Australian Christmas is more often than not celebrated with the air-conditioner whirring away inside the house and the barbecue sizzling out the back somewhere. The thought of drinking a big, classic Australian red wine on a scorching Christmas day is one we all have but often it’s a pretty tough slog in hot conditions.
The other thing working against big red wines at Christmas is that we tend to celebrate the amazing seafood available from bounteous seas that surround our island nation and they are white wine territory, no question about that.
First things first and there’s a big call for bottles of bubbles. The French own the title with their esteemed Champagne's and we have an amazing selection in Australia. I like to open a really top end Champagne with my family as a little gift that we share to kick off the day.
Sparkling red wine is a bit of a tradition, I always have one or two bottles ready at Christmas and these are festive, they taste unmistakably like great Australian red wine (usually made with Shiraz) and yet the chilled bubbly goodness is truly unique.
White's of all shapes and sizes should be served in plentiful amounts, you really can’t go wrong, and I look to lighter red's like Pinot Noir and Grenache, Tempranillo and Sangiovese. These are culinary all-rounders that will take the whole table of different flavours in their stride.
NV Krug Grande Cuvée: it’s a very special Champagne, one that each and every person will enjoy and remember, no matter whether they’re a connoisseur or a novice wine drinker.
NV Seppelts Sparkling Shiraz: these guys are the benchmark for this style and have carefully honed their style over decades. Superb value.
2015 Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc: the masters from the Adelaide Hills have pulled an absolute beauty from the stunning 2015 vintage.
2012 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay: this is the original luxury chardonnay from Margaret river and it delivers so much flavour, it will impress everyone at the table.
2014 Dalrymple Pinot Noir: a delicious blend of grapes from various parts of Tasmania where pinot noir delivers deep, plum and spice flavours.
NV Campbells Merchant Prince rare Rutherglen Muscat: this is like Christmas in a glass, full of rich, smooth, unctuous chocolate, mocha and toffee flavours. A sure bet with the pudding!
Have a very safe and merry Christmas, enjoy sharing great wines with your loved ones and see you at Peppers in 2016 where I’ll be sharing many more wine events and opening more great bottles.
Look out for more Peppers wine events in 2016, I have some great things planned to share with you.
Cheers and see you at Peppers!