A Spirited Conversation: Home For The Holidays

Nov 12, 2021 at 12:12 pm by RMGadmin

 Family, Food, Fellowship & Faith 

with Gino Delsalvatore, Franklin Wine & Spirits

Out of all of the holidays celebrated throughout the year, no holiday has more meaning and is more festive than Christmas. Whether here in the United States or around the globe, the birth of Christ is celebrated in so many different ways.

It seems that the preparation for this event starts earlier and earlier each year. Decorations, commercials, Christmas trees are in high gear, so each individual does not miss this event. Whether it is Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life or How the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Hollywood helps plan for this special day.

But for many individuals, this time of goodwill and merriment is not so merry and filled with many not-so-good experiences. While many of us will have a feast to remember, many only dream of having an abundant table to enjoy.

So, what is this time all about? What is the meaning of Christmas? And why do we only have one event to celebrate the magnitude of this time? Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, our Christmas was filled not only with presents we wished for, but it was a time to visit, for connection, to be with family and friends, to share stories, to enjoy those family recipes that only came out in December. In Cleveland for many years, snow covered the ground throughout the month, and we indeed had many white Christmases. But our parents made sure we learned the meaning of giving, generosity, and helping and ensuring that those in need enjoyed this day and time. To this day, I will never forget the lessons they taught us.  

Traveling as a family to buy a Christmas tree was part of our preparation. We would often visit two to three places before deciding which one was honored to be part of our celebration. We often rode the bus to downtown Cleveland to meet my dad after work, where we then went to visit Santa Claus and have a family dinner. Then on Christmas Eve, we got dressed up and climbed into the car to visit all the aunts, uncles, and cousins. Each stop was filled with companionship, sharing stories of Christmases past, enjoying pasta, red sauce, sausage, and homemade Italian cookies. This happened four or five times that day until we could visit no more. Then it was home to bed to await the arrival of Santa. Christmas morning was amazing. Rising early and waking mom and dad, opening and playing with presents, and then to church was the routine. Later that day, we had a table full of Armenian and Italian dishes followed by visits from family and friends who joined us for dessert and coffee.

The Christmas celebration is anchored not only by family and friends but the feast that would be prepared and consumed. But what would a splendid table be without that perfect beverage pairing? Unlike Thanksgiving, where the centerpiece of the table is turkey, Christmas is different. Tables are blessed with everything from turkey and chicken to beef, veal, pork, game, fish, and in some cases, an array of vegetarian and vegan options. Many times, the table would have more than one entrée. It is a time when cultural dishes grace the table. But regardless of the main entrée, there is a beverage or two that compliments each dish. While most drinks could be served, wine is the beverage of choice to complement most items. With this in mind, below are some helpful hints about what wines pair with what foods.


Red: Fruity Beaujolais or Pinot Noir

White: Alsatian from France, A Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Sancerre


Red: medium-bodied red like Chianti or Merlot, Fruity Zinfandel

White: Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, a dry Riesling or a Chenin Blanc


Red: An Italian Chianti or a lighter Bordeaux

White: Italian Gavi or a rich Chardonnay


Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Bordeaux, Zinfandel 


Red: Italian Chianti or other full but fruity reds, Zinfandel, a Red Blend

White: Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc


Red: Pinot Noir, Light Italian Chianti

White: Sauvignon Blanc, Soave, Sancerre, Muscadet 


Red: French Rhone, Italian Tuscan, Pinot Noir, Merlot Bordeaux


Red: Spanish Rioja, Cabernet Sauvignon, Italian Tuscan

Whatever you decide to have at this time of year, we at Franklin Wine and Spirits wish you and your family a great Christmas and Holiday season. Please remember that while presents will be under the tree, the true meaning of this holiday season is love, generosity, and giving to those in need and sharing. For this birthday party, material gifts are not required, just your ability to give what you have to help others. Finally, please remember that December 25th and the meaning of Christmas is just as important on April 4th, May 20th, August 12th, and October 19th. It is a time celebrated all year, not just on one day. Merry Christmas!

Franklin Wine & Spirits


Locally owned and operated, YOUR expert
in all things wine and spirits - will treat you
to “A Spirited Conversation” every issue!