Did you know, on average people attend at least seven entertaining occasions over the Christmas season? Chances are this year you’re going to want to make the most of all of them. If it’s your turn to host, you could well be wondering what to drink at all of these different occasions? Our handy guide has got you covered. From pre-Christmas drinks to festive backyard barbecues and the traditional family feast, here’s the best alcohol to serve at every occasion, plus food matching ideas too.
Preparing Christmas dinner for friends and family? Stay one step ahead by organising your red wines well in advance. Roasted poultry and meats pair beautifully with robust full-bodied cabernet sauvignons, so why not treat your guests (and yourself) to a showstopper this year?
Rich with mulberry, blackcurrant and dark cherries, and adorned in artwork commissioned by leading Australian artists, Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon is sure to impress. This award-winning drop deserves your best Bordeaux glasses, and consider decanting for an hour or two to let the flavours shine.
For bubbles? Be different with Nick Spencer Pet Nat, a highly drinkable, naturally sparkling red wine made with grenache and sangiovese. Beautifully perfumed with hints of strawberry and watermelon, it’s fantastically food-friendly. Serve chilled as an aperitif, savour with hearty roasts or sip with the cheese course.
Synonymous with summer and an easy match for food, a refreshing, pastel-hued rosé is the ideal sip for a garden soiree. Try Gemtree Luna de Fresa Rosé, an organic, biodynamic light rose fragrant with aromas of rose water, cherry and strawberry. Continue the sustainability theme and decorate the table and garden with twinkling solar lights, organic candles and fresh foliage.
For food pairing, think dainty feta, spinach and mint tartlets, or a bruschetta board with soft cheeses, sundried tomato, prosciutto and ciabatta. Add spicy salami and ripe peaches for a more complex fuller bodied drop, such as Wynns Reframed Cabernet Rosé, which boasts juicy raspberry fruits, hints of apple and a long refreshing finish.
The silly season is the perfect excuse for a stylish celebration in the sun. Choose a theme for your tablescape – deep blues with luxurious gold are trending this year – then add decadent seafood platters and elegant ice buckets filled with seasonal white wine.
William Fevre Petit Chablis makes a fresh and lively aperitif. Plus, its delicate floral bouquet and notes of citrus and white-fleshed fruit will pair beautifully with shucked oysters, seafood and fish. Serve between 12-14ºC for optimal taste.
Follow up with a Pierro LTC Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, a crisp and elegant white wine crafted with hand-harvested grapes. LTC stands for a Little Touch of Chardonnay which adds weight to this tasty drop that pairs well with white fish.
Nostalgia is a big theme this Christmas, so don’t hold back on decorating, but keep drinks simple with a beer barrow brimming with classy craft beers and ready-to-drink spritzes so that you can focus on the backyard cricket.
Just right for summer, Brown & Co A Little Refreshing Rosé Can is a new, low-calorie spritzer with subtle hints of strawberry and watermelon – a great match for barbecued salmon and asparagus.
Lighter meats and poultry pair well with crisp lagers and pale ales. Need inspiration? Victoria’s Brick Lane has a range of craft beers to suit every occasion. Try low-calorie Brick Lane Hi-Fi Dry Japanese No Carb Lager Can, brewed with rice and malt for a clean, short finish.
Keen to try something a little different? Grifter Pink Galah Lemonade Sour (selected stores only) is a flamboyant, wonderfully sour pink lemonade-inspired ale, fermented with Australian raspberries and lemon. You might also like to try Pirate Life California Pale Ale (selected stores only), a golden elixir with aromas of stone fruit, pine and blackcurrant with a refreshingly bitter finish. Or how about Thorny Devil New World Pale Ale (selected stores only), a decidedly hoppy, yet delightfully drinkable brew made with pure rainwater and bursting with passionfruit, melon, citrus and pine.
Designated drivers will be looking for a lower ABV beer that doesn’t compromise on flavour or texture. Try Heads Of Noosa Lager 3.5 (selected stores only) made with a blend of specialty malts. And how about Melbourne’s own Sippy Lager (selected stores only). Sippy by name and eminently sippable by nature, this new crisp, refreshing beer comes in a cool blue can and is just 4% ABV.
Honour the ‘we must catch up before Christmas’ drinks occasion with a light red wine. The ultimate crowd pleaser, tasty Australian pinot noirs appeal to both casual wine drinkers and wine enthusiasts alike.
Fresh, fragrant and food friendly, a slightly chilled pinot makes a good choice for grazing, so a cheese and charcuterie board with soft cheeses, cured meats and pickles will strike the right note.
Our pick to impress is Craggy Range Te Muna Pinot Noir. From Martinborough, New Zealand, it’s full of festive cherry and fresh truffle notes.
It’s time to wrap up 2022 and start celebrating. Hosting a work Christmas party? For alcohol you can’t go wrong with a memorable single malt whisky like Loch Lomond 10YO Single Malt Whisky. Well balanced, it features fruit, honey and soft smoke, with notes of green apple and vanilla.
Serve straight up, on the rocks or mix Loch Lomond Sparkling Gold Christmas Cocktails. Pour into a champagne glass, with golden honey, ginger syrup and top with prosecco and a sprinkle of edible gold flakes for extra flair. Then pair with a colourful platter of cheese, dried fruit, nuts and bitter chocolate with orange.
Fun Christmas traditions like the big Secret Santa are the best occasion for old school cocktails. There’s no beating tequila as a party starter, so try super smooth Herradura Plata Tequila for the pure taste of agave, and give your margaritas a colourful Christmas twist with a splash of non-sweetened cranberry juice. Keep with the Mexican theme by preparing mini prawn and avocado tacos.
Christmas occasions also call for festive gin cocktails like the bramble. Try it with Patient Wolf Melbourne Dry Gin, which is handcrafted with ruby grapefruit, cubeb pepper and native aniseed myrtle. Shake the gin with ice, lemon juice and simple syrup and float Chambord on top.
Look out for these great picks for Christmas entertaining.
Hearty Christmas fare will also go well with Hither & Yon Grenache Touriga – a juicy drop bursting with summer berry fruits, root spices and rose petals. Selected stores only.
Organic, minimal intervention Gilbert Pinot Noir is bright and juicy, with cherries, wild strawberries and a hint of spice. Selected stores only.