IN its homeland Spain, Albarino is dubbed "The Wine of the Sea," both because it's grown in the Rias Baixas region adjoining the Atlantic, and because of its wonderful compatibility at the table with seafood.
Amongst the largest makers and exporters of Albarino is Vionta, one of an amazing 180 wineries in Rias Baixas devoted entirely to the production of the variety. The 2009 Vionta Albarino is now available here, and is a great warm weather match for summery seafoods and alfresco brunches.
And while it's got distinctive floral peach and apricot aromas, on the palate its all about melons and lemons with hints of apple. A lovely drop at $30.
IF YOU'VE a good Catholic girl amongst family or friends who like their Riesling, surprise them this Christmas with a bottle under the tree of the wonderfully-named Good Catholic Girl 2010 Teresa Clare Riesling.
This you-beaut drop is full of mouth-watering zesty lemon, ripe apple and creamy tropical fruit flavours, making it a delight with the Christmas or Boxing Day prawns and oysters. And remarkably even though only 600 dozen bottles were made, its just $25, which is a real bargain. If you can't find it locally, order through www.goodcatholicgirl.com.au or 0419 822 909.
CHAMPAGNE or Aussie bubbly as guests arrive, Riesling with a seafood entrée, Shiraz, Australia's unique Sparkling Burgundy or if you prefer whites, an aged Hunter Semillon with the ham and turkey, and a Muscat or Tokay with the Christmas pud….
These are Jeremy Oliver's suggestions for Christmas in his exceptional Wine Annual 2011 in which he extraordinarily reviews 14,000 wines from over 300 of Australia's top wineries. It's an easy-to-navigate tome, small enough to fit in the pocket, purse or glove-box, yet crammed with everything you want to know about those 14,000 wines. Excellent value at $29.95 from bookstores.
(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out http://www.vintnews.com )
 SPANISH beauty with a seafood brunch.
 SURPRISE that good Catholic girl in the family with this flavoursome drop.