What Our Chief Winemaker is Drinking This Christmas

What Our Chief Winemaker is Drinking This Christmas

Deciding what to pair with a multi-course, Christmas dinner is never an easy task, so that’s why we’ve passed the buck to a professional. Our Chief Winemaker, Paul Dawick, grew up surrounded by the vineyards of Hawke’s Bay, and has spent over 25 years cultivating them to bring New Zealand some spectacular, award-winning wines. Maybe a few of his suggestions will make your Christmas table this December.


We’re starting with a summer antipasto platter with par-baked artisan sourdough, which we’re serving with a choice of our Mills Reef Elspeth Methode Traditionnelle NV, Falconhead Viognier 2021 and Mills Reef Reserve Gewurztraminer 2021. All three wines are refreshingly vibrant, fruity and complex. These palate friendly and easily enjoyed wines are a perfect way to start the meal while sitting outside on a beautiful summer’s day.


For the main course we’re serving Te Mana Lamb with cranberry stuffing balls and gravy, and balsamic, cherry glazed ham with roasted, baby carrots. For the sides, roasted Mediterranean salad with Sicilian pesto and pine nuts, and garlic, butter potatoes. I wanted something that wouldn’t dominate the food, but it had to be complex enough to complement the menu, so I went with our Mills Reef Elspeth Chardonnay 2020 and Mills Reef Elspeth Syrah 2018. Both wines are full-bodied yet elegant. The chardonnay has subtle melon and butter flavours with savoury oak, ideal for the ham and garlic potatoes. The syrah adds deft spice, pepper and berry fruits that will match perfectly the lamb.


We’re finishing with rhubarb and pistachio pavlova with yoghurt cream, and chocolate tiramisu tart with mascarpone cream, to be served with our Leveret Estate Reserve Late Harvest Viognier 2016 and Mills Reef Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2020. The viognier will add the sweetness of apricots and tropical fruits to the pavlova, while the merlot, with its underlying flavours of dark chocolate and boysenberry, will add the subtle richness of berry fruit and mocha flavours to the tiramisu. Matches made in heaven.

We hope that gets you excited about what you’ll be serving this Christmas.

We know it can be a hectic time of year, so we’ve curated a range of Christmas Wine Boxes which were handpicked by our winemakers to make things easier. We offer free delivery on North Island orders over $200, or you can come in and taste-test your Christmas wines at our tasting room in Katikati.

SHOP › Shop Christmas Wine Boxes

Order Your Christmas Wines Now to Make Sure You’re Ready for Festive Fun.

You can order online, email us at cellardoor@wineportfolio.co.nz, click & collect, or book a tasting right up until December 25.

Take a look at our curated, Christmas Wine Boxes which were handpicked by our winemakers, and get your hands on a bottle of the limited edition Elspeth 2020: Shop our Christmas specials

With Us, You’re Buying Local

We are an independent, family-owned company that has full control over our entire winemaking process, enabling us to bring you some of the finest, award-winning wines in New Zealand. We’d be proud to be presented at your Christmas celebrations, and wish you and yours all the best this festive season.


From our sunny vineyards and cellar door to your Christmas table, let us know how we can help you have a wonderful festive season.

– The Team at Leveret & Mills Reef Winery

Leveret and Mills Reef Winery

Leveret & Mills Reef Winery

(+64) 7 552 0795

Leveret and Mills Reef Cellar Door,
2389 State Highway 2, RD4, Katikati

Open 9.30am to 5pm 7 days a week

The Wine Portfolio – Auckland Office

(+64) 9 300 5053

The Wine Portfolio – Auckland Office,
Suite 1, 77 The Strand, Parnell, Auckland