The holiday entertaining season is upon us and
that usually means it’s time to party with friends. Just remember, securing the
perfect suit or the perfect dress for the holidays won’t mean much if you are
caught serving or drinking yesterday’s wine.
Being hip doesn’t mean you have to give up
drinking your favourite merlot or cabernet sauvignon or even that chardonnay
you won’t let go of, but why not move away from the safe and familiar and pick
up some bottles that will set you apart from the crowd.
As I’ve said before, the good news about
shopping ahead of the trend or simply a few metres off the well-worn path
usually means the wines you are searching for will be available long after all
the critter labels are gone. Don’t forget store clerks can be your best friend.
They know where the wine is or even if it’s in stock. Better yet they can
suggest an alternative if they don’t have the bottle you are looking for.
We begin with the white, which IS the new red.
Nothing says you know more about wine than to be seen clutching a kick-ass,
glass of white wine in a room full of red wine drinkers.
Groovy grüner from Austria is the ultimate,
holiday season sipper so make sure you are seen clasping a glass of super
crisp, delightfully floral, groovy grüner. Top picks include
Veltliner 2005 ($20)
which comes with a slick Vino-loc glass stopper closure ensuring it
is the ultimate in freshness. I love the
Rabl Grüner Veltliner Spiegel 2005
and its passion fruit and
granny smith flavours or
Hiedler Grüner Veltliner Loess 2005 ($17)
with its crisp, round, juicy entry and clean dry finish.
Aromatic white blends are just as much fun and
probably more versatile when it comes to food and large parties. In this case
riesling or viognier are all worth clutching and there’s a pile to choose from.
Under screwcap is the refreshing
Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise ($15)
Cono Sur Viognier
with its orange mineral flavours selling at a mere $11 is, as the kids might
say, “stupid” value. Similarly priced is the French version from
2004 Viognier Huges le Juste ($11.75).