Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Wine: Made From Genuine Water!

Merry Christmas!  Today millions of people will awake to find presents patiently  waiting to be unwrapped.  Children will laugh and smile as they play with their new toys, the spoiled ones will cry and sulk because they didn’t get the latest MP3 player.  The morning is loud and early and many are recovering from the parties that were held a night earlier: Christmas is a time of peace and celebration.  The shrills of excited children may be a bit much to handle in your hung-over sleep deprived state the best cure is the hair of the dog that bit you.  While pouring your morning coffee, don’t forget about that bottle of Bailey’s, Cointreau, amaretto, whiskey or whatever your preferred additive is.

The coffee pot will eventually run dry but before reaching for the grinder, so you may further indulge in the waking nectar, you should get some vitamins.  Hopefully you thought ahead and bought some bubbly to add to that glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.  Personally I would be tempted to go with a Prosecco rather than a traditional method sparkling wine; the crisp fruity flavours will complement the orange juice, but in a pinch either will do.

Soon dinner arrives which is always a spectacle.  I think before eating Christmas dinner it is important to take some time and reflect: What would Jesus drink?  Jesus, as the bible tells us, was big into wine.  Catholics still drink his blood in wine form to this day.  But before you go knocking on the priests door asking if you can borrow a bottle or two of communion wine take pause.  Jesus was almost definitely not drinking the wine that we drink today.  Very few grapes that are commonly used in wine production date back two millennia.

Syrah has been around since Jesus was busy doubling fish and bread and turning water into wine.  It was also widely believed that Syrah had it’s origins in the middle east, notice the operative was.  It is now known that Syrah is native to France, which isn’t that far from Israel.  There could have been trade in wine from France to Israel but the wine would most likely have spoiled, which wasn’t a huge issue for the Romans as they had the disgusting habit, that can really only have the effect of making your hangover ten time worse, of mixing their wine with salt water, which presumably would mask any spoilage.

Given that Jesus could turn water into wine I find it highly unlikely that he was sending for wine from France.  What was Jesus drinking?  If he was indeed turning water into wine and multiplying the bread and fish count, hopefully he was leaving some water as water for the next morning, and presumably the fish would have been some Mediterranean whit fish. Either way if he was eating fish he probably would have been pairing it with white wine.

Israel is pretty hot which would also influence Jesus’ choice of wine, there is nothing more refreshing than a high acid white on a hot Israeli day.  Hopefully the fish they were catching were nice and oily because that would pair well with a high acid white.  Jesus, at least whilst at the wedding where he did all this business of changing one liquid into another, was probably drinking Pinot Grigio*, or maybe a nice cool climate Sauvignon Blanc**.  I’m sure he was a man of diverse tastes and drank whatever was appropriate to the occasion, so why not follow suite and drink whatever tastes good!  Cin Cin, and Merry Christmas!

*To the best of my knowledge Pinot Grigio didn’t actually come into existence for about another 1000 + years but he was Jesus, if he could turn water to wine I’m sure time travel wasn’t a big issue either. 

**Sauvignon Blanc seems to be pretty ancient, but I don’t know if it was around that long ago, I’m on a plane and as such have a limited ability to do research, gimme a break.

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