Christmas: A time when cousin Eddie wears his soldier's hats, sticking tennis balls at your Wonderboom, while Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" begins for the 15th time in three days (thanks to the manipulated playlist of your giggling cousin) and loads of food. And drink.
It's also one of the days of the year when it's never too early to drink, but where to start? Whether as a gift or a cuddle, for a Christmas dinner or a New Year's Eve – these wallet-friendly wines will take your breath away.
House of Arras Brut Elite Cuvée
Nothing starts Christmas Day so bubbly, and this sensational sparkle from House of Arras, Australia's most awarded winery, is among the best there is. This wine is a blend of three noble bubbly grape varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. It offers rich fruit flavors and an elegant structure all along the line.
Available in the wine shop inland, cellar door and on-line, RRP $ 60
Grant Burge NV Schaumburgunder Chardonnay Rosé
This sparkling rosé is great as an aperitif and present before lunch for friends who need no excuse to pop a cork. It combines rich red berries and a hint of sweet spices in a generous creamy sip that harmonizes with a clear acidity. More please.
Available from most domestic chain and independent liquor retailers for $ 30
Neon Jungle Malbec
The vibrant, glowing label will surely catch your eye, but this full-flavored Argentinean Malbec is also a neat treat. On the palate, black cherry, plum and blackberry fruits blend perfectly into a light richness that blends well with dark meat (or really anything else). At a price of $ 20, you should stock up on the best in the coming weeks.
Available at Liquorland RRP 20 USD
Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon 2013
Serve your Christmas the charm of the old world. This citrus and lemongrass aroma of Semillon presents a beautiful pale straw tone and is paired with a delicious acidity that cuts through the palate to unfold an amazing length (ghost spirit, humans). Let us surprise you that in 1946 Maurice O'Shea planted the Lovedale vineyard and became known as the wine guru.
Available from major retailers and independent stores in the country. MSRP $ 70
Stolen Colt Cabernet Sauvignon
If you love a great red to combine with your slow-cooked meat or grilled meat, you'll love this cab – a nod to Samuel McWilliam's theft-stricken way to build a vineyard in rural NSW after moving from Ireland in 1877. Purple Color with notes of vanilla, chocolate and coffee as well as rich aromas of dark fruits. Fill the glasses of your guests and let the big stories get bigger. Available from major retailers and independent stores in the country. MSRP 16 $
Houghton Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
The legendary winery Houghton in Western Australia has made it again with its contemporary reserve series. Made from a fine selection of West Australian vineyards, this slender Sauvignon Blanc offers a crisp bouquet of passion fruit, kiwis and grapefruit, canned lemon, white elderflower and a hint of vanilla. Also for your money a good bang.
Available from major and independent retailers across the country at an MSRP of $ 15 or more on-line,
McWilliam's 25-year-old Tawny
Complete the biggest and most pampering day of the year with this lush Tawny. Perfect for enjoying the second portion of a sticky date or cheese plate. McWilliam's 25-year-old port has earned its festive streak with its rich, full-bodied palate of raisins, dark chocolate and Christmas pudding. Yes, we now have this "full" feeling too.
Available at select retailers and independent stores. MSRP $ 80
McW 480 Estate Tumbarumba Rosé
This delicious, crunchy rose is refined without being noticeable. It's great for the late Arvo Boxing Day and goes well with cheese or grilled seafood. The wine brings aromas of superior strawberries, watermelons and a subtle blend of fresh wild herbs. Refreshingly dry and hearty with bright red fruits, fresh acidity and a mineral texture. Life should be so easy.
Available from major retailers and independent stores in the country. RRP $ 20
Kim Crawford Chardonnay
This summery wine from our friends on the other side of the Tasman is the perfect companion for meeting friends between the 25th and 31st of December. With hints of tropical fruit and pineapple, complemented by a creamy texture and hints of butterscotch and lemon meringue cake, this tasty number is sure to captivate the palate of your guests and continue the festive jubilation!
Available at Liquorland RRP 22 USD
McW 660 Reserve Tumbarumba Chardonnay
On New Year's Eve it's 40 degrees and a spicy Chardy calls your name … Look no further than this medium-heavy drop with a cool climate from one of Australia's most famous wine regions. Creamy grilled cashew nuts are combined with citrus depths. It's best to take a few bottles to stand by for short-term party invitations or unexpected guests.
Available from major retailers and independent stores in the country. MSRP $ 25
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