Wines for a Bayou Christmas (or what I pair with uncle Tim’s gumbo)


Above: Uncle Tim’s gumbo from a Christmas past. You put the potato salad — made with hard-boiled eggs — right into the bowl.

As I have done every year since I moved to Texas five holiday seasons ago, I’ll be spending Christmas eve on Cow Bayou in Bridge City, East Texas (about 20 minutes up the road from Orange, where Tracie P was born).

Uncle Tim will make his famous gumbo, spiked with his hard-boiled-egg-laced potato salad, Aunt Pam (not really our aunt, but she still kisses me on the lips) will bring fried boudin balls, and I’ll bring a mixed case of wine.

boudin balls

Above: Fried boudin balls, a specialty of Cajun cuisine, uncased boudin (pork and rice sausage, commonly found in Louisiana and East Texas) dredged in flour and cornmeal and fried.

The get-together will include roughly 30 relatives and extended family friends, each with her/his personal beverage preferences (uncle Tim’s is Chivas and diet Sprite).

As for many American families, Christmas isn’t the occasion for breaking out my ten-year-old Nebbiolo or the single-vineyard Burgundy I’ve been saving. No, it’s time for value and crowd pleasers. No meditation wines here, ma’am, just some good ol’ reliable grape wine.

Click here to continue reading my Christmas wine recommendations for the Houston Press…

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