of vintage port, although that is something only ever opened at Christmas. Even if there were to be some sort of windfall in 2023, I would still find it a problem to lay my hands on any really mature wines at realistic prices. With time we will have to accept that the wines we drink at Christmas may not be as good as they were.

As ever the tree went up after sunset on the 24th, and we waited for a friend to come round for dinner. She arrived clutching a bottle of Boller (which was unexpected), so we drank that before going on to the Gardet Brut Tradition that we were going to offer her. Gardet in Chigny-les-Roses, just south-east of Reims was the house champagne of le père Legrand in the Galerie Vivienne when I discovered it in the eighties. With champagne selling for knock-out prices, it is still notably good value. Of course it hardly compares to Boller, but it kept its end up, even with the smoked salmon.


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Giles MacDonogh

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