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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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Food
Winter Food and Wine Matching Guide
Winter is such a special season for wine enjoyment. As the nights close in and you cosy up against the cold, it’s the perfect time to indulge in rich, warming reds and the more full-bodied white styles. Follow our winter and food matching guide to which wines to be enjoying this winter, then stoke the fire and fill the stockpot for a season filled with sensational flavours.   MALBEC
Robust and flavoursome, Malbec is the on-trend red to enjoy this winter. With its flavours of cocoa, red plum, sweet tobacco and vanilla, it has crowd-pleasing cool weather appeal. With its high tannins and robust structure, Malbec needs food matches with big flavours. For a tasty starter, we suggest  this delectable beef and olive empanadas recipe  . Or if it’s a winter dinner party you’re planning, try  Miguel Maestre's chickpea and chorizo hotpot recipe .   BAROSSA SHIRAZ
Rich and complex with its characters of dark fruits, rich spice, earth and chocolate, Barossa Shiraz   is just sublime in winter. Its wonderful fruit depth makes Shiraz a food-matching delight with so many options to choose from. For a classic winter feast, try  braised oxtail with Italian flavours  , or try a taste of Morocco with vegetarian harira.   CABERNET
Plush, smooth and ready for hearty food,  Cabernet   is a classic winter wine. With its flavours of blackcurrant, cedar and plum, it’s oozing with charm and its elevated tannins make it exquisite with just about any lamb dish. Explore our mouth-watering collection   or go straight for our recommendation of  lamb pie  . Cabernet is also a match made in winter heaven with vegetarian dishes and you’ll thank us for recommending  rag pasta with pumpkin, sage and tomatoes  .   PINOT NOIR
Featuring cranberry, cherry, raspberry and clove,  Pinot Noir  is the lighter red that’s perfect for winter lunches. With its fine tannins, Pinot Noir pairs perfectly with winter lunch menus featuring gamey, earthy dishes, such as Julie Goodwin’s lovely Pinot partner of  mushrooms with speck  . Or if it’s seafood you’re after, try  prosciutto-wrapped king salmon with crisp capers  .   NEW WAVE REDS
For winter evenings with a difference, there’s an exciting range of new wave of reds just perfect for the season. There are warming expressions of both Italian and French varieties, from lighter styles like Barbera and  Sangiovese  to bolder drops like Lagrein and Durif. Keeping with the Italian theme, a delectable partnership would be Barbera with our  bocconcini cherry tomato and basil pizza  recipe, or venture across the Mediterranean to Greece with this  spiced kofte with cucumber and yoghurt salad  and a nice Durif.   AGED WHITES
With their complex flavours, aged white wines can be a perfect winter choice. Hunter Valley Semillon is world famous for its ageing ability, developing toasty flavour persistence over time. Other whites with wonderful cellaring potential include Chardonnay, Riesling and Marsanne, which transform into silky, creamy drops with warming characters like honeysuckle and nougat. Semillon  and seafood is always a winner, and in winter, combining the rich characters of an aged expression with the flavour explosion in  Mark Olive’s barramundi in paperbark recipe   is guaranteed to impress. Aged Marsanne is a unique treat and another standout white to enjoy with Asian flavours. We love the inventive fusion of this this  hearty sweet potato and parsnip soup with red curry and coconut cream recipe.     RIESLING
Luscious and flavoursome  Riesling  is another white that can take your winter entertaining to new levels. What makes it such a great seasonal choice is its delicious ability to match with aromatic Asian dishes like  Luke Nguyen’s chilli salted squid recipe .  
Food
Our Top 5 Australia Day Recipe and Wine Matching Ideas
Words by Ben Hallinan on 21 Jan 2017
Celebrate Australian wine this year on our national holiday with these great recipe and wine matching ideas from  Selector . Lamb Recipes
Lamb has become synonymous with Australia Day celebrations (due in no small part to a certain successful advertising campaign). This  boneless leg of lamb with a rosemary rub   recipe is the perfect way to add a refined touch to your Australia Day celebrations. The oak, spice and firm tanins of a fine  Coonawarra  or  Margaret River  Cabernet Sauvignon make this variety the classic wine match for a rich lamb dish like this . Alternatively, try one of the increasing range of  alternative varieties  such as Montepulciano or Petit Verdot. Find out more about Petit Verdot in our   recent infographic guide Lamb wine match: Bundaleer Montepulciano 2015 or the Credaro Five Tales Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Explore our lamb recipes Prawn Recipes
In this country, we are blessed with an abundance of quality seafood. This   Barbecue split prawns with chilli, oregano and olive oil  recipe is an excellent addition to any Australia Day get together. For the perfect wine match, go for a dry white with good acidity such as a fine   Semillon  , Vermentino or  Verdelho. Prawns wine match:  Krinklewood Biodynamic Vineyard Semillon 2009  or the  Tulloch Vineyard Selection Verdelho 2015 Explore our seafood recipes Vegetarian Recipes
It doesn’t have to be all about lamb and meat on Australia Day as this tongue in cheek video  reminds us.  Maggie Beer’s beetroot and vino cotto salad  recipe is the perfect accompaniment to any celebratory bbq or potluck dinner. Or, for something more substantial try  Stefano Manfredi’s spectacular potato gnocchi with burnt butter and sage  . For further inspiration look through the many  vegetable focused dishes  in our recipe section or consult our  vegetarian wine matching guide  . Vegetarian wine match:  Howard Park Riesling 2013  or the  Soumah Savarro (Savagnin) 2012 Explore our vegetarian recipes Kangaroo Recipes
Lyndey Milan’s  Kangaroo with native spices, beetroot and rosella sauce  recipe is outstanding and exquisitely showcases the uniquely Australian ingredients involved. This dish is an impeccable match for a refined, elegant  cool climate Shiraz  from the  Yarra Valley  or a savoury  Hunter Valley  Shiraz. Kangaroo wine match:  Richard Hamilton Little Road Shiraz 2015  or the  Seville Estate The Barber Shiraz 2015 Explore our kangaroo and game recipes Pavlova Recipes
Although our friends in New Zealand quite confidently claim ownership ( and they might be right  ), there's no question that pavlova is also a strong part of our national culinary history. Complete your Australia Day celebrations with Lyndey Milan’s easy-to-follow Festive Pavlova recipe  . Arguably, a  dessert wine  is a great match to Pavlova. But, you can keep the festivities flowing with refined  Tasmanian  Sparkling  or a fruit focused and refreshing  Prosecco  from the  King Valley  . Find out more about  Australian Prosecco in this recent article  . Pavlova wine match:  Tamar Ridge Cuvée Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV  or the  Chrismont La Zona Sparkling Prosecco NV Explore our pavlova and dessert recipes Discover more Australia Day Recipe Ideas For more exciting recipe ideas visit our  recipe section here  or find some inspiration from the many  celebrity chefs we’ve interviewed  in  Selector  such as Jamie Oliver,  Adriano Zumbo  , Stephanie Alexander, Nigella Lawson and many more.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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