Choosing a wine
Categories: Helpful Info
When matching food with wine there is a logical criteria. The single most important aspect of food and wine matching is body, not colour. The weight or texture of the food should match the weight of the wine. For example, delicate dishes need delicate or light bodied wines. Heavier, more robust dishes can cope with more full bodied wines. The flavour components of the dish need to harmonise with the flavour components of the wine.
- Light to medium bodied Rieslings show freshness and intensity of fruit balanced with crisp acidity. Wines made from Riesling grapes are neither fermented or stored in oak barrels.
Aromas and flavours: floral, fragrant, citrus, lime, pineapple, fruity.
Enjoy with: oysters, seafood, fish, poultry and summer salads. Aged Rieslings (4yrs+) have toasty, honey aromas mingled with citrus, floral flavours.
- Grapes and wines from cooler regions are more likely to have herbaceous tones coupled with citrus characters. Those warmer regions will usually be less herbaceous and have a greater intensity of citrus, tropical fruit characters.
Aromas and flavours: honey, lemon/lime, green toast, herbaceous, pea pod.
Enjoy with: poultry, veal, seafood, pasta and light game dishes.
- unwooded chardonnay
- The wines have been fermented and stored in stainless steel tanks. Made to drink young and fresh.
Aromas and flavours: medium bodied with crisp varietal fruit characters.
Enjoy with: seafood, pasta, chicken and most lighter food styles.
- wood matured chardonnay
- The wines have been fermented and/or stored in oak barrels. They are often left on yeast lees and undergo malolactic fermentation creating complex buttery, toasted oak layers interwoven with fruit flavours and aromas.
Aromas and flavours: grapefruit, lemon/lime, melon, peach, fig fruit salad, butterscotch, honey, toast.
Enjoy with: more complex poultry dishes, offal and lighter game dishes.
- pinot noir
- Light to medium bodied wine with a range of colour from light cherry to deep plum. Pinot Noir is better suited to cool climate areas.
Aromas and flavours: strawberry, raspberry, cherry, plum and blackcurrant. Aged Pinots have gamey meaty, mushroom and truffle characters.
Enjoy with: tuna, salmon, game, duck, lamb and pasta.
- cabernet sauvignon
- Young Cabernet Sauvignons can show excessive tannins and are suited to richer foods. Medium to full bodied.
Aromas and flavours: capsicum, leafy, blackcurrant, minty, liquorice. Aged cabernets have dusty licorice, cigar box and chocolate characters.
Enjoy with: duck, steak, beef casseroles.
- cabernet blends
- Cabernet marries well with Merlot, Shiraz and Malbec to produce complex flavours encompassing the varietal characters of each grape variety. Generally softer in style these wines are “food friendly” and marry well with white and red meats, pasta and pizza.
- An early ripening variety Merlot is less tannic than Cabernet and produces soft, velvety, plummy wines which are often used as a blending partner. Aged Merlot becomes very soft and velvety.
Aromas and flavours: cherry, spice aromatic, violets.
Enjoy with: steak, quail and lamb.
- Medium in colour Shiraz can range from medium red to deep purple/black. Tannin levels are usually high in young wines. Vines from cool climates areas produce wines with more pepper and spice intensity.
Aromas and flavours: pepper, spice, mint, blackberry, chocolate. Aged Shiraz have earthy, chocolate, meaty, barnyard and leather characters.
Enjoy with: rich robust dishes, kangaroo, beef and lamb.
- sparkling wines
- Traditionally served at celebrations sparkling wines are great as an aperitif. Sparkling wines are usually made from Chardonnay and Pinot grapes.
Aromas and flavours: nutty, yeasty, toasty, honey.
Enjoy with: canapés, oysters, smoked salmon and caviar.
- dessert wines
- Generally made from Botrytis affected Riesling or Semillon. The colour may vary from light yellow to gold.
Aromas and flavours: fragrant, floral, fruity, honey, marmalade.
Enjoy with: liver pate, rich desserts (not chocolate), dried fruit, nuts and cheese.
- fortified wines
- Sherry, Muscat, Tokay and Port. These wines have been fortified with grape spirit. Sherry is traditionally served as an aperitif.
Enjoy with: Muscat and Tokays are perfect partners for cheese and dried fruits. Muscat marries well with rich cholate desserts.