YOUR WEEKLY WINE COLUMN for week beginning 15 December 2008
wine with david ellis
IF you're planning on turkey at Christmas and a bottle of red to go with it, pop the bottle – preferably a good Pinot Noir – in the fridge for a while to cool it.
No, we haven't lost the plot: serving red wine at "room temperature" originated in Europe where "room temperature" in generally stone-built structures was considered to be around 52-degree Fahrenheit, or roughly 12C.
So here in the Antipodes where our Christmas days can be twice or even three times as hot as those in Europe, it really does make sense to give that red a bit of fridge treatment to enjoy it as its best – not too long though, around 20 or 30 minutes is ideal to take the "room temperature" heat out of the bottle… and the wine.
Try it with a bottle of Capel Vale 2007 Western Australian Debut Pinot Noir that has classic juicy sweet cherries and wild strawberry flavours, and will go wonderfully with the turkey… and its good buying at $17.95.
If on the other hand you're planning on a seafood spread with family and friends, share it with a good Rosé such as Sam Miranda's 2008 Symphonia Tempranillo Rosata. At just $20 a bottle it's a gift, and all the better when served well chilled with that seafood spread – or with cold meats and salad, or for the purists with roast chicken or even pork and vegies.
And if you've bubbly in mind – and most of us will have – think red again, with a McLaren Vale Tapestry label Sparkling Merlot NV off the ice.
At $22 it's both excellent value and a great starter with nibbles, and will carry through well with a main course roast turkey, ham or again with cold seafoods and other salads – while if you're a traditionalist, Victoria's Blue Pyrenees benchmark 2001 Midnight Cuvee is an outstanding drop for any Festive table, and with seven years in the bottle its one of our more elegant handcrafted bubblies; pay $34.95 and safely say "Happy Christmas!"
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 COOL Christmas turkey idea: fridge this red to take the "room temperature"
 SPARKLING red that's ideal with the turkey, ham or even seafoods.