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Food

Food and Wine Matching 101

Create inspiring food and wine matches

Follow the helpful tips below to ensure that at your next dinner party you impress your guests with your pairing prowess.

Acid + acid

If your food is high in acid – think tomatoes or a squeeze of lemon – you’ll need a wine that’s high in acid too. Riesling is the most obvious white choice, while Italian style reds will balance tomatoes and cut through olive oil. 

Same + same

Brings together complementary flavours – light-bodied wine + light dish, full-bodied wine + heavy dish and so on. Also pair similar textures and flavours – earthy wine + earthy food, citrussy wine + fruity dish, etc. 

Opposite + opposite

Try a fresh, crisp Chardonnay with a creamy pasta dish, or consider a clean, dry Riesling with a spicy chilli-filled Asian dish. Or if you’re serving a dish with very simple flavours, a complex wine can enhance the experience.

Heat + sweet

For spicy dishes, red wines high in alcohol and tannins are a no-no as the alcohol intensifies the heat. Choose sweeter whites such as off-dry Gewürztraminers or Rieslings.  

Sweet + sweeter

If your dish is sweet, the wine should be sweeter. Think milk and dark chocolate desserts with Tawnies and Muscats, while white chocolate pairs with Prosecco and lemon flavours are perfect with Botrytis Riesling.

Tannins + fat

This pairing is all about balance. Fat serves to even out tannin intensity, resulting in a smoother, softer red. 

Infographic - Food and Wine Matching guide

Wine styles

Try these suggestions to match with your favourite wine styles.

Fuller bodied red wines

Wines: Cabernet, Shiraz, Malbec, Durif

Food matches: Their robust structure makes these an ideal partner to hard cheeses and fattier cuts of meat.

Medium bodied red wines

Wines: Merlot & Blends, Tempranillo, Barbera, Sangiovese

Food matches: To match the moderate density tannins go for slow-cooked or rustic style dishes like pasta, Mediterranean fare, tapas.

Lighter bodied red wines

Wines: Pinot Noir, Grenache & blends, Nero d’Avola 

Food matches: With the finer styles, go for gamey, earthy foods like duck, while styles with higher acidity can take richer, spicier dishes.

Rosé

Wines: Dry, off-dry

Food matches: For drier styles, go for salads, charcuterie and antipasto. For off-dry styles, try spicy food or fruit-based dishes.

Fuller-bodied white wines

Wines: Chardonnay, Verdelho, Viognier

Food matches: A richer texture makes these fuller varieties a great match for poultry, pork, rich seafood, cream or cheese-based pastas.

Medium-bodied white wines

Wines: Arneis, Pinot G, Fiano, Vermentino, Marsanne

Food matches: Zesty acidity makes these styles perfect with lighter flavours like tapas,
pasta and salads.

Lighter-bodied and aromatic white wines

Wines: Sauvignon Blanc & blends, Semillon, Riesling, Gewürztraminer

Food matches: The high acidity inherent in these varieties makes them ideal for fried food, raw seafood, delicate Asian dishes, and simple Mediterranean food.

Champagne, Sparkling and Prosecco

Wines: Champagne, Sparkling & Prosecco

Food matches: With the richer styles, choose seafood and richer canapés, while lighter styles suit antipasto, fried foods and fresh fruit.

Dessert and Fortified wines

Wines: Botrytis, Tawny, Muscat/Topaque 

Food matches: Botrytis: Cream or fruit-based desserts, pâté. Tawny: Cheddar & blue cheese, dried & fresh fruit, nuts. Topaque: Caramel-based desserts. Muscat: Chocolate-based desserts, dates & dried figs, ice cream.

