10 Delectable Drops for the Festive Period
Christmas: a time of Cousin Eddie trooper hats, hurling taped-up tennis balls at your Wonderboom as Slade’s “Merry Christmas Everybody” kicks off for the 15 billionth time in three days (courtesy of your sniggering cousin’s manipulated playlist), and lots of food. And drink.
It’s also one of the days of the year where it’s never too early to have a drink, but where to start? Whether it’s for gifting or gluggling, the Christmas dinner table or New Year’s gathering, these wallet-friendly wines will see you through.
House of Arras Brut Elite Cuvée
Nothing kick-starts Christmas Day quite like bubbly, and this sensational sparkling from House of Arras, Australia’s most awarded winery, is among the best going around. A multi-vintage blend of three noble sparkling grape varieties of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, this wine delivers rich fruit flavours and elegant structure all the way down.
Available at fine wine retailers nationally, cellar door and online. RRP $60
Grant Burge NV Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay Rosé
Equally at home as a pre-lunch tastebud-tantaliser and fallback gift for the friend who never needs an excuse to pop a cork, this sparkling Rosé brings together rich red berries and a touch of sweet spice in a generous creamy mouthful balanced with crisp acidity. More, please.
Available at most chain and independent liquor retailers nationally at RRP $30
Neon Jungle Malbec
The vivid, glow-in-the-dark label is sure to catch the eye, but this full-flavoured Argentinean Malbec pours pretty decently, too. On-the-palate black cherry, plum and blackberry fruits meld perfectly fror a light richness that pairs nicely with dark meats (or anything, really). A steal at $20, you’d best stock up in the coming weeks.
Available at Liquorland RRP $20
Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2013
Serve some old-world charm with your Christmas feast. Presenting a gorgeous pale straw hue, this Semillon’s citrus and lemongrass aromoa couples with a delicious acidity that cuts through the palate to showcase amazing length (minds out of the gutter, people). Drop into convo that Maurice O’Shea planted the Lovedale vineyard in 1946 and be known as a wine guru.
Available at major retailers and independent stores nationally. RRP $70
Stolen Colt Cabernet Sauvignon
If you love a big red to pair with your slow-cooked meat or BBQ platters, this cab sav — a nod to Samuel McWilliam’s theft-plagued path to establishing a vineyard in rural NSW after relocating from Ireland in 1877 — will please. Purply-dark crimson in colour, it brings notes of vanilla, chocolate and coffee, along with rich dark fruit flavours. Fill your guests’ glasses and let the tall stories grow taller. Available at major retailers and independent stores nationally. RRP $16
Houghton Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Iconic Western Australia winery Houghton has done it again with its contemporary Reserve range. This light-bodied Sauvignon Blanc, which handpicks from a fine selection of Western Australia vineyards, offers a cracking bouquet of passionfruit, kiwifruit and grapefruit, preserved lemon, white elderflower and hints of vanillin spice. Decent bang for your buck, too.
Available in major and independent retailers nationwide at a RRP $15, or online.
McWilliam’s 25-Year-Old Tawny
Round out the year’s biggest — and most indulgent — day with this lush Tawny; perfect for savouring that second helping of sticky date or a cheese platter. McWilliam’s’ 25-year port has well and truly earned its festive stripes with its rich, full-flavoured palate of raisins, dark chocolate and Christmas pudding. Yes, we’ve got that “full” feeling now as well.
Available at selected retailers and independent stores. RRP $80
McW 480 Estate Tumbarumba Rosé
Sophisticated without being showy, this deliciously crisp rose is made for late-arvo Boxing Day pairing with cheese or barbequed seafood. The wine brings aromas of lifted strawberry, watermelon and a subtle mix of fresh wild herbs. It’s refreshingly dry and savoury with light red fruits, fresh acidity and a mineral texture. Life was meant to be this easy.
Available at major retailers and independent stores nationally. RRP $20
Kim Crawford Chardonnay
This summery wine from our friends across the Tasman is the perfect accompaniment to friend catch-ups between December 25 and 31. Showcasing notes of tropical fruits and pineapple, complimented with a creamy texture and hints of butterscotch and lemon meringue pie, this flavoursome number is sure to excite your guests’ taste buds and continue the festive cheer!
Available at Liquorland RRP $22
McW 660 Reserve Tumbarumba Chardonnay
It’s pushing 40 degrees on New Year’s Eve and a zesty chardy is calling your name… Look no further than this medium-bodied, cool-climate drop from one of Australia’s most vaunted wine regions. Creamy grilled cashew nut is matched with depths of citrus fruit. Best grab a few bottles to keep on standby for last-minute party invitations or unexpected guests.
Available at major retailers and independent stores nationally. RRP $25