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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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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
6 Wines to bring luck and prosperity in the Year of the Rooster
The Lunar New Year is the most significant event on the Asian calendar. While it’s most famously celebrated in China, festivities also take place across East and South East Asians countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. With so many different Asian communities at home here in Australia, Lunar New Year celebrations are getting bigger every year. While each community has its own unique take on the event, common to all is the gathering of friends and family for a traditional feast. At Wine Selectors, we are constantly searching for the perfect union and harmony between wine and food dishes. We’ve selected 6 wines that are the perfect match to Lunar New Year celebrations this year that celebrate the fusion of food, wine, and culture.   LISA MCGUIGAN PINOT GRIS 2015 In China, traditional reunion dinners or ‘Nian Ye Fan’ are celebrated by families on New Year's Eve. They focus around ‘dishes with a meaning’, symbolic usherings for the year ahead, such as luck, prosperity, and good health. In Mandarin, the word for Fish 鱼 (Yú /yoo), sounds like ‘surplus’ and so fish has become synonymous with prosperity and should be intentionally left unfinished during the reunion dinner to enhance this sense of excess and abundance. The Lisa McGuigan Pinot Gris 2015 is the perfect accompaniment to fish dishes due to the tropical fruit flavours and bright acidity, which perfectly complement fresh fish. Matched Recipe: Sauteed Fish with Celery.   JACKSON’S HILL YARRA VALLEY CHARDONNAY 2016 In the Year of the Rooster, gold and yellow are thought to be lucky colours and also they tie in perfectly with a fine Hunter Valley Chardonnay. The creamy mouthfeel and mid-weight concentration of this wine are a great match for spicy dishes. The savoury, nutty stonefruit flavours in this wine offer fantastic support to dishes with the characteristic sweetness of palm sugar. Matched Recipe: Stir-fried Chicken with Beans   WILLOW BRIDGE ESTATE DRAGONFLY CHENIN BLANC 2015 In Chinese culture, the dragonfly is associated with prosperity and peace and it’s used as a good luck charm. While we can’t promise you that enjoying the Dragonfly Chenin Blanc from Willow Bridge Estate will bring you good luck, we can promise it’s a delicious match with tofu stir-fry. Its bright and zesty citrus elements complement the understated, creamy flavours in the tofu, while the wheat notes form the udon and the light heat from the chilli are subtly balanced the wine’s weight and texture. Matched Recipe: Tofu, chilli & Udon noodle stir-fry   RED WINES FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR It’s not just white wines that make great partners to traditional Asian flavours. At Wine Selectors, we’ve found that the light bodied, dark cherry fruits of Pinot Noir work perfectly with delicate dumpling or noodle dishes. The soft velvety plum flavours of a fine Hunter Valley Shiraz match with the sweetness and warmth of many traditional Chinese dishes. While the ripe, soft fruit and tannins of a fine Grenache match perfectly with the refined spice of an East Asian Curry.   NINTH ISLAND PINOT NOIR 2015 This classic Pinot Noir from the north of Tasmania with its soft savoury flavours and a low tannin profile is the perfect accompaniment to traditional Luna New Year ‘lucky dumplings’( 饺子 Jiǎozi) or a sweet pork belly dish. This 2015 vintage is a particularly good choice as the number 5 is a lucky number in the year of the Rooster. Matched Recipe: Caramelised Pork Belly Salad     YALUMBA OLD BUSH VINE GRENACHE 2014 The complex mix of flavours, texture, and spice in an East Asian curry require a wine that matches its flavour weight, but has a soft mouthfeel and subtle texture. This Old World style Grenache is the perfect fit; it has a soft red cherry intensity delivered with a silky, soft and elegant mouthfeel. Delicious! Matched Recipe: Malaysian White Curry Chicken     ANDREW THOMAS SYNERGY SHIRAZ 2014 Synergy and harmony are vital during New Year Celebrations, perfectly embodied in this spectacular Shiraz combining select barrels from old vine vineyards. Earthy and rich, yet soft and savoury characters make this Hunter Valley classic from one of the best Hunter vintages in living memory a great match for the weight and depth of flavours in a refined curry dish. The nutty, complex mix of spice and coconut milk in a curry are lifted beautifully by the medium weight dark berry fruit, allspice and cedary elements of this wine. Matched Recipe: Massaman Curry with Beef   DISCOVER A DELICIOUS FUSION OF FOOD, WINE AND CULTURE THIS LUNAR NEW YEAR To celebrate the Year of the Rooster, Wine Selectors has partnered with Asian Inspirations to hand select six Australian wines that perfectly enhance the authentic Asian flavours of the spectacular recipes in the included recipe booklet. From chicken to pork, fish and beef, and noodles to chilli, curry and soy, the rich flavours of Asian cuisine are on show, providing a plethora of delicious dishes to enjoy. Discover the delicious fusion of food, wine and culture - order now!    
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
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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