Bubbly, rosé and red: Three wines for Christmas dinner

Whatever you decide to serve for Christmas dinner, these three wines will deal with it all.
Whatever you decide to serve for Christmas dinner, these three wines will deal with it all. Photo: iStock

Christmas dinner. What's to do? Prawns, oysters, scallops, fish? Roast turkey, ham, porchetta, duck, cold roast beef fillet? Quiche, roast vegetables, terrines and salads? Or all of the above?

It doesn't matter much: between them these three wines will deal with it all.

A bubbly to settle the dust and set the mood – and to pair with almost any of the cold starters you serve. A gorgeous rosé to take over from the fizz and partner the cold meats, terrines and any smoked fish you might serve. And a medium-full bodied red to accompany hearty hot meat dishes and cheeses, and to satisfy those who hanker for red wine.

Sidewood Cassandra Blanc de Blancs 2015, Adelaide Hills, $50

Score: 95

This mellow, complex sparkling wine has a bouquet combining nougat, quince and pineapple, with white chocolate and pastry-shop nuances. Understated oak. It's rich and long in the mouth, soft and dry, thanks to very low dosage sweetness. There's good tension, drive and length. 12 per cent alcohol; cork.

Ageing? Best now to five years.

Stockists include: sidewood.com.au

Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown Prêt-à-Rosé 2019, Beechworth, $28

Score: 93

This delightful rosé has a light salmon-pink hue and a smoked-meaty, sulfide-tinged bouquet. The wine is light and easygoing, the finish clean, dry and refreshing. The flavours are quite complex and detailed, and it has lots of personality. You'll want more than one glass. Made from sangiovese and pinot noir. 13 per cent alcohol; screw-cap.


Ageing? Best within three years.

Stockists include: Five Way Cellars, Paddington (NSW); Blackhearts and Sparrows (Vic).

Shaw + Smith Shiraz 2017, Adelaide Hills, $49

Score: 95

A fascinating style of shiraz, showing a lot of vegetal, foresty whole-bunch fermented characters. Spicy, elegantly structured and intense, it's lean and long and while not a big wine, it's totally satisfying. The flavours tease and entertain. 13.5 per cent alcohol; screw-cap.

Ageing? Drink now to 13+ years.

Stockists include: Five Way Cellars, Paddington (NSW); Parkhill Cellars, North Melbourne (Vic).