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.