WINE WORDS: Best festive bubbles

THE silly season is upon us with plenty of festive cheer in the air.

Wine choices tend to mark the celebrations, such as Christmas parties and lunches and the best one of all: New Year's Eve.

Pol Gessner Brut Champagne

France, NV: Made from traditional "Champagne" grapes: pinot noir, meunier and chardonnay. Soft and flowery nose of sourdough bread and lemon biscuits. The palate is crisp with wheaten biscuit, easy lemon citrus flavour and a little pomegranate from the red fruits. Good entry level champagne to serve as a party aperitif and an inexpensive option if you must have French. Exclusive to Woolworths, including Dan Murphy's.

Rating: 8/10

RRP: $35

Alc: 12.5%

Katnook Estate Founders Block Sparkling Shiraz

Coonawarra, 2013: Sparkling eed is one of Australia's gifts to the wine world. Chock full of dark fruits: Blackberry, black cherries and regional mint on the nose. Full and plush palate: All the good bits of Coonawarra in a sparkling. Don't serve it too warm, else you'll lose the acidity which helps the wine carve through richer dishes. Perfect match for Christmas lunch roast turkey or ham (and cranberry sauce). Even better, serve with leftovers for a Boxing Day breakfast.

Rating: 8.5/10

RRP: $23

Alc: 13%

Arras Brut Elite No 801

Tasmania, NV: This non-vintage blend of pinot noir and chardonnay wines which has been tiraged (that is rested on yeast lees for complexity) for at least 4 years. Delicately coloured and excitedly effervescent. Exceptional nose: Soft pastries, hints of almost fennel spice, tiniest hint of strawberry and lovely fresh lemon. Exquisitely balanced, finely boned. Refreshingly delicious and the perfect way to celebrate the new year.

Rating: 9/10

RRP: $38

Alc: 12.5%

Arras and Katnook available from major retailers.

STAY INFORMED: Crews still monitoring Kingaroy bushfire

STAY INFORMED: Crews still monitoring Kingaroy bushfire

People in the area will be affected by smoke.

Wind warnings trigger large-scale fire ban

Wind warnings trigger large-scale fire ban

Fire permits from Bundaberg to the Sunshine Coast are suspended

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HIGH ALERT: 20 fires burn across the state

FIRE crews are on standby as 20 blazes burn around Queensland.

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