Finding the Mele in Kalikimaka: Hawaiian Christmas Music and Wine Pairings

Thanksgiving is officially in the books and the Christmas madness is in high gear. In every store and street corner, one must fight the bevy of busy patrons procuring their holiday treats, trees and trinkets. Stressed and overwhelmed? My reliable method of relaxation during this bustling holiday season is the strategic alliance of a refreshing vinous beverage and festive Christmas tunes.

In this post, I briefly ponder the fascinating musical heritage of Hawaii, while recommending a few wine and Christmas album pairings that will help you to celebrate the season in [Hawaiian] style. Fear not; we have many more options from which to choose than Mele Kalikimaka.

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Reflexiones por el Cristal: An Ode to Spanish Wine and Cheese

This week on the blog, an Ode to Spanish Wine and Cheese.

Wine and cheese, the Spaniard's way

Two more formidable companions?

I could not say
 

Spanish affinage and phenolics pair with precision

Refreshingly devoid of all

Antagonizing French derision
 

With a diverse medley of type and taste

Join the vinous jubilation, with haste!


For this week’s musings, a humble tribute

To España - ¡salud!

Okay, that was painful. I absolutely loathe poetry. Enough vexing shenanigans; on with the post.

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Musings by the Surf: the Great Grommet Incursion at the Kailua Shorebreak Classic

The ocean is majestic, mysterious and, at times, seemingly paradoxical. It is serene and still, yet also violent and aggressive. It is calm yet powerful. It invites adventure, but not without caution and respect. It is vast. It is humbling. It is exciting. It inspires reflection (for best results, pair with wine). If you spend significant time near or in the ocean, you cannot help but be changed by it. In most cases, for the better.

Surfing is an interaction - a dialogue - with this wonderful gift.  Surfing also places us in a vibrant community and culture. There is no better manifestation of this culture than the annual Kailua Shorebreak Classic, a keiki (kids) surf competition held in honor of four beloved surfers and watermen. The most recent installment, held this past weekend, was awash with camaraderie, adventure, and spirit.

This week’s musings explore the Shorebreak Classic, it’s wonderful community, and the ocean that brings it together. Oh, and while we do that, let’s talk about some wine, too. This is a wine blog, after all, and everyone stands to benefit from a good wine recommendation for beach days and beautiful sunsets.

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The Nightcap Corollary: A Guide to Pairing Wine and Dessert

DESSERT! Do I have your attention? Of course I do; a confection creation is euphoria for the sweet tooth. Resistance is futile; science proves it. (Okay, perhaps it is not quite that simple, but we all read those articles wishing it were). The relevant post-meal inquiry is not "are we having dessert," but rather, "what is the perfect beverage to complement my dessert?" After all, dessert deserves a thoughtful pairing.

This month’s Veritas Wine Club, located at the Tchin Tchin Bar in Honolulu’s Chinatown District, explores that critical question with a dessert and wine pairing theme. Sweetness will inevitably ensue.

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Costco Corner: a penny saved is a penny put toward the next bottle...

Enter Costco, the welcomed paradox of low cost and high quality that has Hawaii residents scrambling for a cart at every operating hour of the Costco day. When is the best time to traverse Costco’s fabled value-packed aisles? I have no idea; morning and night, weekdays and weekends, it always appears an endless sea of frantic slapdashery. Fight the bevy of busy patrons, however, and you can be rewarded with excellent value, everyday wines.

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Birthday Musings: The Great Birthday Roast

The second part of the Great Birthday Bash was borne out of a coincidence of timing. This month’s wine club, typically convening the last weekend of each month, was bestowed a birthday theme.  Patrons were asked to select a wine (or food) that would embody the core characteristics and personality traits of this esteemed author.  Okay, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was quickly discovered that any potentially positive character trait I may possess was going to be conveniently omitted from the discussion.  Cheer up, I was told, “we simply wouldn’t bother at all if we didn’t like you.”  Sigh. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

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