The culture and gastronomy of the Aztec country is one of the most recognized worldwide. For that reason, we have decided to explore Mexican Christmas traditions and the best pairings to accompany their holiday recipes.
Along with their renowned and diverse traditional cuisine, Mexicans are also very proud of their cultural celebrations. Many of them derive from distinct characteristics that are a combination of pre-Hispanic and Catholic traditions, which is what makes them unique in the world.
The Christmas season is no exception. During the month of December Mexicans get together with family and friends to celebrate “Las Posadas”. The Catholic tradition refers to 9 celebrations prior to Christmas, from December 16 to 24, an allusion to the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem in search of lodging to wait for baby Jesus´s birth. But as expected, in Mexico it also has origin in the pre-Hispanic world, when the Aztecs celebrated Huitzilopochtli, between December 17 and 26, the most important God of the pantheon and related to the sun. Upon the arrival of the Spaniards, as part of the evangelization, this Aztec custom was replaced by the religious tradition.
Currently the celebration of Posadas is a moment to enjoy with friends and family; where the “flowers of Christmas Eve” cannot be forgotten, more commonly known in English as poinsettia – native to Mexico; Christmas piñatas with 7 peaks; and a table full of traditional dishes. A great choice of wine to enjoy during these gatherings would be Casillero del Diablo Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvignon. An elegant and complex wine with cherry and black fruit aromas that presents structured and firm on the palate yet smooth tannins.
The Mexican Christmas Eve Dinner
Mexicans are very proud of their traditional cuisine, which, by the way, goes far beyond what we normally know in other countries. Its gastronomic diversity is vast and also depends on each region of the country.
During the Christmas season, in addition to the Posadas, a very important celebration is Christmas Eve dinner with a unique menu comprised of Mexican dishes: Romeritos, cod, roasted turkey, apple and cream salad, among other typical recipes. One cannot forget the Punch, a hot tea made of boiled fruits. To learn more about these Mexican traditions, we will focus on the menu, its preparations, and its perfect wine pairings.
Romeritos is a stew made from vegetables such as corn, nopals, potatoes, peas and dried shrimp. It’s accompanied by a red Mole whose ingredients include sesame seeds, peanuts, toast, chocolate, almonds, apples, sweet cookies and mulato chili that is red and sweet. For this bittersweet meal, Casillero del Diablo Devil’s Collection Brut is an excellent option. A fresh and elegant sparkling wine with delicate citrus notes interlaced with green apple and a slight mineral touch, which comes through from the start along with rich and well-balanced acidity.
The cod is simmered with potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, olives, capers and parsley. This fish of great flavor needs a white wine of great body and freshness such as Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay. This is a complex and elegant wine, with flavorful aromas of white pear, toasted hazelnut, and mineral notes.
Roasted turkey is another recurring dish seen in Mexican homes for Christmas Eve dinner. It is usually filled with raisins, almonds and ground beef. For this spread, we recommend Trio Merlot, a blend of this variety with Carmenere and Shiraz, with great structure, soft tannins and dark fruit, chocolate, and tobacco aromas. A second alternative is Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Carmenere. Both options are elegant, smooth and fresh wines that go well with white meat and its stuffing.
Now that you’ve learned other traditions and preparations for Christmas Eve, we encourage you to try some of these Mexican recipes and pair them with Concha y Toro wines.
We wish you a Merry Christmas!