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Food

The Essential Tapas And Wine Pairing Guide

Morsels made for sharing to match your wine selection!

The array of dishes in a tapas spread means you have the perfect excuse to open a range of wines as the feast progresses. Lighter, more aromatic whites are ideal with fried morsels and oily fish, then enjoy a fuller white with a classic paella or grilled seafood.

In the reds, it’s easy to see why the Spanish variety Tempranillo reigns supreme, as its savoury and rustic charm and lovely acidity make it perfect across a range of ingredients and textures. Salud!

Tapas Wine Matching 101

Tapas Wine Matching Infographic Guide

Light and aromatic whites

Dave Mavor is a huge fan of Miguel Maestre, which is why his Calasparra rice-crusted sardines recipe is one of his tapas go-tos. And his favourite wine match? A light and aromatic white. As he explains, “Offset the salty flavours in this dish with a wine match of a light and aromatic white. Go for Sauvignon Blanc and blends, Riesling or Pinot G, or for an alternative taste, Vermentino is perfect.”

Medium weight and textural whites

Nicole Gow likes to keep her tapas spreads simple, yet full of flavour and Lyndey Milan’s stuffed figs wrapped in bastourma are a perfect choice. “Brimming with mouth-watering textures, this simple dish pairs well with medium weight and textural whites,” Nicole explains. “Try favourites like Chardonnay and Verdelho or for something different, Arneis or Fiano.” 

Light to medium weight and savoury reds

Trent Mannell is another Miguel Maestre fan and he finds his Manchego cheese sticks with tomato jam are always first to disappear when he’s entertaining friends. When it comes to choosing the perfect wine, he says, “Match the light, delicate flavours of this dish with light to medium weight and savoury reds such as Pinot Noir or Merlot, or for something different, Grenache and GSM blends or Nero d’Avola.”

Richer and fuller bodied reds

One of the heartier tapas choices that Adam Walls loves serving his mates is chorizo mushrooms, as they’re fans of big, bold reds. “Naturally, Tempranillo and Sangiovese are ideal matches for this dish, but you can try other rich and full-bodied reds such as Shiraz and blends and Cabernet and blends.”

