How to choose wine for Christmas

December 10, 2012, 9:22 am Alex Trescowthick Yahoo7

Wondering which wines to choose this Christmas? Wine expert Alex Trescowthick recommends the best varieties to sip on during the festive season.

How to choose wine for Christmas

Follow Alex on Twitter: @nepenthewines

With Christmas just around the corner this week we’ll look at the perfect drops to give as Christmas gifts, what to drink on Christmas Day, and the perfect wines to match to Australian classic Christmas dishes.

Perfect drops to give as Christmas gifts
This Christmas sweet whites and fortified wines make the perfect Christmas present. Sweet white wines are great as gifts as they cater to a broad range of people’s palates and are a great crowd pleaser. Varieties to consider: Sauvignon Blanc, Sauternes and Barsac, Muscato and Riesling.

Fortified wines are also great gift ideas because they are the perfect accompaniment for Christmas pudding. The sweet, rich fruit of the Christmas pudding will work hand in hand with the power and viscosity of a sticky or fortified.

What to drink on Christmas Day
I always think the best way to start Christmas day is with Sparkling or Champagne as they scream festivity and will get everyone in the mood for the fun day ahead. If you want to stay local and drink some great bubbles on Christmas day a couple of suggestions are: Deviation Rd Loftia Vintage Brut, Tempus Two Pewter Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay and Bay of Fires Arras Brut Elite No.401.
If you are after the perfect chilled white to accompany your Christmas day feast, the texture and fuller palate weight of a Chardonnay or Pinot Gris will balance nicely with most cold meats and salads.

For red wine lovers, medium bodied reds such as Pinot Noir, Grenache, Tempranillo will complement, without overpowering, roasted white meats. For those of you who feel the need to eat red meat on Christmas day, then you can’t go wrong with a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Affordable wines to take to Christmas parties
The warm Christmases in Australia mean that white wines are perfect for the festive season and I’ll be taking bottles of white wine to most Christmas do’s. Depending on the crowd, anything from an easy to drink Sauvignon Blanc to a good, clean, fruit driven Chardonnay will always do the trick.

If you need ideas on wines worth splurging on, I recommend - Champagne, Chablis or a red Burgundy (Pinot Noir) to enjoy over the Christmas period.

Last week: How to cellar wine

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