Wine and Food

It all depends on your starting point: there are conventional matches for overseas classics such as caviar (Champagne), fresh foie gras (Sauternes, riesling or rosé), and new season Italian white truffles (any medium-bodied red). Here the food flavour is all important, the wine merely incidental.

At the other extreme come 50-year-old classic red wines: Grange, or Grand Cru Burgundy or, First Growth Bordeaux, or a Maurice O'Shea Mount Pleasant Shiraz. Here the food is, or should be, merely a low-key foil, but at the same time must be of high quality.

In the Australian context I believe not enough attention is paid to the time of year, which - particularly in the southern states - is or should be a major determinant in the choice of both food and wine. And so I shall present my suggestions in this way, always bearing in mind how many ways there are to skin a cat.

If you're looking for dinner party inspiration, look no further than our food and wine matching features from Halliday Magazine.

French accent
In his new book, France, Luke Nguyen shares bistro classics and cherished family recipes, including Lyonnaise salad, mussels in white wine, beef daube and lemon meringue tartlets.

Greek food and wine
Chicken souvlaki | braised squid with garlic and rosemary | baked lamb | eggplant salad | chocolate olive oil mousse

Greek food and wine

Sparkling wine and canapes
Blinis with smoked salmon | fritto misto | Thai-style oysters | mushroom paté

Blinis with smoked salmon

Easy Japanese banquet
Tempura | pork gyoza | caramelised miso beef | miso creme brulee

Southeast Asian seafood feast
Prawn & coconut miang | curry leaf and pepper crab | prawn noodle salad | steamed fish with lime and chillies

Asian seafood banquet

Seasonal food and wine matching

Oysters, cold crustacea, tapas, any cold hors d'oeuvres
Caesar salad, trout mousse
Young Riesling
Cold salads, sashimi
Young Pinot Noir
Seared kangaroo fillet, grilled quail
Pastrami, warm smoked chicken
Young Semillon
Antipasto, vegetable terrine
Young Medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon
Rack of baby lamb
Pinot Gris, Colombard
Crab cakes, whitebait
Light- To Medium-bodied Cool Climate Shiraz
Rare eye fillet of beef
Verdelho, Chenin Blanc
Cold smoked chicken, gravlax
Young Botrytised Wines
Fresh fruits, cake
Mature Chardonnay
Grilled chicken, chicken pasta, turkey, pheasant


Chilled Fino
Cold consommé
Young Light-bodied Pinot Noir
Grilled salmon
2-3-year-old Semillon
Aged Pinot Noir (5+ Years)
Coq au vin, wild duck
2-3-year-old Riesling
Seared tuna
Young Grenache/Sangiovese
Osso bucco
Young Barrel-fermented Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
Seafood or vegetable tempura
Mature Chardonnay (5+ Years)
Braised rabbit
Young Off-dry Riesling
Prosciutto & melon/pear
Hunter Valley Shiraz (5-10 years)
Beef spare ribs
Cool-climate Chardonnay
Abalone, lobster, Chinese-style prawns
Saltimbocca, roast pheasant
10-year-old Semillon or Riesling
Braised pork neck
Medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon (5 Years)
Barbecued butterfly leg of lamb
Mature Chardonnay
Smoked eel, smoked roe
All Wines
Off-dry Rose
Chilled fresh fruit


Warm consomme
Aged Pinot Noir
Grilled calf's liver, roast kid, lamb or pig's kidneys
Barrel-fermented Mature Whites
Smoked roe, bouillabaisse
Mature Margaret River Cabernet Merlot
Lamb fillet, roast leg of lamb with garlic and herbs
Complex Mature Chardonnay
Sweetbreads, brains
Cool Climate Merlot
Lamb loin chops
Fully Aged Riesling
Chargrilled eggplant, stuffed capsicum
Mature Grenache/rhone Blends
Moroccan lamb
Aged Marsanne
Seafood risotto, Lebanese
Rich, Full-bodied Heathcote Shiraz
Beef casserole
Southern Victorian Pinot Noir
Peking duck
Young Muscat
Plum pudding


Dry Oloroso Sherry
Full-flavoured hors d'oeuvres
Mature Pinot Noir
Mushroom ragout, ravioli
Sparkling Burgundy
Mature Merlot
Pot au feu
Pea and ham soup
10-year-old Heathcote Shiraz
Char-grilled rump steak
Aged (10+ Years) Semillon
Vichysoisse (hot)
15-20-year-old Full-bodied Barossa Shiraz
Venison, kangaroo fillet
Sauvignon Blanc
Coquilles St Jacques, pan-fried scallops
Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon
Braised lamb shanks/shoulder
Mature Chardonnay
Quiche Lorraine
Muscat (Old)
Chocolate-based desserts
Chardonnay (10+ Years)
Tokay (Old)
Creme brûlée
Mature Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
Seafood pasta
Vintage Port
Dried fruits, salty cheese
Young Tasmanian Pinot Noir
Squab, duck breast

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Special Value

Wines considered to offer special value for money.