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It’s cold outside, baby – there’s nothing like curling up with your lover and savouring a good wine by the fire on a freezing winter’s night.

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And, fellow wine lovers, if you’re looking for fabulous, flavoursome varieties this winter, which won’t cost you much more than a red lobster, help is at hand here thanks to Melbourne wine guru Michael Ellis from Wine Punter.

wines, winter wines, wine lovers, wine guide

Michael, 38, (pictured), who also writes about wine for, is a former teacher whose passion for wine has led him to host regular food and wine matching workshops.

Here, Michael does the hard work for you with this handy guide to his top 5 winter wines under $25. Enjoy!

  1. Hoddle Creek Estate Pinot Noir 2013, $20: Arguably Australia’s best value pinot noir, this is insane value. Pristine pinot from the Yarra Valley, this is why drinking wine in Australia right now is better than being a kid in a candy store. Pinot noir is such a fascinating wine; so much to explore in the bouquet and on the palate, this has cool afternoons and long lunches written all over it. Find it direct from the winery.
  2. Mike Press Shiraz 2014, $14: This wine is ridiculous value and such a great example of a cool climate shiraz. Mike has a gorgeous vineyard in the rolling Adelaide Hills and is making wines that punch well above their weight. The merlot and cabernet sauvignon are both outstanding, but it’s this shiraz which takes the cake and icing too. Buy the wine at independent retailers or direct.
  3. Unico Zelo Nero d’Avola 2014, $22: Adelaide winemaker Brendan Carter is making some super-slurpable vinos from Italian varieties and this is one of my favourites. With lashings of blackberry with a full, voluptuous, generous and exotic palate, this is the definition of seductive. Date night just got real. Buy the wine at independent retailers or direct.wines, winter wines, wine lovers, wine guide
  4. Old Money Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, $15: This Coonawarra cabernet is made by Sam Brand who brings a wealth of family knowledge and experience to this wine. This is a Vinomofo collaboration whereby we contract great winemakers like Sam to make exactly the kind of wines we love to drink. Classic wine like this is perfect for a Sunday night roast. Buy it exclusively at
  5. Yalumba ‘Y Series’ Viognier 2014, $12: No, it’s not a red, but sometimes it’s nice to mix it up with a white that over-delivers on the taste, texture and satisfaction front. This full-bodied white has a generous texture and is loaded with tropical fruit. An awesome alternative to reds when it comes to white meats and lunches, this is well worth seeking out. Buy it at all good wine retailers.
    wines, winter wines, wine lovers, wine guide

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