Friday, 10 December 2010

xmas tips(y)

Christmas day and summer lunches are usually associated with a glass of chilled Marborough (NZ) Sauvignon Blanc on the table, next to the cold seafood platter, ham and turkey. But if you're thinking of trying something a little different on the tipple front this festive season, give these guys a go:

Sparkling Red

Sparkling Burgundy...or 'spurgle', as some like to call it, with it's big, fruit bomb flavours and soft red fruit overtones make great mates with the richness of a roast turkey, but work equally well with spicy flavours and other meats. This style of wine contains a mixture of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz grapes and you'll pick up notes of currant and blackberry fruit and clove, so it's no surprise it works so well at Christmas. 

Try Primo Estate Joseph Sparkling Red NV, McLaren Vale.


Brachetto is a red Italian wine varietal grown mainly in Piedmont, in northwest Italy. The most notable wine from this varietal is Brachetto d'Acqui (DOC), which is made in both a still and sparkling (spumante) style. One made in the dolce style is perfect for Christmas dessert with mince pies and short breads.

Try Paola Sordo Brachetto d'Acqui 2008, DOC


Named after the ancient Greek method of growing vines, tied to a pole (or 'Phalanga), this varietal is becoming more known in Australia and is originally produced in Campania in Southern Italy. Aromatic and fresh, with flavours that resemble green apple and citrus fruit, as well as aromas of banana and pineapple. Like most Italian wines, it works beautifully with food including grilled seafood and fresh salads.

Try Cavalier Pepe Falanghina 2008


The last few years have seen plenty of ciders flood into the Australian market, a popular alternative to the old brewski, they're fresher, fruitier and less heavy, but still maintains casual cool, while you lean against your fixy or adjust your Wayfarers.

Not just restricted to apple varieties, there are some interesting options out there including some great versions from NZ and Sweden, like pear or strawberry. Semi-sweet on palate with strong fruit hit up front, a good cider should finish with a slightly-tart back palate and low acidity. Serve over ice to reduce sweetness, add lemon for a more tarty twist.

Try Rekorderlig Pear Cider, Monteith's Crushed Apple Cider