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Food
What grows together, goes together – Blackmore Wagyu and Heathcote Estate
Words by Mark Hughes on 20 Oct 2017
We continue our ‘Grows together, goes together’ series with a glorious pairing in the rolling green hills around heathcote, Victoria – the world renowned Blackmore Wagyu and the equally impressive Heathcote Estate. In the world of beef, Wagyu is quite rightly held in high esteem, its high grading and phenomenal marbling commanding prices of up to $200 per steak in restaurants. The marbling is due to unparalleled levels of monounsaturated fat – a good fat that can assist in reducing cholesterol levels in the body and which has a low melting point. Consequently, Wagyu scores highly on both health and flavour, delivering juicy, delicate characters with a deliciously soft texture. Wagyu literally means ‘Japanese beef’ (Wa=Japanese, gyu=beef), and in Japan Wagyu has long been revered for its use as a working animal, its sheer size and muscle structure making it perfect for agricultural pursuits. It is theorised that centuries of labour helped develop the rich fat content in the muscle of the Wagyu, as it can be used as an instant energy source. As a beef product, incredibly fastidious monitoring of bloodlines has allowed over a century and a half of absolute 100% pure breeding – each and every Wagyu can be traced to its genetic source. In the Australian beef industry, one name is practically synonymous with Wagyu, Blackmore . Fifth generation farmer David Blackmore has been a trailblazer in our Wagyu industry, pioneering the production of 100% full-blood Wagyu beef in Australia since 1992. While adhering to the same exacting genetic regimes observed in Japan, he’s developed innovative production techniques for Australian conditions. This has resulted in quite a revolution. Prior to Wagyu entering the Australian market, the Australian meat grading system was 0 to 6. Since the introduction of Wagyu, the grading system has been increased to 9, with Blackmore Wagyu consistently scoring 9+. The Blackmore Wagyu farm is situated in the beautiful Victorian high country, at Alexandra, while the breeding cows and their calves are raised on a lush 3,500-acre property just out of Heathcote, a little over an hour’s drive north of Melbourne. “Our property has beautiful rolling hills with lots of shelter belts for the cattle, which is really important for grazing on the open pastures, but also for getting out of the weather,” explains Blackmore CEO and sixth generation farmer, Ben Blackmore, when we tour their Fairfield property just outside Heathcote. Agricultural neighbours
Just a short drive away from the Blackmore farm on the other side of Heathcote is the revered Heathcote Estate. As a wine region, the story of Heathcote echoes many of those around Australia. Settlers in the mid 1850s were attracted to the region by gold and agriculture, with some planting vines and establishing wineries that gradually fell by the wayside. A few decades ago, the vinous potential of the region was again recognised and viticulturists established a wine region that now boasts over 40 wineries. Heathcote Estate was planted in 1999 by the Kirby family, with the sole objective of making a premium single vineyard Shiraz . Award-winning winemaker Tom Carson, who also looks after the Kirby’s Yabby Lake Winery on the Mornington Peninsula , feels that he has achieved that, giving most of the credit to great sites and the distinct characteristics of the region. “Heathcote is an amazing region for Shiraz,” says Tom. “The major factors are the ancient Cambrian soils – at least 500 million years old – very deep, rich, red and full of quartz and gemstones, coupled with the really mild climate of warm days, cool nights. It is perfect for Shiraz. “The resulting Shiraz are quite bold but fine, with beautiful perfumes, a lovely intensity of berry fruits and savoury tannins – just beautiful food wines.” A meal for a discerning crew
At the invitation of the Kirbys to use the Heathcote Estate Homestead, Selector organised for a special lunch with Ben, Tom and Heathcote Estate’s marketing manager Tiffyn Parsons, prepared by renowned Melbourne chef Neale White. Growing up in Sydney, Neale started his career in London, honing his skills in the kitchens of culinary luminaries such as Gordon Ramsey and Marcus Wareing, before returning to Australia to operate and consult for restaurants in Byron Bay, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne,  including the iconic Southbank restaurant, Pure South . In 2013, Neale opened Papa Goose in Melbourne’s CBD and, more recently, added My Son Joy café in South Melbourne, which allows him to express his ‘low carb, high fat’ mantra with a nutrition-based, wholefood menu. The perfect wine & beef pairing
For this special lunch, we gave Neale the challenge of working with a lesser used rump cap as well as a secondary cut, skirt. This fact prompted Ben to reveal another unique quality of Wagyu. “Because we are growing these animals to four years of age, they are much bigger than the traditional beef animal in Australia, so they have much better muscle development. This enables us to get up to 40 different sections from an animal, whereas you only get about 16 traditionally,” Ben says. “So this allows chefs to be much more creative with these extra cuts with different textures and utilising different cooking techniques.” For the skirt, Neale seasoned the Wagyu steak then simply pan-roasted for three minutes each side, and rested for 10 minutes, before slicing thinly and placing over the pomegranate, macadamia and herb slaw salad. It was matched with the spicy fruit characters of the 2014 Heathcote Estates Grenache Noir, which highlighted the delicate flavour of the Wagyu. The rump cap was brined overnight in 5% salt and herb solution before being slow-cooked in an oven, then rested, sliced and served with a roasted carrot puree and green bean salad. It was paired perfectly with the 2012 Museum Release Heathcote Estate Single Vineyard Shiraz – its plush palate and ripe tannins accentuating the wonderfully soft ‘melt in the mouth’ texture of the Wagyu rump cap.

