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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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Curry recipes and wine matching ideas
Find the perfect curry dish for your wine with this easy to follow wine pairing guide. Full of deep, satisfying flavour, comforting curries are world-wide favourites. The amazing array of curry choices from Thai and Malay, to Indian and Sri Lankan and more, offer a huge range of heat and texture variations, as well as delicate, warm and fiery spices. While it’s easier to match wine with the milder, aromatic curries, if you’re going hot, stick with light and aromatic whites or light to medium weight and savoury reds and don’t forget the classic match of off-dry Riesling which is the perfect way to enjoy a fiery feast. Check out the guide below for more curry and wine matching ideas from the Wine Selectors Tasting Panel . Curry Wine Matching 101 Light and aromatic white wines
“Living near the ocean, I’m lucky to have access to a local seafood co-op that always has fantastic fresh fish for my favourite curry,” explains Nicole Gow. “Fish curry, steamed rice and banana salsa is so easy to make and so delicious served with a glass of a Riesling .” Other light weight and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc and blends , Gewürtztraminer and Pinot G are also perfect choices. Recomended recipe:  Fish curry, steamed rice and banana salsa Medium Weight & Textural White Wines
“My family are mad for chicken coconut curry, and it’s a regular request at our place,” says Tasting Panellist, Trent Mannell. “While the kids are still a little too young for wine, I love to serve it with a tropical, fruit-driven Verdelho or a fresh, modern Australian Chardonnay.” Similar weight to unoaked Chardonnay, and with good acidity, the alternative varieties of Arneis and Fiano are also great matches. Recommended Recipe:   Lyndey Milan's chicken coconut curry Light to Medium Weight & Savoury Red Wines
Most people don’t think to pair seafood and pineapple with red wines, but Tasting Panellist Adam Walls says when combined with curry it’s a perfect match. “A spicy dish like Poh’s prawn and pineapple curry is a winner paired with light to light to medium weight reds with softer tannins and fruit sweetness offsetting the heat in the dish,” he explains. Try it with Pinot Noir , Merlot, Grenache, GSM blends or Nero d’Avola. Recommended recipe : Poh’s prawn and pineapple curry Richer and Fuller Bodied Reds
Tasting Panellist, Dave Mavor loves spending his holidays travelling throughout Asia. “I’ve had some of the best massaman curry experiences in Thailand and Malaysia, but unfortunately the restaurants only served beer,” he explains. “The rich, full-bodied flavours of curries like massaman beef cheek curry with pearl cous cous need a wine that can match its generosity.” Classic red choices include Shiraz blends and Cabernet blends, or go for a Tempranillo or Sangiovese . Recommended recipe:    Massaman beef cheek curry with pearl cous cous Stick the Tasting Panel’s suggestions and you can’t go wrong. Add a touch of spice and curry goodness to your weekly dinner repertoire with more delicious recipes .
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 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.”
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
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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