Monday 18 November 2013


IF you're planning a game dish for
Christmas Day, this could be the perfect partner.


David Ellis

ADELAIDE HILLS maker Chain of Ponds has released a very-moreish 2012 Shiraz under its unusually-named Grave's Gate label that's well worth keeping in mind if you've thoughts of a game dish on the table for Christmas Day.

For not only has this got great flavours that will go really well with that Christmas lunch or dinner game, at $22 it makes for excellent buying for the Festive table as well.

Greg Clack who worked under the renowned Neville Falkenberg at Chain of Ponds from 2005 until Neville moved on to other things a couple of years later (thus allowing Greg to step up as Chain of Ponds' Chief Winemaker,) blended fruit from both the southern and northern parts of the Adelaide Hills. The result's a beautifully full-bodied wine with nicely balanced dark cherry, blackcurrant and juicy plum flavours, backed-up with secondary suggestions of black olives, dried herbs and fresh-ground black pepper.

GREET Christmas Day lunch or dinner
guests with this flirtatious drop.
There's also a nice subtle oak spiciness, silky tannins and balanced acidity. And while suggesting it could have Christmas Day game written all over it, if you're not into game, it's a great one to consider for the table with many red meat dishes as well.  (The quirky label refers to a new gate at the hamlet cemetery of those buried from 1940-1970.)

ONE TO NOTE: WHILE our thoughts are with Christmas, a bubbly worth having a look at is Hungerford Hill's just-released 2008 Dalliance Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir, made from fruit the super-premium cool climate region of Tumbarumba in southern New South Wales.

Dalliance as a word has, of course, connotations of flirting, and despite being firmly Hunter Valley-entrenched, Hungerford Hill have long 'flirted' with fruit out of Tumbarumba as part of their philosophy of using the best fruit from NSW's best growing regions for both their still and sparkling wine production; and this bubbly's a real ripper.

Full of fresh fruit flavours – think honeydew melon to the forefront – and a crisp natural palate-cleansing acidity, at $30 it's well worth thinking about a few on ice for Christmas Day.

NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out We're also on Australian Good Food Guide  in main blog.

No comments: