Per­fect match

Want the hot tip on pair­ing wine with food? Wine peo­ple from around the coun­try share their thoughts on get­ting it right, plus their favourite com­bi­na­tions – from the fan­ci­est of matches to down­right guilty plea­sures.

Halliday - - Basics -

Emma Far­relly State Build­ings, Perth

(seven venues, in­clud­ing Pe­ti­tion Kitchen, Pe­ti­tion Wine, Long Chim and Wild­flower)

HOT TIP: I talk about try­ing to com­ple­ment or con­trast your food and wine, so you’re ei­ther look­ing for sim­i­lar flavours or com­pletely op­pos­ing ones. When work­ing with an ar­ray of food, as we do at Pe­ti­tion Kitchen, which has a fo­cus on share plates, we like juicy, aro­matic, mid-weight reds and bright, crunchy whites – wines that don’t have too much tan­nin or struc­ture.

CLAS­SIC MATCH: If I’m be­ing ex­trav­a­gant, I’d drink aged white Bur­gundy with comté. That’s my favourite thing in the world – you’ve got all those beau­ti­ful creamy, but­tery char­ac­ters in the wine and the same things in the cheese.

LEFTFIELD MATCH: Castelli Es­tate has a savoury, com­plex sparkling shi­raz, which works re­ally well with a charry noo­dle dish at Long Chim. It has a lot of roasted chilli and ta­marind, and it just works!

GUILTY PLEA­SURE: I some­times buy that ter­ri­ble ched­dar cheese pop­corn, and love it with skin-con­tact sauvi­gnon blanc!

Pa­trick Mad­den Mother Vine, Ade­laide

HOT TIP: We’re more of a small bar, where we serve things like char­cu­terie and cheese, so I find it’s ei­ther about com­ple­ment­ing or con­trast­ing wine with the food. If you’re hav­ing a dish that's a bit fatty, you ei­ther want some­thing with tan­nin to en­hance it or acid­ity to off­set it. For ex­am­ple, if we’re serv­ing a soft cheese, I’d rec­om­mend a textured white wine or light Ital­ian red.

CLAS­SIC MATCH: I’m quite par­tial to pork, which is fatty, so I usu­ally like a wine with tan­nin to go with it. If I’m eat­ing pork belly, I’ll go for some­thing like neb­bi­olo to en­hance it.

LEFTFIELD MATCH: I’ve been drink­ing a bit of [French dry red] Mon­deuse at the mo­ment and en­joy­ing that with ev­ery­thing! I re­ally like it with the fat­ti­ness of duck ril­lettes, which is not re­ally a tra­di­tional match, but it’s de­li­cious.

Jacq Turner Chin Chin, Syd­ney

HOT TIP: I al­ways say, drink what you love, find the best ex­am­ples and fol­low those pro­duc­ers be­cause the sto­ries are al­ways more fun than the points. And re­ally, just look for bal­ance be­tween the wine and the food, and don’t over­think it – that’s so bor­ing! And don’t pair high al­co­hol with heavy pro­tein. It won't work and it's also not 1985 any­more!

CLAS­SIC MATCH: I have this go-to where I crave Chablis with aged comté, but that’s a bit high­brow!

LEFTFIELD MATCH: I re­cently had a great match of Greek as­syr­tiko with fava, sar­dines and pick­led shallots.

GUILTY PLEA­SURE: G&T with plain chips! And it has to be a large gin pour.

“I have this go-to where I crave Chablis with aged comté, but that’s a bit high­brow!" Jacq Turner, Chin Chin Syd­ney

Michael Leopold, Rick Shores, Gold Coast

HOT TIP: We’re an Asian-fu­sion restau­rant with many seafood dishes with a lot of spice, so we like low-tan­nin wines; they tend to work best. I al­ways try to read the guests to find out what they pre­fer. If they're keen to try some­thing new, I’ll move away from the sauvi­gnon blanc and pinot gri­gio, and steer them to other va­ri­eties. I’m re­ally lik­ing Ital­ian wines, like Cortese. And the Ricca Terra Bronco Buster [white blend] works par­tic­u­larly well with many of our dishes.”

CLAS­SIC MATCH: I’m a sucker for seafood, so I love fresh-cooked king prawns with ries­ling, whether it’s Tas­ma­nian or South Aus­tralian. They just re­ally com­ple­ment the salti­ness of the prawns. And Cham­pagnes with oys­ters works re­ally well too, as do prosecco and cava.

LEFTFIELD MATCH: We’ve had a Blaufrankisch on the list for a while and it works re­ally well with our Asian­in­spired pork hock. It’s nice to of­fer a wine some peo­ple haven’t heard of, and it goes so well with the rich­ness of the XO sauce in this dish.

GUILTY-PLEA­SURE MATCH: I love a good home­made meat pie with an Aussie shi­raz. They re­ally com­ple­ment each other, es­pe­cially with a lit­tle to­mato sauce on top of the pie!

Alice Chugg Et­tie’s, Ho­bart

HOT TIP: For me, I think you can steer away from the old ideas, like if you have a big, heavy piece of meat, you need a big, heavy red. Op­posed to go­ing for rich­ness, I think fresh­ness works much bet­ter. We have things like char­cu­terie and ter­rine, which is rich, so we of­fer a num­ber of wines with a lot of acid that cleans and re­freshes the palate. It works much bet­ter than rich on rich.

CLAS­SIC MATCH: Oys­ters and Chablis! I love the salty, min­eral el­e­ments of the wine and they go so well with oys­ters. Plus, we have such great oys­ters here in Tas­ma­nia.

LEFTFIELD MATCH: Here, we match an Olorosso sherry with our crème caramel. In­stead of go­ing for a sweet wine, this nice, ox­ida­tive sherry cre­ates a whole dif­fer­ent flavour.

GUILTY PLEA­SURE: I just love fish and chips with a cold beer!

Se­bas­tian Crowther MS, The Rock­pool Din­ing Group

HOT TIP: Peo­ple of­ten get told to fo­cus on the pro­tein, but in my ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s never the main pro­tein that’s the main in­flu­ence. In mod­ern cook­ing and the cook­ing you do at home, the sauce can have the most im­pact. I call those things the ‘spikes’ – the things that re­ally stand out. When a chef puts on a new dish, we’ll talk more about the sauce it’s get­ting served with or what it’s be­ing ac­com­pa­nied with than the ac­tual pro­tein. I try to find a wine that has those same el­e­ments – ei­ther a sweet, salty, spicy or bit­ter com­po­nent. Tex­ture is an­other fac­tor to con­sider and the cook­ing tech­nique comes into it too, whether it’s steamed or poached or cooked on a grill with big char-grilled flavours.

CLAS­SIC MATCH: Lamb with Bordeaux, and duck with Bur­gundy.

LEFTFIELD MATCH: I re­ally like fried chicken with Cham­pagne, and Beau­jo­lais or caber­net franc from the Loire with burg­ers. These types of wines with a bit of acid work well with these ‘dude foods’ and freshen it all up.

“I re­ally like fried chicken with Cham­pagne, and Beau­jo­lais or caber­net franc from the Loire with burg­ers. These types of wines with a bit of acid work well with these ‘dude foods’ and freshen it all up.” Se­bas­tian Crowther, Mas­ter Som­me­lier “Oys­ters and Chablis! I love the salty, min­eral el­e­ments of the wine and they go so well with oys­ters.” Alice Chugg, Et­ties

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