Befitting Christmas wines

Christmas wines (Photo: 1ZOOM.me website)

Wine plays a central role in many Christmas celebrations. Here is a selection of wines befitting of the season.

Entertaining

For celebrations leading up to the day, you want satisfying wines that don’t break the bank.

If entertaining a crowd, choose the 2016 Logan Apple Tree Flat Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (AUD $13) or the 2016 Deakin Estate Shiraz (AUD $10).

For elegant celebratory dinners, choose the citrusy 2017 Vickery Watervale Riesling (AUD $23) or the beautiful 2017 Gaelic Cemetery Celtic Farm Riesling (AUD $23). Also delicious is the contemporary 2015 Frankland Estate Chardonnay (AUD $28) and the immensely satisfying 2015 Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Sauvignon (AUD $28).

Gifts

A well-chosen bottle of wine as a gift is always appreciated.

For the hard-to-buy-for wine buff, choose the 2014 Stonier Reserve Chardonnay (AUD $45), 2016 Meadowbank Pinot Noir (AUD $55) or the 2013 Lenton Brae Wilyabrup Cabernet Sauvignon (AUD $70).

If making hampers, add in a 2017 David Hook Pinot Grigio (AUD $18), the 2017 Burnbrae The Little Gem Pinot Gris (AUD $20) or the 2017 MadFish Chardonnay (AUD $18). For red, select the 2016 David Hook Shiraz (AUD $18) or the 2014 Lake Breeze Bernoota Shiraz Cabernet (AUD $20).

On the day

I tend to be conservative in my choices for Christmas Day itself. I go for tried and trusted wines that I know I can depend on.

For Australian bubbles, serve the 2013 Chandon Vintage Brut Rosé (AUD $39) with its elegant stained russet-pink hue and its composed yet flavoursome palate. If after Champagne, I choose something flavoursome to stand out against the commotion of the day like the NV Perrier Jouët Grand Brut (AUD $75). Both of these wines are pinot noir dominant so can handle the tastiest of canapés.

If serving a seafood entrée, you can’t go past a Grosset riesling. The 2017 Grosset Springvale (AUD $40), with its purity, poise and palate softness is a treat.

I usually splash out on a few bottles of a fine yet complex chardonnay. For something truly special, choose the 2015 Xanadu Stevens Road Chardonnay (AUD $70). Or something more affordable, but still superb, is the 2015 Yering Station Chardonnay (AUD $40).

Pinot noir is my go-to variety for Christmas lunch. I recommend the 2016 Dexter Pinot Noir (AUD $55) due to its generosity and refinement.

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