A Time for Reflection

Over a holiday beverage

By Clarence Jackson

There’s something about the calm of winter; you know, how quiet and muffled it seems outside, particularly in the morning or at night. The crunch of the snow under-foot, the crispness of the air, and the aromatics from a wood-burning fireplace. It’s that insulating effect the snow has, like a big comfy Hudson’s Bay blanket.

It’s also seeing most (save for hardy teens, of course) bundled up like they’re on an arctic expedition that, for me, is kind of nice… almost humourous. When you were young, the effort required to bundle up seemed like a chore and always had an effect on your desire to go out for a visit. Going out to play though, not so much. The post play unbundling seemed more like a sport, with each attempting a personal best. Maybe it was the hot chocolate?

TintoNegro-Uco-Valley-'12-Bottle-Shot

TintoNegro Malbec Uco Valley

(Mendoza, Argentina; $15.99 Manitoba Liquor Marts and beyond)

A beautiful, full-bodied, seriously endowed Malbec, it possesses a dense purple color along with a sweet bouquet of blueberry and black raspberry fruit interwoven with camphor, licorice and spring flowers, as well as a touch of oak.”

erobertparker.com

As an adult, I now see the bundling and unbundling as a form of art: done sensibly with care and efficiency. You see, we love to entertain and never more so than during the holiday season. We thoroughly enjoy having friends and family over for dinner, delicious snacks and casual drinks. And, increasingly, we’re at more than one address an evening. This is where the efficiency comes in.

Planning for ease of ingress and egress is very important when running from function to function, as is planning your own function. As a rule we are casual in how we entertain. We love to cook and bake and enjoy the stages of a dinner, ultimately ending up in the dining room at the table. But we also enjoy a good kitchen party with snacks covering the island — think tapas, cheese, charcuterie and holiday baking — wine on the dining room hutch, cocktails at the bar and guests grazing, enjoying great conversation and music.

The holiday season is one for family and friends to take a step back in reflection and take the time to enjoy each other, your good fortune and to be thankful. It is also a time to recognize those less fortunate and show compassion.

Tabali-Res-Esp-Chd-'12-Bottle-Shot

Viña Tabalí Reserva Especial Chardonnay 

(Limarí Valley, Chile; $19.99 Manitoba Liquor Marts and beyond)

“It has a smoky, flinty nose akin to a young Chablis, with notes of flowers and citric fruit. The palate is fresh and vertical, which makes you salivate. It has great acidity, elegance and balance. A superb Chardonnay at a great price.”
erobertparker.com