Christmas can be a hectic time on the calendar, for those of us tasked with procuring the drinks.
Ensure your celebrations go off without a hitch by following a few basic principles.
For starters, Christmas drink selections should be broadly accessible. Many of us will be mixing with relatives and in-laws we don't see too often, for some it may even be an annual catch up.
Keep it simple
You can't hope to know everyone's individual tastes, so it's best to avoid the extremes. High octane beers, funky natural wines and experimental spirits are best left for another day.
It's an old adage that you can't go wrong with the classics, and it certainly rings true at Christmas.
Think sessionable beers, celebratory fizz and food-friendly wines that are sophisticated, but needn't come with an explanatory preamble.
Pay heed to the Australian climate. For some of us, December 25th will be a scorcher.
Regardless, seafood, cold meats and salads are mainstays of an Aussie Christmas, so you'll want a selection of wines that are light and refreshing.
Steer clear of rich and boozy reds, even if you are having a main course that calls for something a bit heavier.
Choose medium-bodied, elegant wines with freshness and aromatic lift. They won't overpower the food, and they are eminently drinkable on hotter days. Pop your reds into the fridge for half an hour or so prior to serving.
The big bang
You may choose to go abroad for some of your drink selections, champagne being the most obvious candidate here.
Domestic fizz can make a fine substitute but we Aussies love our champagne. It's hard to go past a bottle of the French stuff at Christmas.
Otherwise, however, make it a day for celebrating the wonderful array of locally made drinks we have at our fingertips.
Featuring selections from every state of Australia, here are some of the super bottles we'll be reaching for this Christmas.
James Atkinson is creator of the Drinks Adventures podcast and a previous editor of Australian Brews News and drinks industry publication TheShout. A Certified Cicerone® and 2017 winner of the Australian International Beer Awards media prize, James regularly contributes to other publications including Halliday, Good Food, QantasLink Spirit and more.
Take a look at the gallery up top to see what you should be stocking in the fridge on Christmas Day.