Monday 22 November 2010


FRENCH connection: a great drop
for a really memorable Christmas

David Ellis

IF this is the year you've reason to treat yourself to some of the best of French Champagne with the Christmas turkey, give serious thought to a bottle of Champagne Taittinger's 2004 Brut Millésimé.

This is a wonderfully flavoursome drop with aromas of lemon fruit jelly, mandarins and honey that follow through nicely on the palate; at $140  drop a hint that someone might like to leave you a bottle under the tree for a truly memorable Christmas – or do it yourself for that very special someone.

And if $140 is a bit beyond the budget, pay just $16.99 and pop the cork on a McWilliam's Balance Brut Cuvee NV, a real value-for-money Aussie bubbly that's got the added advantage of being only eight per cent alcohol (compared with the norm of 11-to-14%) for those watching their intake, but still wanting plenty of nice citrusy flavours and sparkle in the glass.

HUNTER Valley winner to
enjoy with grilled lobster
and lemon-infused butter
A MUST-GIVE for wine buffs this Christmas is Matt Skinner's Wine Guide 2011. This comprehensive guide to 250 wines for drinking now or cellaring for later, has excellent tasting notes, photographs, tips on what varieties and styles are the hottest in buying trends, and help and advice on eco and natural wines, low alcohol drops and low calorie wines.

A consultant to buyers and consumers world-wide and contributor to leading magazines and newspapers here and overseas, Matt's reviews cover wines for all budgets and occasions – reds, whites, bubblies, pinks, sweet wines and light and full-bodied ones. A reference must at $24.95 for wine buffs.

"MASTER of Hunter Valley Semillon," Neil McGuigan – lauded as 2009's International Winemaker of the Year – has now had his 2003 Tempus Two Copper Zenith Hunter Valley Semillon named NSW'S Wine of the Year 2010.

A typically elegant McGuigan drop, this one's loaded with Hunter Valley lemon and lime flavours and complex honey characters. Well worth the $55 price tag to enjoy with grilled lobster basted with lemon-infused butter.


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