Seasonal inspiration

Christmas with the Halliday team

By Halliday Wine Companion

17 Dec, 2018

We read about and discuss drinks all year long, so when it comes to the big events, we're ready to indulge. These are the bottles we'll be cracking open for the occasion.

“We don’t have any particular Christmas wine traditions, but we do all like to bring along our top finds from the year to share. For warm-weather parties, my go-to picks right now are rosé and prosecco – no one ever says no. And it doesn’t feel like summer until I’ve got a glass in my hand of good dark rum with fresh lime, dry ginger, mint and lots of ice.”

Amelia Ball, editor Halliday magazine

“My family’s go-to Christmas wines are always sparkling, of both the white and red persuasion. This year we are starting with the Blue Pyrenees Midnight Cuvee (which will be enjoyed with some fresh oysters and smoked salmon as a mid-morning snack) and will then move onto the Best’s Great Western Sparkling Shiraz (to go with a glazed ham and selection of roasted vegetables for lunch). Riesling is always a Christmas table staple too!”

Stephanie Cairns, key account manager

“Prosecco is our drink of choice for Christmas Day – we have it with cannoli. Very Italian!”

Georgia Spanos, digital editor

“This year, I will be bringing a bottle of Duke’s Vintage Sparkling Riesling. The Halliday team fell in love with Duke and Hilde Ranson when we met them during the Halliday Awards, thanks to their Wine of the Year win, so it seems fitting to celebrate with their bubbles over the festive season.”

Jacinta Hardie-Grant, commercial director

“Our tradition is that before the masses arrive on Christmas Day, we open a special rosé Champagne while preparing lunch and sampling everything.”

Clare Waddell, key account manager

“My sister and I get mum a bottle of Four Pillars Australian Christmas Gin for her present each year, and then we drink it with Fever-Tree Tonic on the day.”

Tom Fitzgerald, editorial assistant

“For me, it’s not Christmas without a few good bottles of fizz to share. I have my eye on the Gembrook Hill Blanc de Blancs, as well as the Henschke Johanne Ida Selma Blanc de Noir. Jansz Rosé and Holly’s Garden are both easy drinking, affordable sparklings if you need to cater for a crowd, and juicy, low-alcohol pet-nats will never go astray on long, hot days.”

Casey Warrener, digital editor and deputy editor Halliday magazine

“Turning on the air-conditioning and having a delicious glass of Gluhwein (mulled wine) reminds me of being at home in Ireland. An absolute must-have when browsing the stalls of European markets at this time of year. The smell and taste of spiced red wine always make me think of Christmas.”

Marty Conaghan, marketing coordinator

Sparkling shiraz is my wine of choice this Christmas as I’ll be spending the season at home in New Zealand. I love red wine, but for a hot summer event, a glass of heavy red at midday is the last thing we feel like drinking. My family have the traditional turkey roast lunch with all the trimmings, so sparkling shiraz is the perfect companion to the rich flavours. It’s been a personal mission of mine to get my family into sparkling shiraz over the last few years as a sessionable wine for everyone to drink, no matter what their level of wine sophistication, and I think this year I’ll have them hooked. I’m taking a bottle of Ashton Hill’s Sparkling Shiraz, which I acquired after a visit earlier this year, to give me an excuse to relive my cellar door experience with the family.”

Louise Ferguson, marketing manager