Seasonal inspiration

The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Wine

By Georgia Spanos

Fretting about Christmas already? Let Halliday take care of the wine this year, with our definitive guide on everything you may need. A spectacular Christmas, topped with the finest wines, and all those finishing touches is a certified guarantee.

Organising your Christmas wine can seem exhausting among the rest of your duties. In an instant, you’ve a list a mile long of decorations, ingredients for lunch, presents to buy, and don’t forget to order the ham. Yet for wine lovers, there’s a whole other component that needs attention. Luckily, Halliday have curated a go-to guide to make the day a little easier; from the appropriate wines to pair with each dish, to the correct glasses for optimal taste; the bare essentials often left forgotten, and some fun extras too, Halliday have covered all bases this Christmas.

Go to section: The Perfect Wines | The Right Glasses | The Cooling Ice Bucket | The Helpful Decanter | The Helpful Cork Screw | The Impressive Tasting Notes
| The Fun Additions

Christmas, Wine, Halliday

  • The Perfect Wines

To begin preparations, you best decide on the wines first of all. There are plenty of highly rated bottles, that can be found within our virtual cellar, however if you’re looking to pair the perfect food with the perfect wine — say no more. Here’s what wines to pair with the foods featured most during Christmas.

If starting with style, offering cheese and oysters, prosecco to accompany suits wonderfully. Its light body and minimal acidity is the perfect aid for salty oysters. Prosecco also marries well with mild cheese, as well as festive foods like quiches and pies. Try 2017 Artwine Prosecco.

An Australian Christmas often features fresh prawns and delicate seafoods. With light white meats, there’s no variety more appropriate than chardonnay — it’s subtle beauty should never be overpowered with rich and decadent foods. Try 2015 Singlefile Wines The Vivienne Denmark Chardonnay.

Opted for salmon as your main meat this Christmas? Then try a pinot noir. It’s bright acidity, compelling complexities, and rich fruit qualities bring forth the fine flavours of salmon. Try 2017 Topuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir.

If you’ve chosen a showstopper main, including lamb or beef, cabernet sauvignon is the variety best suited. These richer meats pair well with full-flavoured, firm tannin structured wines. Try 2017 Robert Oatley Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon.

For dessert, whether that be Christmas puddling, fruit tarts, or other indulgent treats, choose a sweet wine. Even though your dessert is also sweet, together with wine they’ll dance wonderfully on the palate. Try 2016 Baileys of Glenrowan Winemakers Selection Rare Old Muscat.

  • The Right Glasses

Don’t waste the day washing glasses, most wines require their own that best compliment their character anyway.

For prosecco, use a tall flute glass. It’s similar to a champagne glass, yet with a tad more body. This ensures the bubbles keep bubbling, and aromas flourish too.

For chardonnay, use a small U-shaped glass. Chardonnay glasses use smallish bowls, which ensure scents directly enter the nose, and tastes directly enter the throat.

For pinot noir, use a wide curvaceous glass that's almost S-shaped. The shape gives room for richer reds to breath.

For cabernet sauvignon, use a wide bowl glass alike to pinot noir, although not as shapely. This is to intensify the aromas of cabernet sauvignon, rather than giving too much room for it to breath.

For sweet wines, use small glasses that are also small rimmed. This ensures that the sweetness doesn’t overwhelm the mouth, entering directly to the back.

  • The Cooling Ice Bucket

The ice bucket not only adds grandness to the table, but is also handy when your glass bridges empty. Be careful however, when placing your wine inside the bucket. Some aren't aware that their bottles are sitting on top, rather than within the ice. To avoid this issue, simply add a dash of water to the bucket. Sparkling, champagne, and prosecco should always be served 'ice cold', with most whites and lighter reds served 'cool'. Great wines to chill are: 2013 Clover Hill Vintage Methode Traditionnelle, 2012 Singlefile Run Free Sauvignon Blanc Semillon and 2017 Hoddles Creek Estate Wickhams Road Gippsland Pinot Noir.

  • The Helpful Decanter

Another impressive touch to the table is the decanter. Its role is to seperate wine from its sediments, whilst also giving oxygen to open the aromas and flavours. Decanting is recommended for most young reds, and particularly bold varieties like syrah and cabernet sauvignon. There are plenty of shapes to choose from that add magnificence to your Christmas table, and wine of course.

Wine, Decanter, Christmas, Halliday

  • The Essential Cork Screw

Ever been in the predicament of having a corked bottle of wine, and no cork screw handy? Save yourself the drama and come equipped with the essentials. There are plenty of varieties with different functions available, and they're quite stylish too. Here’s a tip when opening bubbles: Use the knife that's included to open the seal neatly, and apply pressure to the cork when doing so. This ensures the bottle is opened with precision, and won’t pop unexpectedly, hitting your guests at lunch.

  • The Impressive Tastings Notes

As you’ve so finely accommodated in the wine department this Christmas, why not become experts on the bottles you're tasting. Simply browse James’ tasting notes and present them to your guests as a wine menu. You could even try guessing the characteristics of each wine, before revealing the notes. Download our Halliday tasting cards crafted just for occasion here.

  • The Fun Additions

Essentials aside, there’s plenty of fun to be had with wine gadgets and accessories. Glass charms are always special, as are decorative stoppers and corks. Ice pearls instantly chill your wine, and won’t dilute and spoil it, where as glass markers provide all types of creativity. Browse our gift guide here for more Christmas wine ideas.