Wine & Holiday Celebrations Around the World

Frohe Weihnachten! Feliz Navidad! Buon Natale! Kala Christougena! Happy Christmas!

Holidays equals folks gathering to celebrate and wine is a treasured part of that around the world. While most European countries include wine in their celebrations, they each do it with their own signature flair and style. Here we explore a few “Wine & Holiday Celebrations Around the World” that may appeal to you and lend them selves to being a part of your celebrations this year for something fun.

Holiday Celebrations + Wine Around the World

Frohe Weihnacten & Gluhwein –

Nice When Cold Outside!

While living in Germany, our family experienced first hand how everyone’s climate impacts their celebration and how they incorporate wine into their celebrations differently. Gluhwein is enjoyed all over Europe wherever they have German styled Christmas markets. Strolling through these outdoor holiday market exploring at the many lovely handmade decorations is a lot warmer with a coffee mug of gluhwein in your hand. In fact, it is such a tradition that each Christmas market designs a special mug just for their town each year. The cutest we found in our time there was one shaped like Santa’s boot.  If it is cold outside and you are hosting an event that has people out caroling, snow skiing or building snowmen, put away your wine glasses and pull out your coffee mugs to be filled with warm gluhwein!

Here’s a recipe link to help you make some terrific Gluhwein at your house –

Gluhwein Recipe Link

gluhwein recipe image

Genius Kitchen Recipe by KREE6528 (Our CKJY Exports team suggests using 1/2 water & 1/2 orange juice in this recipe rather than either or.)

Want to learn more about Gluhwein? Here is a terrific in depth post with lovely photos shared by ExPat Explore. The Traditional Christmas Drink – Europe’s Famous Gluhwein 

Feliz Navidad! Spain Embraces & Toasts with Many Holiday Spirits –

Spain loves to toast and to enjoy the holidays with spirits. From hard cider to bubbly Cava from Catalonia, Spaniards love their holiday celebrations. Learn more about these in Festive Cheer: Seven Tibbles to Enjoy Over the Holidays shared by The Local ES.

Warm Spiced Sangria

Often times in the summer we think of Spanish Sangria. Did you know that they also celebrate with a warm Sangria in the winter? Here Lauren Aloise’s Warm Spiced Sangria recipe. Similar style to Gluhwein but a little more “fortified.” How Spain celebrates the holiday season are shared by Wine Tourism in Spain’s post Spanish Christmas Traditions.

Buon Natale! Italians Celebrate the Christmas Holidays Many Days in Many Ways –

Italian families are known for their love of gathering with family to celebrate and well … they really know how to do it well. Dec. 8th is when their holiday celebrations truly begin. It is known as the Day of Immaculate Conception. Schools and businesses close to decorate for the holiday season and to bake cookies. Three days of special feasts begin in earnest on December 24th with Vigilia di Natale or Christmas Eve. Many families have a traditional light meal this evening before midnight mass at church. Christmas Day is set aside for a true feast.

Brunello di Montalcino, a superb Super Tuscan rich full bodied red wine, is a long established pairing for their Christmas beef roasts. Spumante or Prosecco is what is used for toasting or “cin cin” with their traditional cake, panettone. Christmas in Italy: Traditions, Food and Destinations shares more in depth what our family experienced there one holiday season about ten years ago.

Kala Christougena! Celebrate the Holidays in Warmer Weather Greek Style –

Greece has a rich warm weather traditions. Their specialties are their roasted meats and specialty pastries. When you work this hard for a holiday meal, you pair it with lovely friends, family and wines.

What do Greek holiday meals entail? According to World Food and Wine Greek families enjoy “amilies come together around the table to share a Christmas dinner with cheese or meat filo pastry triangles, feta cheese, pistachio nuts, a Greek salad, cauliflower, artichokes, roast sucling pig, stuffed turkey and, of course, Christmas bread and kourabiethes.” Their best local Greek wines are what are served with their traditional holiday meals.

Interested in learning about how to pronounce Kala Christougena correctly? Check out Christmas Greetings in Greece for more interesting facts.

Happy Christmas! Settle by the Fireside in True British Fashion –

Sometimes we want something simple to enjoy in a quiet moment during the holidays and not a part of the holiday season crush. Leave it to the British to have an excellent solution to this craving.

Port is the answer for many British folks! They can either toast with it after a scrumptious holiday meal or sip it quietly by the fireside as they recall the day’s festivities. The Duoro River region of Portugal is the home of this full bodied sweet red wine; however, the British have truly embraced it for many years.

Port by the fire

Port and Christmas, It’s A Thing by Adam Teeter is a short read that shares a bit more on this British favorite.

Craving More Significance and History of Wine as a Part of Holiday Celebrations?


Extremely interesting to see the role wine has played through human history, spirituality and celebrations in this research paper we discovered online. The Role of Wine in Transition Ceremonies and Certain Holiday Traditions that traces the roots of the vineyard back in time for both forgotten traditions and currently embraced ones. Published by Vesna Manojlovic Nikolic of the University of Novi Sad faculty.


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