Wine Lists

Summer’s coolest drinks

To get you through the long, hot days and many events, we ask wine people from around the country to share their festive tips and top drinks picks.

  • Wines for sipping poolside

  • “Our family spends most summer holidays by the pool, so it’s not really the time to be bogged down with a boozy shiraz. Focus on lightness and body, and something you can put in an ice bucket and chill down,” says Lyndon Kubis, co-owner of The Alps, Toorak Cellars and The Moon in Melbourne

    Glass of wine and bowl of olives by pool Try:
    2019 Rieslingfreak No. 3 Clare Valley Riesling, South Australia, $27
    2019 Schmölzer & Brown Beechworth Prêt-à-Rosé, Victoria, $28


  • Wines to start the party

  • “I think everyone likes sparkling. It doesn’t matter what kind of party or event you’re going to, if you turn up with bubbles, generally everyone is pretty happy,” says Tasmanian sommelier Alice Chugg.

    Party sparklers Try:
    2019 Dr Ongo Pinot Noir Pet Nat, Tasmania, $35
    2019 Delinquente Wine Co Weeping Juan Riverland Petillant Naturel, South Australia, $25


  • Wines that make the occasion

  • “Christmas can be a stressful time, so I think it’s important to focus on buying great wine and food to share with your family instead of presents that you may or may not need,” says Emma Farrelly of State Buildings in Perth.

    Friends sharing a bottle of Champagne Try:
    2009 House of Arras Blanc de Blancs, Tasmania, $87
    NV Andre Clouet Rosé Champagne, France, $90


  • Wines for the table

  • “Medium-bodied whites are versatile wines to have around, perfect with everything from an antipasto platter to a roast bird,” says Mark Protheroe of the Recreation in Melbourne.

    Festive meal with turkey and white wine Try:
    2018 Jo Landron Loire Valley Muscadet-Sevre et Maine Cuvee La Louvetrie, France, $39
    2017 Oakridge 864 Funder & Diamond Vineyard Drive Block Yarra Valley Chardonnay, Victoria, $70
    2016 Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Nahe Kabinett Riesling, Germany, $50
    2017 Sebastian Brunet Renaissance Loire Valley Vouvray Sec, France, $42


  • Wines for gifting

  • “I like giving wines that are ageworthy. A lot of my friends aren’t big wine drinkers, so I go for well-known names such as Grosset, Rockford and Henschke to make sure it’s special for them,” says sommelier Shaun Lau.

    Wine wrapped to give as a gift Try:
    2016 Yarra Yering No. 1 Yarra Valley Red Blend, Victoria, $125
    2014 Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Hunter Valley Semillon, New South Wales, $90
    2018 Tolpuddle Coal River Valley Pinot Noir, Tasmania, $87


  • Red wines to take to a barbecue

  • “Lighter styles with the ability to chill in the Australian summer make sense. Over the warmer months, I like reds that can sit in the Esky,” Mark Protheroe says.

    Friends clinking red wine glasses over table Try:
    2017 CFRT Arranmore Vineyard Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir, South Australia, $39
    2017 Terrason Yarra Valley Gamay, Victoria, $30
    2016 I Fabbri Lamole Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy, $60


  • Lighter wines for keeping fresh

  • “The Australian Christmas is typically a long day with multiple events. Wines with lower alcohol will help you to last the distance,” Lyndon Kubis says.

    Glass of wine on coffee table with person on couch in the background Try:
    2017 Pichler-Krutzler Loiben Riesling, Germany, $53
    2018 Pewsey Vale Prima Eden Valley Riesling, South Australia, $28


    This is an edited extract of what originally appeared as ‘80 Wines for the Festive Season’ in Halliday magazine. For more seasonal tips and drinks ideas, look out for issue #49, out on November 14.