I've recently heard people referring to the period between Christmas Day and New Years Day as Twixmas. Usually these types of made-up portmanteau words drive me spare but Twixmas has won me over. It's a time that has a feeling and a character all of its own. Plus, Twixmas is host to an annual tradition that never fails to delight me: the glut of festive leftovers in the week following Christmas day. If you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate the laziness all this extra food facilitates just as much as you enjoy the food itself. While I did have to learn to love turkey sandwiches, I embraced not having to cook very naturally! However, I’m aware that not everyone shares my love for the post-Christmas surplus. Consequently, I feel duty-bound to help the poor unfortunates who still feel that subsisting on a cold buffet of Christmas Dinner derivatives is something to be endured rather than enjoyed! I have One Big Secret that’s been crucial to my enjoyment of leftovers. And you can use my One Big Secret to get the most out of your leftovers; the key is having the right wine. At home, we serve our St. Stephen’s Day buffet cold, so everyone can help themselves. Even though it’s cold, there are usually enough robust flavours to demand a red wine.
The first choice for me will always be a straightforward Beaujolais, like Jean-Paul Brun’s Le Ronsay
. Monsieur Brun makes Le Ronsay in a deliciously light style with youthful raspberry flavours that are particularly well adapted invigorating cold meat. Jimenez-Landi’s Bajondillo shares the style and minimal intervention winemaking with Le Ronsay. This makes it another great option for breathing new life into leftover turkey, ham and “salads” of Christmas day vegetables. Both wines are made without using industrial yeasts or animal derivatives (so they’re suitable for any vegans in the family).
As well as all the usual Christmas Dinner leftovers, one of the most rewarding sources of sustenance is whatever survives the Christmas cheeseboard. And if you’re a little shrewd about it, combining these cheesy morsels with the remaining turkey and ham can lead to a sandwich that’s an event in itself. Basic batch loaf and dry slices of turkey is nobody’s idea of a good time, so having some decent bread, pickles and relish on hand is vital. Part of the fun is experimenting with combinations of cheese and meat, but two winning combinations I’ve discovered are ham with blue cheese and turkey with an alpine cheese (like Comté, Gruyere or Schnebelhorn) and a tomato-based relish.
In both cases, and with most other post-Christmas sandwiches, rosé wine is the way to go. The aromas of fresh red fruit and the crisp acidity balance the umami flavour of the cheese and meat. The rosés I’m thinking of this year are Bergerie de L’Hortus Rosé
and Olivares Rosado
. Both are light, bright and enjoyably undemanding. On top of all this, rosé lends the relaxed feeling of a picnic to proceedings.
And that’s what makes the week between Christmas and New Years Day so enjoyable. Reading, walks and movies interspersed with indoor picnics that require next to no preparation. Whatever about the other holiday that are coming up, Merry Twixmas to you to you and yours!