Big, Bold Reds for Your Christmas Feast

Written by
Michael Jappy
February 16, 2017
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The diversity of the winemaking landscape in Australia bestows upon its winemakers an embarrassment of grape variety riches, allowing them to produce an assortment of wines styles almost unrivalled throughout the rest of the vinous world.

When it comes to selecting the perfect wine to match your Christmas Day fare then, it can be quite tricky to pick through the ever-expanding list of quality drops that hit the shelf in preparation of the biggest feast of the year.

Spoilt for Choice

The diversity of the winemaking landscape in Australia bestows upon its winemakers an embarrassment of grape variety riches, allowing them to produce an assortment of wines styles almost unrivalled throughout the rest of the vinous world.  When it comes to selecting the perfect wine to match your Christmas Day fare then, it can be quite tricky to pick through the ever-expanding list of quality drops that hit the shelf in preparation of the biggest feast of the year.

Bucking the trend…

The huge, jammy red wines of yesteryear (which tend to dominate food rather than complement it) have gradually moved aside as customers search for wines with more drinkability, with an emphasis on freshness and overall deliciousness. Old favourites have been forced to fight back, and the wines coming from all corners of the Australian industry have never been better; which leaves wine-lovers with the daunting task of selecting what to offer up to guests, family and friends when they sit down to tuck into their hearty fare over the festive period.

“There’s no real trick to selecting the right wine to match up to a tasty Christmas feast. Sometimes being bold is best…”

There’s no real trick to selecting the right wine to match up to a tasty Christmas feast. Sometimes being bold is best, and if you want to open something special, don’t get too caught up on wondering if it’s the perfect match to what is on your plate - it’s a special day and one that deserves to be treated a bit differently. If you want to pull a particular old bottle from your cellar, go right ahead and treat yourself. There’s often so much going on at the Christmas dinner table that getting the perfect wine to match everything on the plate is an almost impossible task, so be brave.

Grape varieties such as Tempranillo and Sangiovese can be a great foil to the many delights on offer: their crunchy fruit profile won’t dominate cold meats and they are also versatile enough to stand up to the more complex flavours and textures typical of the meal, from rich roasted veggies through to meats and condiments. Pinot noir is a classic match for white meats, so if the classic Christmas turkey is your centrepiece, look no further than the silky, ethereal Pinot Noirs from Sandro Mosele and the Mornington Peninsula.

The big guns

Sometimes it’s best to simply treat yourself to something special, and the winning wines from the great producers of the Barossa Valley are as hedonistic and special as they come. Producers such as St Hallett have been at the top of the tree for many moons, and their incredible offerings, with the concentrated yet delicious Old Block sitting at the top of the tree, expertly showcase just how good the wines of the Barossa are. Be brave, treat yourself, but most importantly - relax and enjoy yourself. Christmas should be joyous first and foremost, so remember to have fun when selecting what goes in your glass and celebrate the day in big, bold style.