Over the journey of this column (this is number 99) I have spent a better than a fair bit of time on food and wine matching. We’ve looked at wine with fast food, seafood, cheese and chocolate. But I am yet to spell out my ultimate food and wine guide, so this week we look at some of my all-time faves.
Riesling is one of the best things going around in the Yass Valley region with its full-on citrus tang.
Pick the youngest you can – the 2022’s won’t be far away – and pair this with spankingly fresh, crisply battered south coast snapper or flathead, served with a wedge of lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt. Bob is your mother’s uncle with this pairing.
I love my Chardonnay’s.
While I’m no fan over them so over-oaked you spit splinters, I don’t like them un-oaked either. Try and find one that is silky smooth, buttery, nutty and loaded with peaches ‘n cream flavours. There is nothing better with these Chardonnays than the classic Sunday roast chicken, with honey, mustard and cream sauce – with the chicken juices added after it’s cooked and rested. Simply sublime.
We’re big fans of Thai food at the Chateau Lello dinner table. The freshness of the flavours and the fire of the chilli demand a heat-slaking, super-chilled white wine with a little sweetness.
My absolute go-to wine for Thai food is a young and zippy Gewurztraminer. These wines are often slightly fruit-sweet and spicy with lychee and tropical fruit flavours, a harmonious pairing to the food.
Moving onto the reds now and let’s start with Pinot Noir.
There’s a lot that can go really well with a good Pinot, but my all-time box-office combo is Pinot with Peking Duck pancakes. Pinot Noir has bright cherry fruit flavours and a tongue-tingling race of acidity. Pair this with the duck’s deliciously crispy skin and fatty flesh, served with a smear of hoisin sauce, spring onions and cucumber with some fresh chilli. Mama Mia!
To me, Cabernet is king with beef.
Whether it’s an on-the-bone roast or a char-grilled, premium cut, the bold, black and blue fruit flavours and terrific tannins of Cabernet match up well to the rich, meatiness of the beef.
The most “Aussie” of all my food and wine faves is classic Aussie Shiraz with lamb. The dark fruit flavours along with its spice, afford Shiraz the top gong with a slow-roasted lamb shoulder, or chargrilled lamb chops straight from BBQ.
Other must-haves include Sauvignon Blanc with a young goat’s cheese, Crème Brulé with a botrytis Semillon and Muscat with Old Gold Rum-n-Raisin chocolate.
As a wise man once said – “Good food is great, fine wine is better, but good food and fine wine are heaven together”