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In the southern hemisphere, Christmas happens right in the middle of summer. A white Christmas does sound picturesque, but a Christmas BBQ in shorts by the pool sounds way better to me! From barbequed lobster to “monkey’s tail eggnog, not forgetting the amazing Carmenere and Malbec wines, it all sounds fantastic. I think my future definitely holds a southern hemisphere Christmas or two!


Typical South American Christmas BBQ.

“Christmas here falls during the summer season. Therefore, people are in good spirits, the School year is finished, and we are about to start 3 months of full summer: Dec/Jan/Feb. Good weather allows for an outdoor celebration. Dinner is usually out on a terrace by the pool. Unlike other parts of the world, presents are opened on Christmas Eve (24th) which makes it even more festive.

Typical dinner used to be turkey but not any longer. You can find BBQ from turkey to lobster. Although wine, and especially sparkling wines, is in fact used for all Christmas celebrations, we have our own Chilean eggnog which we start drinking in early December. It is called “Cola de Mono” (monkey’s tale). It has many variations, but they all include milk, coffee, vanilla, nutmeg and a hearty dose of aguardiente. Once the drink is made, it is chilled and no doubt it’s always served cold. It is often paired with “Pan de Pascua” (Christmas fruit/nut cake).”

Carolina Garcia, Korta Wines.

Susana Balbo Wines celebrating Christmas as a family


“Christmas is a synonym for family moments in my own family and at the winery. Since the very beginning of the project, tradition at the winery is to organize a Christmas/End of the Year party where every member of the big family that is Susana Balbo Wines brings her/his own family. The winery garden gets invaded by dozens of kids and turns into a playground for the night; after dinner, music takes over the place till early morning. It is very nice to share these moments of friendship and happiness, to see the kids growing and new ones showing up every year.

As far as I am concerned, Christmas means barbecue in T-shirt and shorts. It is usually very warm in Mendoza at this time of the year (30+ degrees) Tradition is to celebrate Christmas in the swimming pool.

Asado (Argentinean barbecue) would be the most traditional Christmas food in Mendoza. It includes blood sausage, sausage, offals (sweetbread, chitterlings) and different cuts of meat (mainly beef). Since we have strong culinary traditions from Italy and Spain, cakes such as Panettone or sweets such as nougat are also always part of our Christmas meal.”

José Lovaglio, Susana Balbo’s son, Crios Wines.