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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
What grows together, goes together Landfall Beef and Josef Chromy Wines
Words by Paul Diamond on 3 Aug 2017
We travel to Tasmania to lunch with Launceston neighbours Landfall Beef and Josef Chromy Wines and discover the old adage of what grows together, goes together is still very relevant. Long before we started digging things out of the ground, our economic prosperity as ‘The Lucky Country’, came from agriculture, livestock in particular. From the mid 1800s and for most of the 1900s, we were literally ‘riding on the sheep’s back’ as we matured and developed into what we are today. Our identity, what we eat, drink and appreciate, comes from this industry and to help celebrate what is recognised as the best produce in the world, Selector has partnered with Australian Beef & Lamb to bring you the stories of some selected producers across the country. Each article will be based in one of our great wine regions and feature a prominent wine producer meeting a livestock producer over lunch and a glass of wine. By sharing the fruits of these agricultural pursuits, we hope you gain a greater appreciation of the best food and wine we produce and the regions that bind them together. We start our series in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley with the Archer family, renowned for their lamb production, and Josef Chromy OAM, who, after developing some of Tasmania’s most significant wineries, established his own at the age of 76. The Archer Family
The Archer family have been farming their property, ‘Landfall’, in Northern Tasmania’s Tamar Valley for five generations. Arriving in 1876, brothers Gerald and Hedly Archer started cropping and raising livestock. The other five Archer brothers moved to Queensland to farm and their heirs, like their Tasmanian cousins, have remained on the land, raising their families and livestock. Today, the Tasmanian Archers specialise in prime lamb. Their lives are intimately connected to the Tamar Valley, their property, their animals and as the sixth generation of Archers grow up, they will learn and understand the true meaning of paddock to plate; breeding, birthing, raising, selling and marketing their animals. The Archers know the value of their labour and have opened Landfall Farm Fresh , a direct-to-customer butcher shop in Launceston that allows customers to appreciate the highest quality lamb that is raised just minutes from the shop. Pastoral Connections
Over a special lunch of Landfall lamb neck with potato & olive oil purée, glazed artichokes, sheep milk curd and almonds, and slow-cooked Landfall lamb shoulder with perfect sauce, salt-baked celeriac, winter greens and radicchio salad, especially prepared by chef, Nick Raitt, fifth generation Archers, Ellie and Ed, got to share their produce, connect and get to know  another Tamar agri-producer in Josef Chromy. Over a glass of Josef’s exquisite Pinot Noir , crafted by chief winemaker, Jeremy Dineen, the Archers discovered that they had more in common with Josef than just the land they share. Josef ‘Joe’ Chromy escaped his Nazi controlled Czech village and fled across borders, dodging soldiers, dogs and minefields, before eventually emigrating to Australia as a destitute 19-year-old.  Joe found hope in Tasmania, became a Master Butcher and started a business called Blue Ribbon Meat Products, building his business over 40 years to become a leading Tasmanian brand. Joe floated Blue Ribbon and invested in Tasmania’s fledgling wine industry, developing the now iconic labels Jansz, Heemskerk, Rochecombe (Bay of Fires) and Tamar Ridge. In 2007, he started Josef Chromy Wines and has developed the business significantly to become recognised internationally as one of Tasmania’s leading producers and the region’s most impressive cellar door and restaurant. Kitchen Royalty
Nick Raitt, head chef at the Josef Chromy Wines Restaurant , has some pedigree of his own, having cooked at Level 41, Otto and Coast and has even cooked for the royals of Oman and a laundry list of other royals and world leaders. To match colleague Jeremy Dineen’s spectacular Chardonnay and Pinot Noir , Nick was keen to work with secondary cuts to show the Archers what was possible with their product. He chose neck and shoulder, which are highly accessible and inexpensive cuts with plenty of flavour potential. The Archers were quietly impressed, and as they were able to gain a further appreciation of their products, they got to share their stories, enjoy Joe and Jeremy’s delicious wines and develop a further appreciation for the amazing place that connects them all. Nick Raitt's lamb shoulder with the Perfect Sauce
Recipe:  Get Nick Raitt's Lamb Shoulder with the perfect suace and salt-baked celerieac recipe Wine: Explore Josef Chromy Wines Tasmania: The explore the  best Tasmanian cellar doors with in our winery guide
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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