Posted by: Adam Booth
Let's be honest, Christmas can be exhausting. There's just so much to think about. We can't help you decide who's having Great Aunt Maude this year or when precisely you should pick up the seafood for Christmas lunch, but we can take one stress off your shoulders. With these 10 wines in your cellar, you'll be sorted for entertaining, celebrating, and plenty of indulging.
Giesler Vintage Brut 2005
This one's a no brainer. Christmas equals celebration and nothing says celebration like vintage Champagne. I'll be popping the cork on one of these with my family at our Christmas Day smoked salmon brunch. Elegant, fine and with a beautiful balance of crisp fruit and toasty brioche characters, this is what vintage Champagne is all about. It's remarkably reasonably priced too.
Society Directors' Selection Grand Cuvée 2010
What do you do when the world and his wife comes round for Christmas drinks? You want to give everyone a bit of quality festive fizz, but you're not that keen on funding your boozy fifth cousin's all day vintage Champers session. Fortunately you can put that dilemma to bed by stocking up on this fresh yet complex King Valley sparkling. It is a seriously good drop and as you're only paying $25 a go, you can afford to show a little more largesse.
Aravina Estate Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013
Christmas in Australia can be a thirsty affair. Soaring temperatures make refreshing whites an essential part of your festive collection. This Sauvignon Blanc Semillon comes from Margaret River, the premium region that specialises in the blend. It will cool you down on the hottest of days and it's the perfect match for your seafood banquet. Put down a bottle alongside some fresh oysters, prawns and lobster and your guests will give you rave reviews.
Wolf Blass Winemaker's Collection Chardonnay 2012
Turkey and ham are two staples of the Christmas table and this wine works equally well with both. An elegant and refined Chardonnay, it is a classic match for the turkey, complementing rather than dominating the bird's delicate flavours. As for the ham, the inherent saltiness works together with the wine's citrus acidity to amplify its fruity qualities. One wine – two fantastic Christmas matches.
Taylors Jaraman Riesling 2012
This one is a bit of an indulgence of mine. It's not so much that 'you need this wine over Christmas' as 'you need this wine now ... and at any time over the next five to ten years'. The product of a spectacular vintage and some impressive winemaking, this is the wine I'll be pouring for myself on those rare and very precious moments I get to myself. You could do worse than do the same. If a few freshly shucked oysters happen to be on hand, so much the better.
Seville Estate The Barber Rosé 2012
One of the key wine challenges of Christmas is the vast array of different foods we put on our plates at one time. White meats, dark meats, seafood, salads and veggies of all kinds. It makes simple wine pairings kind of tricky. This is where this rosé comes into its own. Full enough to handle some pretty strong flavours but light and refreshing enough not to overpower more delicate elements of your feast, it's my 'go to' wine when I need to cover all bases.
Society Directors' Selection Very Old Vines Shiraz 2012
A top quality Barossa Shiraz is a foolproof gift. A top quality Shiraz that's exclusively available to Members of Australia's oldest wine club – now that's genius! With this unique wine, you'll be sure to surprise as well as impress your boss, your father-in-law … in fact any discerning wine lover. Make sure you pick up a few extra bottles too and give yourself a well-deserved treat next time a bit of beef is on the menu.
Château La Grolet Côtes de Bourg 2010
It's nice to have something a little different at Christmas. If you tend to stick to your Aussie reds, why not spread your wings a little over the festive period with this classic Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernets and just a touch of Malbec? Lively, juicy and full of character it has all the class required to grace any Christmas table. A nice bottle of Bordeaux makes a pretty good gift too. Maybe pair it with the Very Old Vines Shiraz for a fantastic comparison of New and Old World styles.
Society Premium Selection Margan Botrytis Semillon 2012
I don't know about you, but Christmas tends to bring out my sweet tooth and this exquisite Botrytis Semillon from Margan is a whole lot more satisfying than another rum ball or piece of rocky road. It's gorgeous with mince pies and Christmas puds but equally delicious with fresh fruit desserts. Or do it my way and scrap the dessert altogether and just enjoy the honey, apricot and marmalade flavours all by themselves.
Graham's Six Grapes Port
Not all traditions have to be followed. You could go through till January without a glass of port. But why would you? When all the kids are finally asleep and another Christmas Day is more or less put to bed, I'll be reaching for the cheese board, settling into my favourite armchair and relaxing with a glass of Port. Rich and complex with flavours of spice, fruitcake and hints of sweet tobacco, it's Christmas in a glass.
Thursday, November 14, 2013