is here writing some words about the Christmas celebrations within the family.
Last year one of my sons-in-law wrote about our Christmas ports during the last decades, and in 2020 we did not have any dinner or meeting in the family due to the pandemic. This year we decided to try in a strange way even if we had to deliver wine and some food to one of our daughter’s family. The great day in our family is the 23th of December. This is due to the fact that when the first son-in-law in spe wanted to celebrate Christmas with his fiance i.e. our daughter, that had to be on the 23rd because Christmas Eve he had to go to his parents, and so it continued when our next son-in-law appeared. From the first year we had a new kind of meat for dinner and so it has continued since 1998. It has been an exciting evening every year for our grandchildren to guess what new meat we will eat.
This year I was thinking of celebrating both 2020 and 2021. We started of course with champagne every evening. On the 23rd we had our new meat (Guineafowl) and Ch. Leoville-las Casas 1920 and Ch. Latour 1951 followed by the dessert with Ferreira Vintage Port 1820 and their Garrafeira Port 1830.
On Christmas Eve we had with the Stilton cheese a Tawny tasting: Noval 30 years Dry tawny bottled 1971, Feuerheerd Commendador ( 25 years) bottled 1965 and Dow’s VVO bottled by Silva e Cosens, a very old tawny indeed.
Christmas day I had, due to something very strange, as red wines Latricieres-Chambertin 2006 and Ch. Lynch-Bages 1964 with the meat and to the Christmas pudding the Manchester wine-dealer Schofields Vintage Port 1920 and Ramos Pinto Vintage Port 1921.
On Boxing Day I took no French red wine, but Torre Gran Corona, Grand Reserve, Black Label and Brunello di Montalcino from Biondi Santi in Toscana both from 1971 and ended with Sandemans Vintage Ports 1959 and 1965.
2020 is a very special year. It is now 45 years since Sten (co-founder of this web site) and his wife fell in love with Vintage port. Every Christmas since then, the family have enjoyed Vintage Port with Stilton cheese – great tradition! Many years have passed by and the two daughters in the family grew older, both getting married to beer and whisky lovers (sighs), none with experience of port wine (sighs again). Sten had at that time only been drinking beer just once in his life and did not fancy it at all. He thought whisky was drinkable and since then we in the family have enjoyed quite some decent whiskies together. The two sons-in-law, Jörgen and Stefan, learned to love Port Wine and in 2011 we started this web site together.
Christmas time also resulted in other traditions within the family. The whole family have been celebrating the 23rd of December together for 22 years now (giving the opportunity to celebrate with other family members over the coming days of Christmas), but of course we have often also celebrated the following days of Christmas together.
In 2003 Sten decided that his family, including sons-in-law, should taste some old Vintage Ports on the 23rd of December when the family was celebrating. We have been tasting some quite fantastic port wines since then on our Christmas gatherings and were looking forward to doing the same this year. This Christmas, with the Corona, we were not able to celebrate Christmas together as usual. We hope next Christmas gives us a few more days together so we can drink the Vintage Ports for both 2020 and 2021 together.
Often we tried to taste ports with an age of 100 years. This has been possible for some Vintages even if some of the years are very difficult (for Sten impossible) to find.
2014 December 25: Taylor 1935(bottled by Fearon Block) and Croft 1914(This bottle of Crofts 1914 vintage Port was shipped by pipe and bottled at Chester’s Brewery Co, Ardwick for the manager Mr George Smith Thomson’s personal use. It has not been rebottled./ G. Hoban 1989)
2011 December 23: Hooper 1951 and Cockburn 1911(This bottle has belonged to Jorge Guillermo who was married to one of the Dutch princesses and sold his wine cellar at Christie´s when they divorced, but no label on the bottle, just a Cockburn label around the neck where Cockburn 1911 was written.)