One of the staples of Christmas’s past, and to a certain extent present is the Christmas Card. Time was when millions upon millions of cards flooded the bags of mail carriers between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Growing up, we can both remember THE basket that held the treasured cards. They were acknowledgments from friends, family, former neighbors, former buddies, teachers, preachers, pastors, and so many others. Some contained letters detailing the entire year’s activities for a certain family, and others had family pictures as the card. It was fun to see how people changed from one year to the next–and it DID happen! We can both remember getting 5, 7, 10 cards a day in the mail. And, this was all before there was any real package mailing going on, so the main thing going through the post office was CARDS.
Today, the internet has completely changed the world of card giving. As more and more people send electronic cards, electronic invitations and electronic pictures, the need for Christmas Cards becomes less and less. Yet another ‘holiday institution’ going by the wayside. Come to think of it, writing letters or any other handwritten correspondence is going by the wayside as well. Admittedly, sitting down and signing, addressing, stamping and mailing 100 or more cards is, well, time-consuming. However, with a database of email addresses, with one ‘click’ your message hits everyone on your list with the same generic greeting. . .not unlike a Christmas Card. Maybe it’s because the personal part of sending the note is gone. You know, when you signed the card–or someone you knew signed the card and sent it to you, they took the time to write to YOU! Electronically-speaking, one simple, repetitive message can be sent to as many people as you have email addresses for. But, it’s the thought that counts!
We’re not saying it’s bad…on the contrary, it’s pretty cool to think that you can send a message and reach a huge number of people with a single click. But, tonight’s wine–from Australia–details a different part of hand-addressed mail. Sometimes, the mail is undeliverable–incorrect address; incorrect return address; no return address; no address–there a huge number of reasons why some mail can’t be delivered, and in Australia, the Dead Letter Office is the place such mail comes to. . .for only here can a postal employee actually open a piece of mail with the sole purpose being to find a clue as to where it is supposed to be delivered. Obviously, opening someone else’s mail is a federal offense, but in Australia, they’ve got it figured out. So, we salute those folks who have to translate our ‘chicken scratch’ of handwriting in order to find where the piece should be delivered.
This 2008 Dead Letter Office Shiraz from Henry’s Drive is so big, bold and beefy, we wished we’d have taken it with us for dinner. This is a widely-recognized wine with most of the better wine reviewers rating this between 89-92 points. The nose is beautiful–you get a nice aroma of oak with lots and lots of fruit–mainly black cherry, currants and a slight hint of almond. Swirling this wine in the glass only helped open it more and what an amazing scent there is. The taste is so silky smooth, you forget that you’re drinking wine. It’s finish is very long and fruitful. . .this wine is a terrific way to celebrate the holidays! We only wish we had gotten more! It’s available at World Market and is under $23 a bottle, but with their sale going on right now, we were in the $18 range. . .well worth the money for a big, tasty wine like this, but you’d better hurry because they’ll close early on Christmas Eve and then you’ll have to wait until after Christmas to enjoy it!
We noted that we’ve received fewer Christmas cards this year; probably because we’ve sent out fewer and fewer as the years have gone on. Christmas Cards is one of those traditions that is great to remember from the past, but it’s doubtful that it will survive the future. But, if it does survive, it’s good to know that people in the Dead Letter Office will be there to make sure as many of the poorly addressed cards get to their destination as is possible.
As for you, enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.