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Twelve Wines of Christmas

Twelve Wines of Christmas a guide for Aussies

Wine selection at Christmas can be a good time to try some different styles and varieties. Use teh holiday season to try out some of these wonderful Australian wines made from less common grape varietes.

You need to consider food matching. It's good to have something different on hand to drink on those formal and informal occasions. Here are are few Christmas wines I will be trying, along with some food suggestions.

Mann Cygne Blanc (Method Champenoise)
This one is a different sparkler, and there are plenty of occasions that call for bubbles over the silly season.

Irvine Meslier Brut
Another sparkling wine from left field made by the Master of Merlot James Irvine. This wine is made from the obscure Petit Meslier variety. Crisp and light this will be the ideal start to any celbration or dinner.

Kangarilla Road Viognier
You won't find a better Viognier than this, and you won't find a better varietal wine to go with chicken, either club sandwiches or the full roast.

A Murray Cod Called Bruce Vermentino
A very clumsy name for a very good wine, made by the Murray Darling Collection and equal best regional wine at AAVWS 2005. You will find plenty of occasions for this wine over the summer holiday season.

Garry Crittenden Geppetto Arneis
This is a wonderful wine with honey fruit aromas but still quite crisp. Just the thing for informal summer salad lunches, but it has enough oomph to go with seafood as well.

Galafrey Muller Thurgau
The experts scoff at this variety but if you can get a bottle of this, produced in the cool climate of Mt Barker WA, you may see why some people step outside of the varietal square. Drink it with the same foods as you would have with riesling.

Morris Sparkling Durif
Drink this with the Xmas duck (why have a turkey when you can have duck?) Sparkling reds are just the thing with a festive roast dinner.

Cobaw Ridge Lagrein
A big and rich wine that would enhance any festive roast. The richness and depth of flavours in this wine show a great future for this Italian variety.

Aldinga Bay Petit Verdot
This wine shows why the warmer McLaren Vale is a better habitat for the variety than its native Bordeaux. Enjoy it with meaty dishes or the inevitable summer barbecue.

Vigne Bottin Sangiovese
A versatile wine but like all Sangioveses it cries out for food; so give it a go with anything Italian, pasta, antipasto, veal.

Pizzini Verduzzo
Light and drinkable it can be enjoyed as a late afternoon beverege, or it can accompany fruit based deserts.

Leda Swan Pedro Ximenes
This is a lovely desert wine, showing all of the beautiful flavours of PX, but it isn't fortified. (11% alcohol means you can have a second glass!) Just the thing with christmas cake or mince tarts.

About the Author

Darby Higgs is an expert on Australian wines made from less common grape varieties. He is author of the forthcoming book Emerging Varietal Wines of Australia, which will be available from his website at

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