6 celebration wines under $50 which are sure to be a hit at Christmas lunch

Boy, aren’t we all hanging out for Christmas, with 2020 in the rearview mirror, fading away, day by day.

For far too many of us, coming together this festive season will be the first time this year we will have seen some loved ones. That in itself is a very good reason to ensure there is are no missteps with the choice of celebratory wines. Whether you will be gathering with extended family, or it’s drinks for two with your significant other, all of the following will add extra “hurrah” to your festive cheer.

Why not welcome guests on arrival with one of these local wines – made in the “traditional method” – and continue serving with canapés and seafood starters?

Here are six Australian celebration wines for under $50 – sure to be a hit at your Christmas lunch.

Leeuwin Estates 2018 Brut (RRP: $34)

This wine is a blend of 52% pinot noir and 48% chardonnay grapes, and possesses excellent fine bead – bubbles, that is – and presents more complexity on the palate than usual at this price point.

2013 Seppelt Salinger Sparkling (RRP $29.99)

This wine from Henty in Victoria continues the brands return to form with this deliciously racy sparkler comprised of 48% pinot noir, 38% chardonnay and 14% pinot meunier. 36 months on lees before disgorging has delivered plenty of palate interest with notes of citrus, brioche and pastry crème. Nicely integrated acidity keeps the medium-dry finish lively.

Garagiste Pinot Noir (RRP $45)

Lifted red-fruit notes, a touch of leafiness and an exotic Middle Eastern aromatic. The lively light to medium weight palate starts the experience with refreshing, spiced red fruit notes, which fan out beautifully to a satisfying middle palate “happy place”, before continuing their journey to a long and bright finish. Delicious pinot noir at the price.

2019 Clyde Park Estate Pinot Noir (RRP $45)

I’d not tried a wine from this estate in years. If the quality of this is anything to go by, I’ve been missing out big time! Tightly wound aromatics of dark bush berries, and savoury oak (30% new French). Excellent impression on the palate with vigorous and fresh red fruit notes really dancing about. The palate has real “crunch” to it with its freshness and drive.

Medium in body, this finishes long and piquant, with well managed tannins providing support and definition. These two Vic pinots really do nail it with their fruit and complexity combo.

2019 Ministry of Clouds Grenache (RRP $39)

Another pearler from MoC. I’ve previously raved about the 18 vintage and this 19 is every bit as good as its predecessor. Voluminous bouquet of complex small red fruits, a touch of savoury herb and a back note of salinity. Positively thirst-quenching with its vibrant small, chilled raspberry flavours which mingle with some savoury minerality, which combine to perfectly coat the tannin and acid astringency.

2017 Schild Estate “Ben Schild” reserve Shiraz (RRP $36)

Though owning Barossa vineyards since 1952, it wasn’t until 1998 that family head Ed Schild suggested making some wine for sale under a family label. Just over 20 years later and winemaker Scott Hazeldine is producing some of Barossa’s most satisfying reds. This wine is from the 2017 Barossa vintage, a year which yielded wines with greater than usual poise and “energy”. It’s a delight with its balance and complexity, combining beautifully with the anticipated dark fruit and creamy chocolate characters. Extreme drinkability and modestly priced for a wine of this quality.