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This Holiday Sample Wines Your Family Brings In a Blind Tasting

Would you go to Christmas dinner without a bottle of wine to share? If you are a reader of these columns, of course you would bring a bottle! Bringing a bottle of wine to Holiday dinner is just as important a tradition as dining on turkey at Thanksgiving.

This Christmas take a moment to celebrate and toast the year, expressing gratitude for an eventful and successful 2022. Remember those lost and those who joined the family. Before dinner gather everyone together, leaving the football games and TV behind make a family moment, before sitting down to dinner.

Here’s a brief way to structure the sampling, alter it to suit your personal needs.

Tell each of your couples (or single guests) to bring a wine they enjoy. In our case we requested red wines, knowing  everybody enjoyed red wine.

1-Privately, wrap each bottle in a bag and a number of them (#1, #2, #3)
2-1/2 hour before dinner uncork each bottle
3-Gather everyone around, and pour a sample of wine #1
4-Ditto with wine #2
5-Ditto with wine #3
6-Ask if anybody wants a re-taste, pour as needed
7-Vote on which one you enjoyed most, bottles 1, 2 or 3

Then, unveil your wines!

At Christmas dinner this year, spend a moment to share some good cheer by gathering before dinner for a toast of wine, to everyone’s successes, family, love.


Bill Hodge & Erin O’Neill-Hodge enjoy a good bottle of wine, visiting and enjoying California wineries from Lake County to Orange County, from the Paso Robles Gold Coast to Gold Country and from Lodi to Bakersfield.

Some notes on our wine ranking system.

– -✰  means -What’s next on your list of wines
-✰  means -Not liking it too much
✰ means  -We’ll drink this wine, especially if it’s hosted!
✰+ means -You’ve got our attention and we might buy this wine.
✰+ + means -We’re hooked and we’re going to buy this wine.
When you see -✰/✰+  with a slash, it means we disagree.

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