Christmas Red Wines 2018

Christmas arguably the biggest holiday of the year, and in New Zealand it is certainly the sunniest. We all look forward to it with equal part excitement and apprehension all in one.

It’s the time of year when families come together. You all contribute to the Christmas feast, your nieces and nephews play boardgames, you stress that you haven’t got your wife the best present and you and your mother-in-law put aside your differences for the day. While all of these things are going on, you are constantly sipping on your delightful glass of kiwi wine and you realise, you’ve got a pretty darn good life.

In New Zealand it goes without saying our hot and sunny Christmas Day’s warrant us drinking the chilled varieties, everything from Rose, to Sparkling and of course Sauvignon Blanc. However in the UK, when making snowmen, having mulled wine and evenings at Winter Wonderland are the primary Christmas activities – it only makes sense that we enjoy the warmth, comfort and depth of our favourite reds instead.

We have compiled a list of our favourite red varietals you have to be drinking this Christmas!


The Leah Pinot Noir from Seresin Estate is an in house favourite at TNZC, constantly flying off the shelves and regularly seen in a staff members glass. The Leah is a savoury, spicy and earthy Pinot Noir. It boasts Plum, berry and herbal notes and on the palate is focused, concentrated and has succulent soft flavours with soft tannins.

Drink this at any Christmas dinner party as a general crowd pleaser! Eat with anything but a good mushroom dish never goes astray.


As this isn’t a grape usually associated with New Zealand, we are so thrilled at the response our lovely UK market has had to it. Originally from Bordeaux in France but making a name for itself in Argentina, Te Awa have really outdone themselves with this Malbec – its dry and rich texture makes your mouth feel smothered in black fruits. It has wonderful liquorice spice to it with dark chocolate undertones.

This is the wine you want after it has been raining and you just walk in the door – relax, unwind and let it hug you. Usually enjoyed with a rare steak for £17.50


Textured, generous and velvety. These are the words Neudorf uses to describe their Tom’s Block Pinot Noir and we can’t help … but sincerely agree. The Tom’s Block is a silky and intensely concentrated wine with phenomenal balance. The Moutere Clays in Nelson gives this wine a European edge, and helps the wine to never tire or bore but rather constantly offer a juicy mouthful with a complex finish.

Have this with your Christmas Day Lamb for sure!


Akitu is a winery that is dedicated solely to the production of Pinot Noir, and of that the very best Pinot Noir on offer. Being a Central Otago Pinot Noir means you know the quality is through the roof. The A2 Pinot boasts lifted silky cherry and raspberry notes that demonstrate length and persistence. The generous and succulent tannins offer texture and a layer or truly intriguing character to this wine.

You would drink the Akitu A2 all year round, however we like to grab it in times of celebration because it just feels like a high five on a Friday. Eat with a juicy Pork Belly.


This Syrah from Craggy Range is divine for many reasons however the fact it was grown in the Gimblett Gravels appellation which is a unique terroir on an old river bed of silt and gravel located in Hawke’s Bay. The Gimblett Gravel is the first appellation to be specified by soil type rather than location because of its highly specific soils and combines the french concept of terroir with modern day thinking.

You should just trust us on this one, as the fresh cherry and lavender notes coupled with silky texture and vibrant blueberry fruit makes this a Syrah you want to impress your in laws with.


The Man O’ War Ironclad is truly something special as it’s a blend of Bordeaux Varietals from 45 different warm clay hillside vineyards on beautiful Waiheke Island just off the coast of Auckland city. On the nose the cassis from the Cabernet Sauvignon is quite prominent but there is a massive complexity underneath both blue and black fruits, thyme and crushed stone. This is an excellent example of what Waiheke Island can produce during cooler vintages.

Christmas Roast Beef and Iron Clad is a match made in heaven we think.

You can purchase any of our Christmas Reds individually here or you can purchase the special case price here.


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Closed, for now

Specialist Cellars has paused its virtual doors for now. We’re still open and operating at our Pop Brixton store this Summer. You can also visit us 7 days a week at The Laundry Restaurant for sublime food, wine and coffee @brixtonlaundry.

Any outstanding vouchers can be redeemed at The Laundry or Pop Brixton store. Sadly we can no longer redeem these online.

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