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Should you invest more money/time in Christmas food, or Christmas wine?

Hi Community,

We’ve loved seeing your comments on the Is it too early? thread, and it looks like lots of you are well prepared for Christmas already! :clap: We’re also getting into the Christmas spirit over here, so we’d like to ask you all some questions over the next few weeks in the run up to the big day.

To begin:

When planning Christmas, do you think it’s worth investing more money and/or time in your Christmas food, or your Christmas wines?

Let us know what you think - we’d be very interested to hear!

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Food: time
Wine: money

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I think there’s something of a minimum cost to a decent Christmas lunch, with fairly limited variation given it’s such a traditional meal. The veggies are generally where you might play around a bit and they aren’t that expensive.

So I agree with Tom: the food needs the time and the wine is where any extra spend will go, although I tend to tailor the wines to the tastes of whoever is coming, reasoning that I can wheel out my personal favourite once they’ve gone and I don’t have to inflict it on them (aka share it with them - the Barolo is for me…).

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Well, in the past I certainly used to invest FAR too much time and money in Christmas food & wine. Which made the whole event stressful, especially as out of choice I did the lion’s share of the cooking. Pre-ordering a goose, a whole smoked eel, a firkin of Kelham Island Bitter etc.

Nowadays it’s much nicer: we do the big French dinner Xmas Eve (typically smoked salmon, poached salmon, langoustine, whatever that side of the family want) plus good Champagne. Christmas day it’s the British Lunch… Maybe roast chicken or beef wellington etc. plus posh burgundy. And I tend to slope off to the pub around midday.

And roast potatoes. Apparently I forgot them last year, something to do with going to the pub.

Simple is the key to success, I reckon. Fewer bottles & ingredients, but as good as you can afford.

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There is no should about it. Do what you feel like. For us, this is what we choose to do.

Food: more time and money; homemade pudding, cake, mince pies; best bird we can lay our hands on so costly. Roast dinner with a little extra stress of not wanting to ruin an expensive birdy.

Wine: dip into cellar for what we want, rarely spend new money.

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Hmmm, sort of :laughing:

I do almost all the cooking in our house and that includes Christmas. It’s just a big roast dinner really and after all, it’s an easy crowd to please: the kids are happy because it’s Christmas and the grown-ups are happy because they don’t have to cook (and are getting less sober by the hour).

Nobody in my family gives half a damn about wine, which to be fair is a perfectly normal point of view, and I see no reason to foist anything in particular upon them at mealtimes, so festive meals, whatever the course, are accompanied by red, white, beer, Bailey’s, Port, whisk(e)y and/or whatever anyone can find in the drinks cabinet.

Actually, my brother-in-law likes his wine, so I’ll share something snazzy with him if he’s around, but otherwise the really good stuff is more or less for me (since nobody else cares), although of course there’s no point opening anything too special if I’m already three sheets to the wind.

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I admire your style, and find myself pretty much in agreement. Similarly I do the vast majority of the cooking, through choice I hasten to add. Christmas day is for ‘good’ wine, it’s too busy and just plain exciting to really enjoy the special stuff! That comes out on Christmas Eve once all the prep’s done and then Boxing Day, which is just a big, comfy, relaxing, contented sigh, leftovers and something really quite special in the wine department. Although I have been known to broach a nice bottle of bubbles on the day once the kids have finally crashed and I can put my feet up :wink:

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Food: time/money split between which of our families we are spending Christmas Day with

Wine: time/money (mine) trying to please everyone without it becoming too financially upsetting

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A touch of ‘Bah Humbug’ there perhaps?

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Scrooge entertains….

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Like @JayKay I rarely spend extra money on wine at Christmas, as that is when the good stuff comes out that has been patiently stored over the years. (Although this plan regularly gets scuppered by winter sniffles, when frankly it would be a waste to serve them).

As for food, yes, we spend quite a lot on food because - and I’ll probably come off as a right old curmudgeon in saying this - but I’m tired of the (seemingly) British affectation of piling cheap food high in the name of being hospitable. Give me the good stuff please! :smiley:

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I sympathise. Over xmas dinner my dad only wants to taste wine he knowingly knows is expensive.

I suppose it is to figure out if he likes it or not (why do people pay for this?). I’m happy to indulge him.

Amongst his recalibrating whether he’s missing out on an experience, he grins as he knows he’s probably decimated £20 worth, a long slurp or two. He’s still none the wiser appreciation wise but happy to know I felt the £20 with a feint chuckle

Priceless. Crack on dad. I genuinely don’t mind and he might find something he enjoys

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There’s a lot more here if anyone needs some.

I thought it was only governments that used “invest” in the sense of “spend/waste” :slight_smile:

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I think you can invest time in something, if the payoff is worth it. For me, cooking is like that.

Investing in wine for personal consumption may not be the right term, but it makes me feel better about spending too much on a bottle.

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As theres only two of us we dont go overboard . Lunch is always late on Christmas day as well always go to Quaker Meeting first and then the joint of beef is put in the oven. We have already purchased and put in the freezer. We have a christmas pudding and a small christmas cake. We also make our own mince pies. The drink is already purchased a bottle of por and some special for christmas day. Prior to the pandemic we would go out to a carvery lunch with our Art group on a day in December. This year we are going to a small party with a select group of people and we may all be having lateral flow tests before we go.

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In general I agree, but specifically for Christmas I feel more emphasis should be put on enjoying each other’s company. The same with wine - it is not really the right time to appreciate special bottles.

But now I’m getting more serious. My original comment ended in a smiley, and was as much a swipe at the language of politics as anything else.

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In complete agreement with you

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Agree, that’s why we cook and drink and chat and eat in the kitchen.

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Kitchen’s always where it’s at, for any party :+1:

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Proximity to the fridge is always a consideration.

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