The Royal National Capital Agricultural Society Dan Murphy's National Wine Show is Australia's premier wine show and for that it required wine royalty to present the trophies at a wine dinner (sipping, sucking, slurping but, thankfully, absolutely no spitting) at Parliament House. That royal representative was a slim and fit James Halliday, who had suffered a ''Molly Meldrum'', falling off a ladder, but said he is recovering well and is many kilos lighter. MC Stuart Gregor - someone sign him up for the MC circuit; he's got the gift of the gab - and Halliday engaged in jovial banter and a not-so-subtle mention of the splendid Halliday eyebrows as a Movember candidate with what they called a Roy and H.G. presentation performance that we loved.
There were bottles and sparkling glasses everywhere and conviviality the accompaniment to wine talk that requires a whole new usage for words we thought we knew the meaning of. Best of all, though, many of the award winners were on hand to receive the Peter Crisp-designed platters that don't need to sit on a shelf but could be a centrepiece for a feast to accompany the winning wine. Winner of The Canberra Times Trophy for best Cabernet Sauvignon Premium Classes was the 2010 Redman, also picking up the TransACT trophy for best dry red table wine - and, trust me, this wine suggests a medium-rare kangaroo filet, but I digress. Our table had some fine palates picking winners and finding pleasure in the process, celebrating with Tony Brandtman, representing Watershed Wines from Margaret River, winning the ACTEW Corporation Trophy for their 2010 Awakening cabernet sauvignon.
There's a catalogue full of glorious wines awaiting your taste testing and, even if you don't agree with the judges, we can promise you the industry is in good hands. Personal recommendation for the Christmas turkey is the Leasingham 2005 Classic Clare Sparkling Shiraz and for afters on the couch with a slice of Heston's Christmas pud the 2008 Nugan Estate Cookoothama Botrytis Semillon.