Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Annual Christmas Cookie Fest

For me, if there's one event that's the confirmation that the holiday season has truly arrived, it's Jeaux and Matinder's annual Christmas Cookie Fest.

The baking extravaganza is traditionally held on the opening weekend of December and I can pretty much count on it, like clockwork, to herald the start of the party season.  If you hadn't guessed from the name of the soirée, this is the identifiable start to all the Christmas pounds to come.  Jeaux plans the party details, as only she can, while Matinder spends three weeks (or longer) baking the wildest assortment of cookies and treats that you'll ever find outside of a bakery.  Shortbreads, biscotti, savouries and gingerbread numbering in the hundreds (if not thousands) - you name it and it's likely there.

And, as if you couldn't eat enough sweets to last until the New Year's diet kicks in, they insist that every guest put together a "to go" goodie bag.

1299.  2008 Bodegas San Dionisio - Mainetes Petit Verdot (Jumilla D.O. - Spain)

I doubt the variety of libations could ever be as extravagant as the cookie count, but I found an intriguing tipple to wash down all the baking. The evening's bottle of choice was a Spanish Petit Verdot - a combination that I don't recall having seen before.  I don't see a lot of easily found information on the producer but Bodegas San Dionisio appears to be a cooperative in the Jumilla region of Spain.  If the brief reference I found is correct, there are approximately 700 members in the collective and, together, they manage 6500 hectares of vineyards and grow an assortment of grapes that are then produced under a variety of labels.

The Mainetes line produces this 100% Petit Verdot, the grape being a fairly new introduction to the region.  I think it's fair to say that P.V. isn't the likeliest match for baked goods, especially since this is a gutsy version.  All the same, there was enough typically Spanish, dark fruit on the palate that it was fine for standing, chatting and sipping.

It didn't take long, however, for our Mr. Bill gingerbread boy to let out a trademark "Oh No" (for those old enough to remember those old SNL days) to remind us that Boo and I still had to decorate our tree tonight in preparation for the assortment of neighbours that were scheduled to drop by the following night.

So, with cookies in hand, we ventured into the suddenly Christmas-like evening - knowing that this was just the start of all the seasonal calories, and sips, to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment