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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.

 

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Food
What grows together, goes together Wunderbar lamb and Mitchell Family wines.
Words by Paul Diamond on 7 Jan 2018
The Clare Valley is one of Australia’s most underrated wine regions, which is hard to fathom given it produces some of the finest Rieslings and intensely concentrated red wines in the country. No doubt, the pull of the Barossa has a lot to do with the underestimation of the Clare, but, if you can resist the urge to turn right at Gawler and stay on the A32, you’re in for a treat.  In addition to its wine cred, Clare is uniquely beautiful. The open landscape is a sea of wheat fields sprinkled with eucalypts and stone cottages beneath powder blue skies. 
Heinrich’s Wunderbar  You’ll also notice a few sheep along the way, as Clare, like much of Australia, was Merino country. But around 1959 when wool exports declined, families left in droves. One of the few that stuck with it were the Heinrichs of Black Springs and fifth generation Ben, along with his wife, Kerry and five children, continues to farm sheep on the family’s original 810ha property just east of Clare.  But while the sheds, tractors, machinery and utes all make this look like a stock standard farm, one look at the sheep and you realise Ben does things a bit differently to his ancestors.  Practically bald and with long tails, Ben’s sheep are a breed that sheds its wool, chosen as part of his humane, minimal intervention philosophy. This is underpinned by his adherence to the Humane Choice farming principles of which he is the only certified producer in Australia. “With no wool, we can give our sheep a better life, as there’s no mulesing, tail docking, crutching or shearing,” Ben explains. “My sheep are truly free range, paddock raised, no feed lots and we try to minimise human interaction with them as much as possible.” When it comes to conventional industries, sheep farming is close to the top. The practices are well entrenched over generations and traditions are not easy to break, especially when there are mouths to feed.  So why undertake such a radical change? For Ben, it was the knowledge that the ways of the past were not going to work. “Dad was running a self-replacing Merino flock and it wasn’t going so well,” Ben recalls. “Personally, I wasn’t cut out for it, I couldn’t see myself shearing, and Dad saw the writing on the wall. It was either going to be sheep with no wool, or no sheep at all!” So Ben, backed by his dad, started Wunderbar. They’ve since gone from strength to strength, now selling directly to butchers and chefs around the district and into Adelaide. Fans of their meat remark on how tender, flavoursome and lean it is, while chefs love to cook with it. High praise indeed.  A Delicious Seed Word of Ben’s lamb is spreading and one chef that sings Wundebar’s praises is Guy Parkinson, owner of Seed Winehouse +Kitchen in Clare. Guy and his partner, Candice, have run Seed since 2014 after travelling through Clare and deciding it was the place to set up shop. Seed is now a food and wine destination, drawing people from all over to sample Guy’s creative, trattoria-inspired cooking paired with Candice’s take on the Clare wine scene. The couple had been Hunter-based, where they had a significant following of loyal winemaking food lovers, and this pattern has repeated in the Clare. 
The Mitchells Part of the Seed appreciation society are the Mitchells, who run the acclaimed Mitchell Wines. Led by second generation Andrew and Jane, they work with their children, Hilary, Angus and Edwina, to produce beautiful expressions of Watervale Riesling, Semillon, Shiraz, Cabernet and Grenache under the Mitchell and McNicol labels.  The Mitchells have been in Clare since 1949 when Andrew’s father purchased land featuring an orchard, a dairy and a small vineyard. Andrew was born and bred on the property and after school, returned to the family business.  “I came back home and thought that making wine was better than working for a living,” he says with a cheeky smile. Most of the wines the Mitchells produce are released with some age, a decision that can be a financial burden. However, as Andrew explains, “The significant thing about the Clare Valley is that it is a region that produces wines with incredible intensity of flavour, but with elegance. We sell some of our wines at 10 years old and the dividend is that people get to see our wines at their best.” The Lunch As a celebration of Wunderbar lamb, Guy devised a menu with an entrée of lamb backstrap poached in extra virgin olive oil, grilled cucumber, mint and whipped yogurt, and a main of roasted rack served on baby carrots cooked in whey and honey, pearl barley and pomegranate.  Andrew and Angus brought along a range of wines to evaluate and see which suited Guy’s food best.  For the entree, Candice chose the 2009 NcNicol Watervale Riesling. It had the age to be a perfect textural match for the silky backstrap, but also fresh acidity to cut through the whipped yoghurt. For the rack, Candice’s call was Andrew’s 2001 Peppertree Vineyard Shiraz. The wine was still dense, but time had softened the mouthfeel, allowing the secondary fruit to sit beautifully with the flesh and the sauce to suit the wonderful, natural intensity of the wine.  As the afternoon progressed, conversation became more relaxed as stories were shared and reflections were made on their beautiful home. Guy Parkinson’s back strap of lamb poached in extra virgin olive oil, grilled baby cucumber, whipped sheep yogurt
Recipe:  Get  Guy Parkinson’s back strap of lamb poached in extra virgin olive oil, grilled baby cucumber, whipped sheep yogurt Wine:  Explore  Mitchell Family Wines Clare Valley:  Discover the fun of cycling the   Clare Valley Riesling Trail
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. 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 .”
Food
Matching wine with Haigh's chocolate
Words by Paul Diamond on 29 Nov 2017
Individually, wine and chocolate are highly desired treats, but when brought together in a complementary pairing, they can transport your tastebuds to new and exciting places. This Christmas, we have teamed up with Australia’s most respected chocolate producer to bring you some matches that will have you wishing it was Christmas every month of the year! And, we're happy to announce an exclusive offer for Wine Selectors members and Selector readers. When you spend $75 or more with Haigh's online and use the code SELECTOR17, you'll receive a free packet of Milk Chocolate Frogs! Find out more below . Match 1: Shiraz and Haigh’s Dark Chocolate (50%+)
The fruit intensity and medium to full bodied nature of Shiraz make for a rich and mouth-filling combination. The key is starting with a chocolate with over 50% cocoa content and matching the general fruit flavours of the wine to a complementary chocolate flavour. Our Pick : Primo Estate Shiraz 2016 and Haigh’s 100g Dark Cardamom Tablet Tasting note : This match is mind blowing! The dark chocolate and the fruit intensity of the McLaren Vale classic from Primo Estate are perfectly weighted together, but what makes this match is when the mocha, plum and pepper flavours of the wine meet the cardamom flavours in the chocolate.  Boom! Match 2: Cabernet Sauvignon and Haigh’s Dark Chocolate (60%+)
For some reason, Cabernet and dark chocolate always works, and if there was going to be one generic chocolate and wine suggestion, it would be this one. Because Cabernet Sauvignon is generally full-bodied, it needs to be matched with intense flavours, so turning up the cocoa content in the chocolate is key. Our Pick: Rosabrook Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 and Haigh’s 100g Costa Rica Single Origin Dark Chocolate Tasting note : This is a decadent, seductive match! This premium Cabernet from Margaret River has plenty of dark berry intensity that matches the chocolate perfectly, but there is an extra sweet raspberry lift to the wine that adds a lovely complement to the bitter flavours of the chocolate. Match 3: Pinot Noir and Haigh’s Dark Ginger
Pinot Noir is a soft varietal with delicate tannins , so matching it to chocolate can be challenging. But when you get it right, the results are amazing. Less about texture/weight matching, pairing chocolate to Pinot is all about complementary flavours. Our Pick : De Bortoli Villages Pinot Noir 2016 and Haigh’s Dark Ginger Tasting note: This is crazy delicious. We stumbled onto this match, as ginger was not on the radar when tasting chocolates for Pinot. The ginger is soft, creamy, sweet and a little spicy and it worked so perfectly with the soft, earthy red fruits in this Pinot. When you think about this match, it makes little sense, but when you taste both together, it makes for a heady, seductive and exotic match. Match 4: Pinot Gris and Haigh’s Dark Champagne Truffle
Softer and more textural than its crunchier, crispier Grigio cousin, Pinot Gris is a great varietal for chocolate matching with chocolate. Generally low in acid with soft pear, florals and citrus, Gris works well with milk driven and fruit confected chocolates. Our Pick : Lisa McGuigan Pinot Gris 2015 and Haigh’s Dark Champagne Truffle Tasting Note : Hard to stop at one! This Haigh’s Dark Champagne Truffle is incredible and will work with a range of white wines, but we found that the soft lemon, pear and granny smith apple fruits are the best combo for the creamy balance between the Champagne cream and the dark chocolate coating. The dusting also adds a nice sweetness to the whole picture. Dangerously delicious. Match 5: Chardonnay and Haigh’s Dark Orange Slices
Chardonnay , with its nutty, stone fruited complexity is another variety that is hard to be generic about as there are so many nuances to each individual example. Like Pinot Noir, matching becomes less about weight, texture and acidity and more about flavour matching. And, like Pinot Gris, it goes really well with fruit confected and flavoured chocolates.   Our Pick : Tyrrell's Dry White Chardonnay (1976) and Haighs Dark Orange slices Tasting Note : Surprisingly, amazingly delicious. This was another out-of-the-blue match that, on paper, shouldn’t work, but very much does. The rich and round white melon and citrus envelop the jaffa-like orange flavours that seem to be extended and lengthened by the wine. The chocolate is dark, but the acidity in the wine lightens it, making a hero of the orange. Lovely combination. Match 6. Sauv Blanc and Haigh’s White Lemon Truffle
As a zesty, fresh and aromatic variety, Sauvignon Blanc is a good white chocolate option. When it comes to thinking about the wine, however, try to steer away from examples that have loads of grassy characters in preference for examples with citrus dominant characters. Our Pick : Hungerford Hill Fumé Blanc 2016 and White Lemon Truffle Tasting Note : There’s no way you will want to share this combination and when we finished tasting, we were looking for more of these special little truffles. This Fumé style Sauv Blanc is citrus driven and textural with little grassy notes that make the natural citrus stand out and was a perfect partner for the lemon spiked cream at the centre of this white chocolate coated treat. This is a definite crowd pleaser. Special offer for Wine Selectors Members
Spend $75 and use the code SELECTOR17 when you shop with Haigh’s online and you’ll receive a free 140g packet of Milk Chocolate Frogs valued at $12.50! The most iconic of the Haigh’s collection, these frogs are made from premium milk chocolate, which they have been making since the 1930s. Shop at Haigh's online now See the terms and conditions below .  
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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