The legend that is Sam Payne has been part of the Pinot Palooza movement pretty much since day one. You might remember her from the SOMM BAR, or maybe you were lucky enough to jump on one of her SOMM ROADIE TOURS where she lead you on a personal tour of the wines on tasting at a Pinot Palooza event.

Either way, this Sydney-based sommelier knows her shit. So who better to seek advice from on Christmas drinking? Here are her top five wines for the big day, as well as the number one drink (of any category) she wants to see on that lunch or dinner table.

2017 Delinquente Wine Co ‘Weeping Juan’ Pet Nat
A combo of Vermentino and Nero d’Avola that’s pink and pretty in the mouth. Juicy cherry flavours and a crunchy texture jump around on the palate with just a lick of Himalayan sea salt to keep things interesting. Perfect starter to a meal or drunk throughout and the label looks like if Justin Timberlake and Peter Andre had a lovechild. 

Burge Family Winemakers ‘Wilsford’ Old Liqueur Muscat
A modern take on an old school style of fortified. Skip that second helping of dessert and have this instead. 

2017 Golden Child ‘Lazy Sunday’ Pinot Noir Shiraz
Heavier than a Rosé but not quite light red. Sits smack bang in the middle of crunchy, textural deliciousness. Chill it down and eat with your glazed ham, you won’t regret it. 

2015 JJ Prum Bernkasteler Badstube Spatlese
My pick of this years Prum releases. This incredible tension of this wine balanced with its rich honeysuckle notes places it firmly in my all time favourite Riesling producer. Also it’s the only wine my mum likes to drink and so I have to have a bottle on the table. 

2016 Athletes of Wine ‘Vinero’ Chardonnay
The boys have once again created a Chardonnay that won’t polarise your Christmas table. It’s got the right amount of oak nestled amongst green nectarine and white peach notes, with a backbone of acid and a lick of salinity to keep it fresh. 

And the number one drink I want to see on everyone’s Christmas table?

Eric Bordelet Poire Cidre
The king of ciders and perfect for whatever food you throw at it. Roast Chicken with sage? It’s slight bubble and acidity will carry through the protein. Cheese? It’s creamy and bold. Your family driving you nuts? It’s slight oxidative character and all round deliciousness will take you far away from your troubles. And alc% is low so it won’t tip you over the edge into a Christmas coma. 

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