The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

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Top 35 recipes of 2016

2016 was all about slow-roasting, fresh pasta and comfort food. These are the recipes you clicked on most this year, counting back to number one.

Christmas vegetarian recipes

The versatility of vegetarian dishes means they can be served alongside meat and seafood, or enjoyed simply as they are. With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve put together some of our favourite vegetarian recipes to appease both herbivores and carnivores alike.

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.

Best travel destinations in 2017

We're thinking big for travelling in 2017 - and so should you. Will we see you sunrise at Java's 9th-century Borobudur Buddhist temple, across the table at Reykjavik's newest restaurants or swimming side-by-side with humpback whales off Western Australia's coast?

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

Christmas ham recipes

The centrepiece of any Christmas feast, hams can be glazed with many ingredients. Here are our favourite combinations.

Top drops: September

These are the drops we've been drinking this month, from a Victorian shiraz to an apple brandy imported from Normandy.

Numbered from top-bottom and left to right;

1. RUN FOR THE HILLS

2015 Millbrook Viognier, Perth Hills, WA, $35

It's the texture that clinches it for me: a beautiful, creamy richness that slides across the tongue, carrying scents of musk and powdered ginger and honeysuckle. Lovely with rich, spiced Middle Eastern chicken or fish dishes.

millbrookwinery.com.au

2. BLACK SWAN

2014 Corymbia Tempranillo Cabernet, Swan Valley, WA, $35

I'd love to taste this tempranillo-cabernet blend again in 10 or 15 years; right now it's quite a sumptuousyet-earthy, ripe-yet-savoury red, and I reckon some bottle age will bring even more ethereal complexity. Try with roast... goose.

corymbiawine.com.au

3. GO WEST

2015 Tarrington Chardonnay, Henty, Vic, $45

The rolling farmland of far south-west Victoria is home to some great vineyards such as this one just outside Hamilton: a beautiful amalgam of refreshing citrus notes and honeyed creaminess, complex, multilayered. Should cellar well, too.

hochkirch@bigpond.com

4. HISTORY, MAN

Joseph The Fronti, McLaren Vale, SA, $50

The latest release of this remarkable sweet wine is richer and deeper than I remember from previous bottlings: winemaker Joe Grilli blends ancient barrel-aged fortified wines with his own 35-year-old frontignac to startling effect. Wow.

primoestate.com.au

5. NEW HUNTER

2016 Comyns & Co Fiano, Hunter Valley, NSW, $28

A good example of the southern Italian fiano grape from experienced Hunter winemaker Scott Comyns, released under his new label: tangy and crunchy like biting into a nashi pear, then nicely grape-pulpy on the tongue.

comynsandco.com.au

6. COOL CALVADOS

Roger Groult 3 Year Old Calvados, Pays D'Auge, Normandy, $68

I recently tasted all the different calvados from import specialists Spirits of France and, for me, this offered the best value: a wonderfully complex apple brandy offering both fresh cider aromas and satisfying barrel-aged characters.

Imported by spiritsoffrance.com.au

7. BURN, BABY, BURN

2014 Burn Cottage Original Vineyard Pinot Noir, Central Otago, $89

In 2014 Burn Cottage made three pinots, and while I like the sinewy Moonlight Race ($66) and the elegant, floral Valli Vineyard ($89), this is my pick: lots of dark macerated hedgerow fruit wrapped up in velvety tannin. Glorious.

Imported by cellarhand.com.au

8. CLASSIC RESTRAINT

2014 Craiglee Shiraz, Sunbury, Vic, $55

A fittingly brilliant wine to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the replanting of one of Australia's great Victorianera vineyards: intense but reserved silky black fruit, tingly black pepper, fine, firm tannin. Will mature well for 20 years or more.

craigleevineyard.com

9. LANGUAGE WARNING

2015 d'Arenberg The Noble Botryotinia Fuckeliana, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, McLaren Vale, SA, $20

Stop sniggering at the back... it's a perfectly legit botanical name for a certain type of mould, apparently - the kind that infects grapes and produces luscious but balanced and moreish sweet wines like this.

darenberg.com.au

10. BLOOD RED

2015 Tar & Roses Tempranillo, Heathcote, Vic, $23

My word, this is terrific value tempranillo: all the supple black fruit and deeply satisfying, plump-tannin umami savour you could want at a very reasonable price. I have even seen it advertised for less than $18, which is a steal, I reckon.

tarandroses.com.au

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Handpicked Wines opens a cellar door in Sydney
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Top drops: December 2016
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