Our Christmas Manischewitz Cherry Wine

Usually we don’t drink wine in Panama.  At least not as much as Europe or some South American countries like Chile or Argentina.  Wine is on the table on special occasions.  One of those special occasional is of course the midnight Christmas supper.

I recall that my father was proud to bring home Manischewitz wine made with black Concord grapes for our Christmas supper.  That’s why every time I observe a a bottle of Manischewitz when we visit a supermarket,  it reminds me of Christmas and obviously, my father.  This year we decided to include wine with our Christmas dinner which consists of:  apples, pears, grapes, turkey, fruit cake, potato salad, the traditional “Moña” bread, and wine.

All Manischewitz wines are made from grapes, except Blackberry and Cherry, which are fruit wines made from berry concentrate. The blessing, which is recited before consuming the wine, is different for grape wine and fruit wine, and is noted in Hebrew on the label.  We are Roman Catholics and don’t follow this Jewish traditional blessing.

In order to avoid last minute lines at supermarkets, we have already purchased a twelve-pound turkey and a bottle of wine.  The rest of the items we plan to purchase on December 20th—that’s the day we get our pay check from the Panama Social Security.  We want them to be fresh on the table waiting for the birth of Baby Jesus exactly at midnight on Christmas Eve.

Below are several pictures of the aforementioned wine with small crystal cups.  This is how the table will look like when it’s served on Christmas Eve.  This traditional and religious ritual means so much to us.  That is how my wife and I were brought up many years ago when Christmas celebrated the birth of “el niño Diós” (Baby Jesus).  I feel that nowadays, Christmas has become a commercial event where the main objective is to sell and buy, leaving Jesus Christ on the back burner.

Okay, here we go with some pictures of glass and wine.

Snapshot of a bottle of Manischewitz Cherry Wine together with a couple of wide candles and wine cups. This is how we plan to decorate our table for our traditional midnight Christmas Eve supper. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
The table cloth and other accessories were purchased during a trip I made to New York in 1980. This highlights the high quality of the merchandise sold during those “good ole days”. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

2 thoughts on “Our Christmas Manischewitz Cherry Wine”

  1. Cherry wine is wonderful. There are wild cherry trees in Texas, and I’ve had wine made from those fruits – so good. I love learning about others’ Christmas and holiday customs, too. Your tradition is a nice one.

    And you’re right about the higher quality of goods in the past. It’s still possible to find them, but we pay dearly – and sometimes, they simply aren’t available at all, depending on the nature of the goods. Ah, well – Santa still provides high-quality gifts!

  2. Morning Linda:

    The problem nowadays is that products are not made in the USA, but somewhere else like India, Thailand, Vietnam, China or Bangladesh; just to name a few. As much as they would like, their quality is not as good as American made products.

    Recently I acquired a pair of Florsheim shoes and to my surprise, I found out when I got home, they were made in China, for crying out loud.

    Kind Regards,


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