Wine with Winsor

Green pillar candle surrounded by red round fruits

There are some terrific tipples at all price points for holiday enjoyment, wine writer Winsor Dobbin reports.

Something special
Louis Roederer Collection 243 NV Champagne
With Christmas and New Year celebrations galloping up on us, here is a stellar new Champagne release from the House of Roederer, a reliable byword for quality bubbles. Based on fruit from the 2018 vintage and complemented by reserve wines from a solera established in 2012, this is a dangerously delicious wine worthy of a special occasion with delightful floral and citrus notes augmented with some brioche notes and some sea salt crispness. Lovely stuff and a perfect aperitif choice. $95.

Barbecue buddy
Bleasdale 2020 The Wild Fig
The Potts family at Bleasdale in Langhorne Creek produce a wide range of wines at various price points – and the wines are uniformly excellent. This is a blend of three grapes that thrive in the warm conditions in South Australia; shiraz, grenache and Mourvèdre that offers a whole lot of flavoursome drinking pleasure at a very reasonable price. There is a whole lot of personality here with blue fruit notes, some spice, and earthy characters, but also some impressive balance. A good choice for pairing with gourmet sausages or a summer barbecue. $22.

Summer freshness
Tscharke 2022 Girl Talk
This white blend from the Barossa Valley is a quintessentially summery wine choice, perfect for enjoying al fresco with some fresh seafood, or just as a thirst quencher. It is an entry level wine in Damien Tscharke’s impressive range of organic wines and is a melange of savagnin, grenache blanc and albariño grapes that is seriously slurpable. Enjoy this floral, crisp, lively, and delicious wine in its youth. Like right now. Perhaps pair with some prawns or oysters on Boxing Day. $20.

Pink pleasure
Hay Shed Hill 2022 Rosé
Summer times is rosé time and this vibrant and lively wine made from 100% Margaret River pinot noir grapes offers a lot of drinking pleasure on a hot afternoon or warm evening. It is an ideal picnic, or beach wine, best served well chilled and enjoyed with casual finger food. $20.

Snazzy semillon
Meerea Park 2022 XYZ Semillon
Looking for a perfect partner for some freshly shucked oysters? This citrusy Hunter Valley semillon from the Eather brothers at Meerea Park is right on point. Sourced from vineyards at Pokolbin – in the heart of the Hunter – this is a stellar young semillon made for immediate enjoyment. It is fresh, zingy, crisp, and clean with classic lime/lime and mineral characters and brisk acid on the finish. $30.

Serious Red
St Hallett 2020 Blackwell Shiraz
Looking for something lip-smackingly good to pair with Christmas turkey or duck? This classic Barossa shiraz has plenty of flavour along with swashbuckling style. This wine is named in honour of St Hallett winemaking legend Stuart Blackwell and has become a very popular style over almost three decades. Bright with a complex palate full of dark fruits, cocoa, nutmeg spice, and toasty American oak, along with terrific tannin structure, this screams to be enjoyed with food, particularly game dishes. $55.

Tassie treasure
Delamere NV Sparkling Cuvée
Tasmania is producing a whole swag of sparkling wines that are capable of rivalling Champagne for quality – and this offers both quality and value from Pipers River in the north of the state, where husband-and-wife team Shane Holloway and Fran Auston produce several excellent bubblies. This non-vintage Sparkling Cuvée is a blend of vintages with the majority coming from 2014 vintage, with 30% of reserve wine adding complexity and depth. I enjoyed it at an early Christmas function and can certainly recommend it for those looking for a fresh and vibrant sparkling wine with plenty of flavour. $40.

Ripper Riesling
Robert Stein 2022 Half Dry Riesling
A Mudgee winery is not where you would immediately look to source high-quality riesling, but winemaker Jacob Stein is something of a riesling whisperer, producing wines of phenomenal quality in two different styles. This is off dry wine made from fruit sourced from the Angullong vineyard in Orange at an elevation of just over 600 metres. This has delicious fruitiness and would pair brilliantly with Thai or Vietnamese cuisine. Think maybe a glass noodle salad with leftover turkey. $50.

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