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Food

Festive food and wine matching made easy

Tis the season for fabulous festive food and wine matches.

Whether you’re catching up with friends over a casual bite, indulging in a family Christmas feast, or celebrating New Year’s Eve with a selection of finger food, there are so many opportunities to discover a diverse range of delicious food and wine matches.

If you like to stick to tradition on Christmas Day, pair a Sparkling Aussie red with a classic roast and clove-studded ham, or if you’re going for a lighter option of fresh seafood and salads, Semillon and Riesling are perfect. Whatever your festive food choices, there’s a wine to suit!

Festive celebrations

Festive Wine Matching Infographic Guide

Light and aromatic whites
When Nicole Gow is hosting a festive catch-up with friends, she likes to make sure the food is a celebration of fresh Australian produce and Sydney rock oysters with ginger and shallot dressing is one of her go-to choices. And for wine? “The subtle flavours in this classic summer entree need a celebratory Sparkling or a light and aromatic white wine match such as Sauvignon Blanc & blends, Riesling, Vermentino or Pinot G,” she says.

Medium weight and textural whites
Adam Walls is a huge fan of summer seafood and while he loves simply serving it fresh with a dash of lemon, he also enjoys adding a few other delicious flavours like in the prosciutto wrapped prawns with a rocket aioli recipe. When choosing a matching wine, he says, “With the rich flavours of the prosciutto and aioli, go for a medium weight and textural white wine such as the traditional varieties of Verdelho and Chardonnay, or for something different, Arneis or Fiano.”

Light to medium weight and savoury reds
Dave Mavor is a Christmas traditionalist, so Pete Evans’ glazed Christmas ham is always on his menu. But that doesn’t mean you have to go heavy on the reds, he explains, “Just perfect for the Australian climate, light to medium weight and savoury reds like Pinot Noir, Merlot, Grenache & GSM blends and Nero d’Avola are a fantastic choice for this beautiful ham recipe.”

Richer and fuller bodied reds
Trent Mannell relishes a big, bold red wine, whatever the weather, but of course in Australia we’re lucky to have so many fantastic Sparkling reds to enjoy in summer. “Sparkling reds are a uniquely Australian festive tradition and are ideal with roasted turkey and smoked oyster stuffing,” Trent say, “Or you can match other rich, full-bodied reds like Shiraz & blends, Cabernet & blends, Sangiovese or Tempranillo.”

 

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Adam Walls is a real white wine lover, even in winter, which is why  chargrilled beef and peanut green curry  is one his favourite meals at this time of year. What makes it such a delicious choice, is that there's a great range of white wines to match. As he explains, "Perfect with curries and spicy food, Verdelho ,  Fiano  ,  Pinot G  ,  Arneis  and  Chardonnay  have the fruit weight and acidity to perfectly offset the spices and aromas of this dish." For further inspiration, our friends at Asian Inspirations have a great guide to  matching some of our favourite wines with great east asian dishes here . Light to Medium Bodied Aromatic Reds
Dave Mavor loves nights in during footy season, especially with a meal of  spicy chipotle beef  , which is a great match with light to medium bodied aromatic reds. "You could pair most reds with this dish", Dave says, "However, its smooth texture and tomatoey richness pairs deliciously with vibrant, lighter-bodied varieties such as  Pinot Noir  or  Grenache  , or  Nero d'Avola  ." Medium Weight & Savoury Reds When he's got the family around for a Sunday feast, one of Phil Ryan's favourite meals is pot roasted beef in red wine with garlic, fennel and rosemary . For a wine match, Phil says, "Pot roasted, slow cooked and braised beef dishes with melt-in-the-mouth textures pair well with the richness and peppery spice of cool climate Shiraz , or try Mediterranean favourites,  Sangiovese  or  Tempranillo  ." Bold & fuller bodied reds
"We're so lucky in Australia to have so many delicious international influences and one of my favourite winter recipes is  Argentinean beef steak with chimichurri sauce ", says Trent Mannell. "Bolder, fuller bodied reds such as warmer climate Shiraz ,  Cabernet Sauvignon  and blends,  Durif  and  Malbec  are ideal partners for barbequed or roasted beef with their charry richness." If you're looking for more beef recipes, celebrity chef Curtis Stone is an enthusiast for all different cuts of meat. In fact, he has a butchery as part of his New York restaurant, Gwen. Read all about it in his  Selector  interview , then check out his recipe for 80-day dry aged ribeye with creamed corn and scallions. And, for more great beef recipes, make sure you visit  www.beefandlamb.com.au . Plus, there's more winter food and wine matching inspiration to be found in our Italian inspiration feature.      
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What was once the domain of the professional chef, sous vide , is now accessible for the home cook. We look at the many advantages of this remarkable cooking technique. In the early 1970s, French scientist Bruno Goussault developed the most significant advancement in the recent evolution of cooking – he called it sous vide. Literally defined as ‘under vacuum’, it should really be called precision controlled cooking, because that is far more ‘precise’. Basically defined, sous vide is sealing an item of food in a plastic vacuum pouch and then submerging it in a water bath so it can be cooked gently and slowly at a precise temperature. It is a technique used by some of the world’s best contemporary chefs, including Heston Blumenthal, Thomas Keller, Joel Roubuchon and many more. If you’ve ever wondered how the chef at your favourite hatted restaurant manages to get your steak cooked perfectly through, but still maintain its moisture, how the vegetables not only look vibrant and colourful, but also taste crisp and flavoursome, chances are it has been cooked sous vide. Up until recently, it was only the domain of the professional chef. But advances in technology and the more affordable cost of equipment have made sous vide cooking accessible to the home cook. Those who try it, swear it is the best way to cook food perfectly and to get the best flavour and texture – all that combined makes a compelling argument for sous vide cooking.

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Get ready to rock with an Über Bar Tools cocktail set! Available in your choice of bronze, silver or gold, it has everything you need to get started straight away. Measure every drop accurately, consistently and responsibly, as well as minimise waste, with the Über ProMegJig TM . Shake your cocktail up in the ergonomically designed MShaker, then strain it with the Über BarRay and scoop your ice using the Juliep TM . With the Über ProTeadrop TM , you can not only stir your cocktails, but also use it to muddle, layer, measure and reduce Champagne bubbles.
The mint julep and Moscow mule are two of the world’s most iconic cocktails, demanding their own special vessels. The Über Bar Tools Julep Cup comes in chrome and copper and will bring out the best in your mint juleps, while the mule mug, also available in chrome and copper, will take you back to 1940s New York with its authentic design.
The Über LuxRoll™ is a smart 11-piece water-resistant roll kit offering complete bartending tools. Made from leatherette with a heavy-duty shoulder strap, it’s perfect for work or the travelling bartender always on the move. The LuxRoll™ is ideal for measured cocktail making and is used worldwide by professional bartenders for efficient Bartending.  When bar tools are better than “great”, and better than “awesome”, they become Über Bar Tools! To find out more visit www.uberbartools.com or visit Peters of Kensington to order.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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