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Food

The essential Seafood and wine matching guide

A seafood selection for all of your wine favourites.

There’s something so Australian about tucking into a seafood feast with family and friends! We’re so lucky to have such an incredible range available all year-round, from fresh prawns and oysters served deliciously chilled, to barbequed and baked seafood dishes full of fresh flavours.

The style of wine you choose to match your seafood is dictated by its delicacy. From the classic combination of crisp Riesling with freshly shucked oysters to grilled shellfish with a modern Chardonnay, and the not so classic match of salmon with Pinot Noir, there’s a vast array of wine and seafood-matching opportunities.

INFOGRAPHIC: Selecting wine with seafood

LIGHT AND AROMATIC WHITES

Dave Mavor and his family love seafood and are mad about Asian food, so a favourite at his house is steamed snapper with Asian flavours. “I’m a huge fan of alternative whites like Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner which pair perfectly with this style of dish,” says Dave. With Asian flavours also think light and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and blends, and Riesling.

MEDIUM WEIGHT AND TEXTURAL WHITES

“Living on the coast, I’m lucky to have access to fantastic quality fresh seafood and I love having friends around for lunch on weekends, so dishes like blue swimmer crab spaghettini with lemon and chive sauce and garlic pangrattato are my go-to,” says Nicole Gow. “Crab needs a white that’s light on the oak with crisp acidity, making medium weight and textural wines like Marsanne, Pinot G, Vermentino, Arneis and Fiano mouth-watering choices,”

FULLER BODIED AND RICHER WHITES

When you’re after an easy to prepare, but impressive and quite luxurious seafood dinner, Adam Walls recommends barbequed marron with garlic and herb butter. “Marron is just so delicious and the rich barbequed flavours of the dish are complemented by fuller bodied and richer whites which I love,” he explains. “Go for Chardonnay, Roussanne, Verdelho or Viognier.”

LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT AND SAVOURY REDS

Trent Mannell suggests forgetting what you’ve heard or read about red wine not going with seafood. “The richness of fish like salmon make it great for red wine-lovers,” says Trent.

“I really enjoy dishes like King salmon with warm romesco salad that pair so well with light to medium weight and savoury reds like Grenache, GSM blends, Nero d’Avola, Barbera, Pinot Noir and Merlot.”

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Life
The Cobram Estate story
Words by Ed Halmagyi on 15 Jan 2018
The Murray River flows slowly through the ancient floodplains south-east of Mildura, drifting almost imperceptibly under a baking blue sky. Egrets and cormorants drift with the current, watched from the banks by sleepy kangaroos, while bright flashes of blue kingfishers dart between the trees. The land here is distinctly Australian, and some of the nation’s most celebrated and productive agricultural country, home to stonefruit, citrus, almonds, grapes and sheep-grazing. But a dynamic and fast-growing industry is transforming the region. Over the last two decades, vast groves of silver-leafed olive trees have been planted, breathing new life into the local economy, and changing the way Australians cook. Most significant of these farms is Boundary Bend, whose Cobram Estate brand is Australia’s leading extra virgin olive oil, and deserving winner of the RAS President’s Medal, the pre-eminent prize for agriculture. The company’s story is by turns inspiring, and a keen insight into the opportunities that exist when inspiration is interwoven with a determination towards excellence.
A friendship forms In the early 1990s, Rob McGavin and Paul Riordan were students at Marcus Oldham Agricultural College in Geelong. It’s a small campus, with barely more than 100 students, and while the boys were a few years apart, through the course of their studies, they formed a friendship that would underpin both their personal journeys and their professional careers. Rob was studying agribusiness, and Paul undertook farm management, courses that addressed the operational concerns of livestock husbandry and horticulture, but are more focussed on economics.  Despite his managerial leanings, after college, Rob decided to get dirt under his nails. He left behind the cattle-grazing he grew up with in Central Queensland, and instead chose an industry less susceptible to the tribulations of drought and the fluctuating value of the Australian dollar. With support from his parents, Rob set out for an adventure in wine production, buying a small farm at Renmark in South Australia’s Riverland with his wife Kate. Although Kate’s family were grape-growers from Coonawarra, it was still a trial by fire as they set out to establish the vineyard, and before long were needing help. As luck (or fate) would have it, Paul was at a loose end. He moved to the farm, and their friendship and work relationship blossomed. In time, Kate introduced Paul to her friend Fiona, and before long the couples had established a close-knit group that continues 25 years later.
A story of growth Viticulture, as many wine producers will attest, proved more complex than it seemed from a distance, and soon the team were considering ways to diversify. Paul had an interest in olive production, and could see the potential for a strong Australian industry. And so, knowing little about the practicalities of olives, they planted some test trees. But farming olives required economies of scale to make the significant costs of planting and processing more profitable. So before long, Rob and Paul were keen to find a larger property and build a more substantial grove. At Boundary Bend they found a broad parcel of well-irrigated land with the right mix of sandy, well-drained soil. Coupled with long, hot summers that enable the olives to ripen and swell with oil, it was the ideal location for the next stage in their journey.  In 1999, Rob and Paul planted their first 500 hectares, a sizeable but not overwhelming grove. Today the farm has more than 6500 hectares of olive trees stretching from one horizon to the other. They also have a second planting at Boort in central Victoria, a property they took over when its former owner, Timbercorp, went bankrupt. That process was challenging and nearly ended in the failure of Cobram Estate, and still carries some scars for everyone involved. For several weeks in 2009, Rob and Paul were unsure if the company, and the dreams they had invested in it, would survive. Rob describes that moment as Dickensian, the best and worst of times. Yet in his endlessly optimistic way he prefers to characterise it as a difficult transformation that only made them and Cobram Estate stronger in the long run. After some financial juggling, they acquired the grove and today it forms a significant part of their operation.
Capturing the dream Cobram Estate produces remarkable extra virgin olive oil, and does so from a range of olive tree stock. Picual, Hojiblanca, Coraneki, Arbequina and Coratina are the five principle varietals they produce, but in all there are nearly 30 types grown.  And this is one of the keys to Cobram Estate’s success – a diversification that enables consistently impeccable quality.  There are three central skills required to master the production of olive oil – growing pristine olives, pressing them with maximum efficiency, and then blending them. Rob and his team are dedicated to the idea that their customers value not only the flavour and nutrient density of the oil, but also the fact that it is the same delicious product year-round. Achieving this can pose a significant challenge. All varietals have distinctive qualities of pungency, astringency, colour, aroma and macro-nutrients, but these naturally fluctuate each season. And so it is up to Leandro Ravetti, Cobram Estate’s Technical Director, to lead a team that splices and combines oils in precise fractions until Robust, Classic and Light flavour profiles are achieved. Hojiblanca and Picual are also bottled as unique-varietal oils, offering consumers the same romance and nuances of experience as wine lovers find in the terroir of single-vineyard production. These are remarkable products with which Australians have fallen in love. Not only are they exceptional oils, but Cobram Estate is also proudly Australian in an industry forced to compete against a tide of imported product.
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 .  
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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