Christmas holidays are usually a hectic and stressful time. I spent most of my December doing 12 to 14 shifts at the bakery where I work. The nativity month took an incredible physical and mental toll on me. This combined with the agonizing commercial spirit of the holidays was a recipe for panic attacks and anxiety.

There was not too much time for writing or drinking fine bottles of wine. After those longs work days, I came home wasted of tiredness and spitting maledictions to almond croissants and baguette croutons.

What prevented me going Normand Bates during December was my passion for food and wine. Solace was found in the bottle of wine with the simple but exquisite food dish to pair with it. Actually a memorable bottle that I drank was a Domaine Vaquer 1988. This was an exquisite bottle showcasing the sexy shades of mature Carignan. I brought the bottle from my latest trip to Rousillon in 2017. Cocoa, wet leaves, tobacco with a blissful elegance and finesse. Out of the blue, I popped the bottle with a butter saffron chicken curry on Christmas Eve.

A bit of a planned affair was the Cabernet Franc from Domaine Breton Bourgueil 2011. Opened a bit too soon showing fragant aromas of rose peppercorns, strawberry and licorice. Fine and elegant with a bit of a drying finale. It was not my first choice. It was either this or the Pierre Gonon Saint Joseph 2015. It was elegant and classy with a steak dinner. Good wine but I am not a Loire wine lover.

The best wine moments are the improvised ones. Too much planning in wine and food pairing kills the romance in wine. It is like making an appointment on when to have sex.

Tomorrow is the last day of the festivities and I have no idea what I will have. As I write these lines, I am watching Soprano episodes and feeling much better already.

The only thing I know is that I want to have a Galette Des Rois. I will take it from there.