Wines for Christmas dinner

Wines for Christmas dinner

As the Christmas feast approaches all serious wine lovers are no doubt focused on which wines they intend to pull out of the cellar to share around. Decisions, decisions.

First and foremost, they should be good wines – this is not a time for plonk! Of course, the definition of what’s ‘good’ wine is up for debate as everyone’s palates and preferences differ. But this is your choice so go for wines that really press your buttons, wines that you are just dying to share with others.

Christmas is a celebration so the first wine of the day really needs to be a fine sparkling wine. Maybe something light, crisp, fresh and tangy to sparkle up everyone’s appetite, like a nice Blanc de Blancs.

After that, your choice will be guided by the foods on offer. If you are you going modern Oz, with lots of fresh seafood, my gaze would immediately wander over to the riesling section of the cellar. A good riesling from Orange would do the trick – so bright and fresh with a crisp finish that leaves you longing for another sip.

Now, if you like a little chili with your seafood, I would stay with riesling but consider one of the half-dry versions now gaining in popularity in Orange. These wines have a whisper of residual sugar, the perfect foil for chili, to balance the region’s cool climate acidity.

OK, if you’re going for the traditional hot cooked meal with turkey, stuffing, ham and the works I’d suggest that these richer foods demand richer wines. Chardonnay will do the trick here and Orange is brimming with wonderful wines from this marvelous grape. And there are different styles available, from finer, earlier picked, lightly oaked wines to the richer, more complex styles where the winemaker has put a strong stamp on the wine. We are spoilt for choice.

If it’s time for a red, a light-to-medium bodied pinot noir would slot in here nicely. A big, oaky blockbuster red is hard to match with food at the best of time but would really be out of place with Christmas fare. An elegant red is called for and don’t be afraid to put it in the fridge for 20 minutes to get the temperature down if the temperature is 35 degrees in the shade.

Great food, lovely wines, two or three generations of the family around the table … Could this be the stuff of life?

Seasons greetings from the team at Colmar Estate.