Here it is, the day after Christmas, and you're tired and bloated and probably broke. Ho Ho Ho! With the holiday bills coming due, that broke feeling might not go away for a while.
If you're like me, you drank only the good stuff over the holiday, and now 'tis the season for post-holiday belt tightening, or at least it will be as soon as we survive the New Year. With that in mind I put together a Belt-Tightener's Top 10 of California wine. There are five whites and fivereds and none of the bottles cost more than $20.
There are a lot of Champagne chauvinists out there. It's not that I can't relate. I don't use a saber to open a bottle of great Champagne; I use one to fend off challengers for the last glass. Yes, some Champagne is that good and without peer.
And yet there are many wine lovers who are still convinced that value is the only saving grace of California sparkling wine. If you're going to spend more than $20 or $25, look elsewhere, they say.
I've been rooting around my wine cellar recently trying to decide what to open for the holidays.
Christmas Eve is easy because the menu is always the same and we drink sparkling wine. We have to start with shrimp cocktail because that has been a tradition in our family for 50 years, then we eat local Dungeness crab and sometimes a few oysters fresh from nearby Tomales Bay.
Many of the best wines I've tried this year are no longer in my cellar thanks to my impatience, but here is a list of 10 wines that left a lasting impression.
For those of us who are—how should I say it?—big boned, it's not easy getting through the holidays without fretting about our weight. The old media myth used to be that the average American gained 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but research now shows it's closer to 1 pound. That's right: a single pound.
So perhaps we're not indulging ourselves as much as we thought. Still, I hear people over the holidays, especially those facing the middle age spread, worrying over this slice of pie or that hunk of fudge. (Typically after the fact.)
Wine is part of that, too. Who hasn't watched a reveler wave off a glass of wine, worried about the calories and carbohydrates? (And saving room perhaps for more cake?) Too each his or her own, of course, but it's an interesting exercise to see how your favorite indulgences compare in the nutrition department.