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

Memory of Christmas past

Written by Giles MacDonogh

Memories of Christmas past

From the Wine and Food Diary of Giles MacDonogh

Every Christmas we muster ‘dusty bottles’ (as one regular reader calls them). It is a rare opportunity to forage around and filch out a few good things to drink with the feast. I am sorry to say there are fewer good bottles every year, only the dust increases exponentially.
Books don’t help, and there are still plenty of those. The books are a consolation, but they have become completely valueless.A testament to a lost civilisation.To be honest, the wine stock looks a bit sad. We have no more great white burgundy and the red is thinning out, I suspect we may have had the last bottle of port, but my daughter has volunteered some of hers for next year. We have finished off my small stock of well-tempered Amarone; but… there are things we do have, and we will just have to adapt. We intend to go down drinking, well.


Advent is not really a time for putting out great wines, so we begin to relax only after the sun goes down on Christmas Eve and the tree goes up. There was a good menu. I had managed to secure the ingredients for the traditional terrine and there was a single lobster for the three of us fish eaters. I turned that into a salad with some homemade mayonnaise.

Then we had a brill with dill butter followed by cheese (Vacherin Mont d’Or, St Marcellin and Colston Bassett Stilton). The last course was my wife’s coffee and chestnut bûche de Noël.

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Giles MacDonogh

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