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Wine
Pursuit of Perfection - Australian Pinot Noir
Words by Dave Mavor on 2 May 2017
Australia's established Pinot Noir regions are continuing to develop and evolve remarkable examples of this varietal. But for the big future of Aussie Pinot, we may need to look west. I'll admit it - not everyone is a fan of  Pinot Noir . But that fact, in itself, is what makes Pinot so enigmatic - aficionados swoon, swillers scoff. And this suits Pinot (and its lovers) just fine because in this land of the tall poppy, it is not always favourable to be too popular. That said, Pinot is one of the most revered and collected wine styles in the world, with the top examples from its homeland in Burgundy selling for outrageous sums of money. It is generally quite delicate (some say light-bodied), and it takes a certain development of one's palate to truly appreciate its delightful nuances, perfumed aromas, textural elements and supple tannin profile. It appears that if you enjoy wine for long enough, eventually your palate will look for and appreciate the more subtle and complex style that quality Pinot can provide. A good point that illustrates this comes from winemaker Stephen George, who developed the revered Ashton Hills brand. "A lot of older gentlemen come into the cellar door and say they love Shiraz, but it doesn't love them anymore," he says. "So we are getting some of my generation moving over to Pinot Noir, and the young kids of today are also really embracing it." THE ALLURE OF PINOT (FOR THE WINEMAKER) Winemakers love a challenge, and there is no doubt that Pinot is a challenging grape to grow, and even more challenging to make. The Burgundians have certainly nailed it, but they have been practicing for thousands of years, and this is part of the key. The cool climate of Burgundy has proven to be a major factor, as is the geology of the soils there, but they have also shown the variety to be very site-specific - vines grown in adjacent vineyards, and even within vineyards, can produce very different results. Vine age too, is critical. True of most varieties, but especially Pinot Noir, the best fruit tends to come from mature vineyards, considered to be around 15 years old or more. Yields too, need to be kept low to get the best out of this grape, as it needs all the flavour concentration it can get to show its best. Australian winemakers have taken these lessons to heart - gradually developing ever cooler areas to grow Pinot, working out the best soil types, and carefully exploring the ideal sites within each vineyard to grow this fickle variety. They're also working out the best clones and the most appropriate vine spacing, and then managing the vine canopy to allow just the right amount of dappled sunlight to reach the ripening bunches. Our vines are getting older, reaching that critical phase of maturity, and yields are managed carefully to coax the maximum from each berry. Once in the winery, the grapes need careful handling due to their thin skins and low phenolic content, so physical pump-overs are kept to a minimum. These days more and more winemakers are including a percentage of stems in the ferment to enhance the aromatic and textural qualities of the finished wine, and oak usage is more skilfully matched to the style being produced. THE STATE OF PLAY OF PINOT Australian viticulturists and winemakers are getting better at producing top quality Pinot with every passing year. And that quality is truly on show in our most recent State of Play tasting. It's been five years since we last had an in-depth look at Pinot Noir in this country. And what a change we've seen in that time! The overall quality of Australian Pinot is certainly on the rise. But what is perhaps the biggest development in the last five years has been the emergence of a potential Pinot giant  in the west . As you will see in our reviews across the following pages, the established Pinot producing regions such as the  Yarra Valley ,  Tasmania  and  Adelaide Hills  are still well represented in our Top 20, but they are joined by newcomers, the cool-climate  Tumbarumba  region of NSW, and an impressively strong showing from the  Great Southern  and  Pemberton  areas of Western Australia. In fact, five wines in the Top 20 are from WA - an amazing statistic given that there were none five years ago. THE EMERGING PINOT GIANT - WA We have seen a marked increase in the number and quality of Pinots coming from the West in recent years, particularly from the vast  Great Southern  area encompassing the five distinct sub-regions of Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker and Porongorup, as well as a secluded pocket of the South West around Pemberton and Manjimup. So what has led to the emergence of WA as a Pinot powerhouse? According to second generation winemaker Rob Wignall, whose father Bill pioneered Pinot production in Albany, there have been a number of small improvements that make up the overall picture. He believes that climate change has been a significant and positive factor, moving the region's climate into more of a semi-Mediterranean situation with mild summer days and a reduction in rainfall throughout the growing season, leading to improvements in disease control and better canopy management. In addition, Rob feels that better oak selection and winemaking practices such as 'cold soaking' of the must prior to fermentation have led to improvements in the finished product. He is also a strong advocate for screw caps, believing that the delicate fruit characters of Pinot really shine under this closure, and that they also enhance the age-ability of the wines. Luke Eckersley, from regional icon Plantagenet Wines in Mt Barker, points to the variations in micro-climates and soil types across the Great Southern region as a factor. "Pinot Noir styles are varied with complex savoury styles from Denmark; elegant perfumed styles from Porongurup; rich fruit driven styles from Mount Barker; big robust styles from Albany; lighter primary fruit styles from Frankland River," he says. Michael Ng, winemaker from Rockcliffe in Denmark, adds that the cool climate with coastal influences allows full flavour development in the fruit, while still allowing for wines of finesse and savoury complexity. And a bit further west, Coby Ladwig of Rosenthal Wines points to the steep hills and valleys of the Pemberton region creating many unique micro-climates that enable varied grape growing conditions, "allowing us to create extremely complex and elegantly styled wines from one region", he says. While neighbouring Manjimup, with an altitude of 300m and therefore the coolest region in Western Australia, has cold nights and warm days ideal for flavour enhancement. PERFECTING THE FUTURE In summary, Pinot Noir in Australia is in a healthy position, with the established regions in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia producing more consistent and ever improving results. Equally exciting are the emerging Pinot Noir regions such as those in WA, as well as Tumbarumba and Orange, that show that the future for Pinot in Australia is bright. So, if you find your Shiraz doesn't love you as much anymore, perhaps look to Pinot, and when doing so, glance west. THE WINE SELECTORS TASTING PANEL The wines in this State of Play were tasted over a dedicated period by the  Wine Selectors Tasting Panel , which is made up of perceptive personalities and palates of winemakers, international wine show judges and wine educators. With an amazing 140 years collective experience, they love wine and they know their stuff.
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.
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 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 .”  
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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