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Matching Canberra wines with Christmas food

Kate Hibberson

 It’s Christmas time, so I’m here once again to help you with wine!

Celebrations always begin socially, standing, gathering, welcoming and sharing. Platters of cheese, cold meats, tomato tarts, olives and more. And seafood. What great Aussie Christmas doesn’t begin with oysters and copious amounts of prawns?


Here you need something refreshing, versatile and my fave – sparkling! Great local sparklings include the zesty aperitif style Silurian from Mount Majura Vineyard – a little biased I know, but well justified. Choose Prosecco for an inexpensive refresher or to make Aperol Spritz or splurge on Pierre Peters or Ruinart as some of my favourite Champagnes. It’s very likely I would also be enjoying a gin at this point and there are now some great local spirit producers.


Continuing with seafood dishes such as ceviche of kingfish or whole baked fish on the BBQ, our local Rieslings are a must and there are so many to choose from. As one of the associate judges at the International Riesling Challenge I got to try an amazing array of Rieslings from all over Australia and the world so I can honestly say if you can get your hands on a bottle of Greg Gallaghers 2017 Riesling, do it!


Turkey isn’t something I have at Christmas but if you do, a great Aussie Chardonnay is the way to go. Collector’s Tiger Tiger Chardonnay offers texture and richness as well as its signature cool climate acidity. But if you’re not eating Turkey like me, this Chardonnay will also go well with your roast chicken, pork or, for me, whatever I’m eating at the time because if its lunchtime it’s Chardonnay time.


Ham and roast meats for the main course lean towards red wine. And even though it may be 35 degrees outside it’s time get Uncle Gary’s red wine. This year for the ham, I recommend a light juicy savoury Sangiovese from Mallaluka. It hits the spot and if you like it can be served slightly chilled. Next, it’s hard to go past a delicious cool climate Canberra Shiraz for your roast beef and lamb. The Nick O’Leary Bolaro Shiraz is something special, it is one of those sexy cool climate shiraz that has beautiful fruit, layers of spice and the palate just goes on and on.


Pavlova and pudding – couldn’t be any different if they tried. For the Pavlova try Long Rail Gully SSC. It is Shiraz grapes that are picked and then dried in crates before being pressed. The resulting wine is succulent and sweet but not overtly sweet. Alternatively, if you want a sticky sweet dessert wine try the Freeman Dolcino, it’s luscious, rich, delicious and most definitely will hold up against Nanna’s Christmas pudding. Watch out for the threepence and sixpence in the pudding.

Some of my favourite places to grab some local and other great wines are Ainslie Cellars, Plonk and Jim Murphy’s.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. Cheers!

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Kate Hibberson

Kate is the current Cellar Door Manager at Mount Majura Winery. More about the Author

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