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  • Writer's pictureJames-Paul Marin

A Family Christmas

For those are not familiar with 'why' we are 'Enfant Terrible', let me explain it to you. It's a French phrase which can be loosely translated as a "clever, creative, naughty youngster who's both unconventional and occasionally embarrassing". The last bit I’m sure my five-year-old would agree with! At this time of year, we feel a little bit of cheeky (even embarrassing) behaviour is par for the course.

Yep, it's Christmas time and that can mean feeling overwhelmed and confused. What to drink...with whom... and when? One idea is to ask guests to bring just one wine on a theme. Here's my theme. If you had just one wine to drink at Christmas time, which one would it be? Well... just bring along that solo bottle and you'll all love it. Drink less and drink best we say.

So, for me, I love a bit of Burgundy or Aussie sparkling red. It's an absolute stunner to match with Christmas Cake or even on its own. All those beautiful spiced fruit cake ‘n mixed fruit peel smells.

Glazed ham is great with red bubbles, just don’t drink it ‘first off' as the sweetness will make all the following wines taste acidic. One idea is to play Petanque, Boule or Bocce with the gang (naturally, with a glass of soda water in your hand) while you’re waiting. We bought a vintage set recently at the Milton markets and have a beautiful spot of green grass that does the job nicely.

Of course, living in Australia, we have the weather to consider and if it's a really hot one you'd better drink Rosé. Best diluted with fresh fruit, soda and cucumber peels, it makes a great 'lighter alcohol' drink so you can last all afternoon. It's also fabulous with spiced prawns on a skewer. Yum.

Now if you really want to drink a full-bodied dry red at a hot time of year, we recommend you cool it down a bit. This will lower your perception of tannin and make it an easier drinking possibility. 10 minutes in the fridge won't harm its fruit character much either, just don't drink it as cold as you would a dry white. Just wait till water droplets condense on the outside of the bottle (8 or 10 degrees) but not so cold it's frosty white (5 or 6 degrees). Maybe cool the wine, but not the glass! Our Grenache is perfect for chilling and is not sold out (but it won't be long so get in quick).

So, there it is: handy hints from the Winemaker JP for Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas from us to you and have a happy new year!

James, Jen and Jacqueline.

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