January the 6th is traditionally known as "Nollaig ns mBan" or Women's Christmas and Saturday is the perfect night to celebrate it. Here are some things you may not know about January 6th traditions.
1. You'll be hard-pushed to pinpoint the origins of Nollaig na mBan but what does seem clear is that January 6, is the day when women traditionally visited each other's homes for tea, cake, wine and chat.
2. The day can be variously referred to as Little Christmas, Women’s Christmas or – especially in Cork and Kerry – Women’s Little Christmas.
3. It’s traditionally the day in Ireland when the decorations come down and are thrown back up in the attic, waiting to be unpacked and desnagged on December 8 next.
4. The French don’t call it Women’s Christmas but they do get their bake on today to make the galette des rois, a flaky pastry cake, that marks the arrival of the three wise men at Bethlehem. One piece is always set aside to be offered to the first poor person to call to their door on January 6.
5. Nollaig na mBan is dying out in some parts of the country, in Co. Cork the tradition remains strong. Many husbands cook dinner for partners and friends and many restaurants will report nearly 100% female customers on the day, as Corkonian women meet up with girl friends, sisters aunts and mothers to celebrate.
So call into one of The Wine Buff shops and celebrate the tradition by sharing a wine with friends from one of our women winemakers and raise a glass to:
Mother and daughter team Stefanine and Irene Sanesi – whose Valacchi Chianti is created from 5000 vines basking under the Tuscan sun. And in their honour, we have reduced the price of this wonderful Italian wine.
Fanny Boyer is the fourth generation of a family of talented women. Her southern Rhone Chateau Beaubois Cuvée Expression wines have deservedly picked up many awards.
Marie Madeline Maratray’s stunning Burgundy is all hand harvested. It’s not easy to create great Pinot Noir, but Marie knows how to tell this elusive grape’s secrets. Her answer is in the bottle.
Brigette Boulon of Chateau Guibeau in Bordeaux follows organic principles handed down from generation to generation.
Alicia Macaya with her two sisters are pushing the boundaries in Navarra in Bodegas Macaya Almara.
Raquel Perez works with her family on the world renowed Ontanon range of wines.
So this Nollaig na mBan, Irish women can celebrate in the company of these greats by choosing powerful wines by women, for women (and enjoyed by men too !) Come and see for yourself in any of The Wine Buff shops nationwide.