ITS that time of year when we decide what will be the feature of this year's Christmas table, and to help with your decision-making about the wines to go with your choices, we asked our wine writer David Ellis for his ideas as to just what goes best with what.
CHRISTMAS MORNING BRUNCH is becoming increasingly popular amongst Australians, David says, and to match creamy scrambled eggs and smoked salmon try a Handpicked Wines' delightfully "spritzy" Moscato d'Asti from Italy ($25,) or a great Aussie-made Chandon Cuvee Riche bubbly at $39.95.
PRE-lunch or dinner platters call for more bubblies, and great value is Eternity Sparkling Dolcetto from Bill Calabria's Westend Wines (just $10.95), the always-rewarding Hardys Sir James Brut de Brut ($15) or a cracker-jack House of Arras Brute Elite ($55.)
TURKEY, whether hot or as a cold salad, is always all the more enjoyable with a good red: for a break from the traditional Cabernet Sauvignon, try it this year with an Aussie-made Pinot Noir – Lerida Estate's "Cullerin" 2009 from the Canberra District at $35 is really beaut value; if you prefer a white, don't look past Hardys Oomoo Chardonnay ($18.50) while Chandon Sparkling Pinot Shiraz ($29) is a delightfully rewarding "sparkling red."
DUCK will be a tasty alternative to turkey for many, and to match we suggest a choice red: try the exceptional Tim Adams 2006 The Fergus (Grenache) ($27,) or equally-rewarding Borrodell 2006 Pinot Noir ($38.)
SEAFOOD could soon be Australia's No 1 Christmas favourite and whites are the perfect match: we recommend Wicks 2011 Sauvignon Blanc ($18,) Climbing Pinot Gris 2011 at $21, or Leasingham Classic Clare Riesling ($40.)
IF A BARBIE'S your choice, match sizzling beef or lamb with reds: try the more-ish Amberley Secret Lane Cabernet Merlot ($19.99,) outstanding 2009 Limited Release Heathcote Shiraz ($29.90) or exceptional Katnook Estate 2009 Merlot ($40.)
CHRISTMAS PUDD: What else but Lillypilly Noble Blend 2008 "sticky" dessert wine ($22.50,) Westend 3 Bridges Golden Mist Botrytis ($22,) a pink Ballabourneen 2011 Sparkling Moscato ($26) or Hardys Tall Ships Tawny Port ($9.00?)
CHEESE PLATTERS: Bay of Fires Tasmanian Cuvee Brut ($31.50) or Brown Brothers 2006 Paticia Noble Riesling ($35.90.)
(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out http://www.vintnews.com
 AUSSIE-made Chandon classic Cuvee Riche bubbly
 VALUE buying Westend Eternity Sparkling Dolcetto
 MADE for the turkey: Lerida Estate's Cullerin 2009 Pinot Noir
 PERFECT seafood match – Wicks 2011 Sauvignon Blanc
 LIMITED release Heathcote Shiraz just the drop with a Christmas barbie
 FINISH up with a cheese platter and Brown Brothers wonderful 2006 Patricia Noble
 OUR wine expert, David Ellis at his home in the NSW Southern Highlands
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