33 2016 Yarra Yer­ing Dry Red No. 1, Vic­to­ria, $120

Wow. This is an amaz­ing wine, up there with some of the great sparkling wines of the world. At my Christ­mas lunch with fam­ily, we al­ways have Cham­pagne, and if I served this blind, it would blow them away to learn it’s Aus­tralian. A game-changer.

Halliday - - 80 Wines -

This is a gift that will im­press. It's one of those clas­si­cally beau­ti­ful Aus­tralian wines you can drink now or age for decades. For gift­ing, I like to go for these kinds of high-qual­ity Aus­tralian wines made by pro­duc­ers with amaz­ing rep­u­ta­tions. It’s also the type of wine I love drink­ing.

34. To take to a party: 2018 La Vi­o­letta Great South­ern Spunk Nat,

Western Aus­tralia, $32

This pet-nat is such a bright ex­pres­sion of fruit, and so drink­able and de­li­cious, so it’s per­fect for a party. It also looks great – it’s pink and fizzy with eye-catch­ing pack­ag­ing – so that will ex­cite peo­ple too.

35. If some­one wanted to im­press me:

2017 Tolpud­dle Coal River Val­ley Pinot Noir, Tasmania, $83

This pinot noir is such a com­plete, stun­ning wine. I tried it re­cently and it made me so ex­cited that I thought I could hap­pily drink it all the time. It’s in lim­ited sup­ply, so it would be a nice gift to re­ceive.

36. Kris Kringle banger: 2017 Cape Grace Mar­garet River Chenin Blanc,

Western Aus­tralia, $20

Chenin is a bit of an un­der-recog­nised wine. This ex­am­ple is beau­ti­ful and a bar­gain, and it works great with spice.

It’s also some­thing peo­ple prob­a­bly wouldn’t choose for them­selves.

37. Christ­mas Eve: 2015 Al­berto Marsetti Grumello Val­tel­lina, Lom­bardy, Italy, $57 Be­cause I work in hos­pi­tal­ity, I’m al­ways ex­hausted come Christ­mas Eve, so I want to drink some­thing de­li­cious that I can sip slowly. This is the kind of wine to sit and smell, and take your time with.

38. Christ­mas morn­ing: NV Cham­pagne Bil­le­cart-Sal­mon Brut Rosé

(375ml half-bot­tle), France, $55

Again, work­ing in hos­pi­tal­ity, I used to get a bit Grinch-y on Christ­mas, so I made it a tra­di­tion that all I wanted was a de­cent half­bot­tle of Cham­pagne and a ham sand­wich on Christ­mas morn­ing. I now have small chil­dren, so it’s all about them, but it’s still nice to un­wrap presents with a glass of Cham­pagne in your hand.

39. To go with prawns: 2016 Jo Lan­dron Loire Val­ley Mus­cadet-Sevre et Maine Cu­vee La Lou­vetrie, France, $36

At an Aussie Christ­mas, there’s al­ways a cooked or cold prawn. Mus­cadet is such an un­der­rated grape va­ri­ety that’s per­fect for sum­mer and seafood.

40. Game night de­light: 2017 Farr Ris­ing Gee­long Ga­may, Vic­to­ria, $40

Our Christ­mas night is all about board games. I'm mad for ga­may at the mo­ment, but by that time of night, you just want to sip on some­thing de­li­cious, and this is beau­ti­fully well made.

41. Box­ing Day re­cov­ery: 2017 Pich­lerKrut­zler Loiben Ries­ling, Aus­tria, $53

By Box­ing Day, I’m usu­ally ready to chill out on the couch and watch cricket while the kids play with their toys. Easy drink­ing and low al­co­hol are what I’d want. This ries­ling is su­per juicy and has amaz­ing con­cen­tra­tion with a hint of sweet­ness. It's the kind of wine you can drink in the morn­ing with­out food.

FOR CHRIST­MAS LUNCH

43. 2015 Oakridge 864 Drive Block

Yarra Val­ley Chardon­nay, Vic­to­ria, $78 When I want a se­ri­ous white wine, chardon­nay is where I look, and Dave Bick­nell at Oakridge is mak­ing some of the great­est in Aus­tralia at the mo­ment. It’s not an overly rich style, but it’s got enough weight that it can pair with turkey, ham and smoked sal­mon.

44. 2008 Gravner Ri­bolla Venezia

Gi­u­lia, Italy, $150

I’m a big fan of or­ange wines, and this one from north­ern Italy is a bench­mark of the style. It’s amaz­ingly de­tailed and com­plex, and it will sur­prise peo­ple. It won’t keep ev­ery­one happy, although it’s not funky or faulty, but it’s a truly won­der­ful wine.

45. 2016 Ben­jamin Ler­oux, Bur­gundy, France, whites $66-$385, reds $70-$695 This is my cur­rent, top Bur­gundy pro­ducer. The 2016 vin­tage has only re­cently been re­leased, and if you can get your hands on any of these wines, they will be worth every cent.

TO TAKE TO A PARTY

46. 2016 I’ll Fly Away Yarra Val­ley

Pet Nat Rosé, Vic­to­ria, $27

This pet-nat is a lovely rose-pink colour, and it’s shi­raz-based with a touch of caber­net franc.

47. 2018 Nick O’Leary

Can­berra Ries­ling, Aus­tralian

Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory, $25

This is one of my favourite wines.

It's dan­ger­ously smash­able – no one could ar­gue they don’t like ries­ling af­ter try­ing this wine.

48. 2017 Vignerons Sch­mölzer & Brown Beech­worth Prêt-à-Rosé, Vic­to­ria, $28 What bet­ter wine to drink than rosé dur­ing sum­mer? It’s a no-brainer.

FOR UN­DER THE TREE

49. 2006 Tyrrell’s Vat 1

Hunter Val­ley Semil­lon,

New South Wales, $175

I love Hunter semil­lon. It’s not a wine peo­ple au­to­mat­i­cally go for, but if you pre­sented a bot­tle of 12-year-old semil­lon from a great house like Tyrrell’s, and they opened it and didn’t like it, per­haps wine is not their thing.

50. 2015 An­toine San­zay Saumur Champigny Caber­net Franc,

France, $50

Clean and bright with lovely red fruit, good acid and tan­nins, this is a re­ally well-bal­anced red. It’ll go well with the turkey or roast beef, and could even be in­ter­est­ing with the Christ­mas pud­ding, de­pend­ing on how boozy you make yours.

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