People think when eating beef they need a really powerful red wine, but for me, the flavour of Wagyu is so delicate, the lighter, savoury style of Heathcote Shiraz is perfect.

- Ben Blackmore, Blackmore Wagyu
“I think the savouriness of our Heathcote Shiraz and that lovely cut you get across the palate works beautifully with this rich meat,” agrees Tom. “That is the wonderful thing about this region. There are some wonderful food producers alongside great wine producers. These things just go hand in hand.” Get Neil White's pan-roasted Blackmore's wagyu beef skirt salad with pomegranate, macadamia and herb red slaw recipe
Wine
How to read an Australian wine label
Words by Paul Diamond on 7 Mar 2016
Mandatory information requirements for labels of Australian wines, mean as a wine lover you can be assured of exactly what is in each wine bottle, who made it and where it came from – there’s no guess work involved. While the label design differs for each wine company to reflect their personality, history and wine styles, all Australian wine labels must include the following: Volume of wine e.g. 750ml Country of origin e.g. Australia Percentage of alcohol e.g. 13.5% ALC/VOL Designation of product e.g. wine Producer e.g. name and address Additives e.g. preservative 220 added Standard drinks e.g. approx. 8 Standard drinks Allergen warnings e.g. this wine has been fined with fish, milk or egg products. There are also a number of rules that apply to the information supplied about where the fruit for the wine came from, what varietal or varietals it’s made from, and also the vintage it was harvested in. If the label states a specific vintage year, it must contain at least 85% of fruit from the stated year. If it states a specific variety it must contain at least 85% of that variety e.g. Chardonnay , Shiraz or Riesling . If the wine contains 15% or more of a second varietal that also must be declared e.g.: Cabernet Merlot or Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. If it states a specific regional origin or geographical indication (GI) it must contain at least 85% fruit from that region. Front of the label Generally a front label will include the following: Producer’s company name Brand name Geographical indication/region Prescribed name of grape variety or blend Vintage Volume statement. Trophy or medal logo if it has any – awarded at Wine Shows, Trophy is the highest award. Wines can also be awarded a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal depending on the score they receive from the judging panel. Back of label Depending on the wine and the wine producer, the back label usually includes a brief blurb about the wine, winery, or winemaker, a tasting note or maybe the story behind the wine. It also includes: Name and description of the wine Alcohol statement Standard drink labelling Allergens declaration Name and address of the wine producer Country of origin On the back labels of Australian biodynamic and organic wines labels, you may also see logos certifying their status. Each wine label tells a story, so next time you pick out a bottle of wine, make sure you take the time to read its label – you’ll be surprised at what you can learn!
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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