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.

Seasonal food and wine matching

Spring
Sparkling
Oysters, cold crustacea, tapas, any cold hors d'oeuvres 
Rosé
Caesar salad, trout mousse 
Young Riesling
Cold salads, sashimi 
Young Pinot Noir
Seared kangaroo fillet, grilled quail 
Gewurztraminer
Asian 
Merlot
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 
 

 

Summer
Chilled Fino
Cold consommé
Young Light-bodied Pinot Noir
Grilled salmon
2-3-year-old Semillon
Gazpacho
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
Merlot
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
Parmagiana
Off-dry Rosé
Chilled fresh fruit
 

 

Autumn
Amontillado
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

 

Winter
Dry Oloroso Sherry
Full-flavoured hors d'oeuvres
Mature Pinot Noir
Mushroom ragout, ravioli
Sparkling Burgundy
Borscht
Mature Merlot
Pot au feu
Viognier
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)
Cassoulet
Tokay (Old) 
Creme brûlée
Mature Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
Seafood pasta 
Vintage Port
Dried fruits, salty cheese 
Young Tasmanian Pinot Noir
Squab, duck breast
 


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

Sweet pies and dessert wines
To help you beat the chill, we've cranked up the oven to create four sweet pies from The Pie Project by Phoebe Wood and Kirsten Jenkins, matched to Australian dessert wines.

Sweet pies and dessert wines


Tuscan food and wine
Florence-based food writer Emiko Davies shares wine-spiked recipes from her new cookbook, Florentine, inlcluding Tuscan roast pork and fresh pasta with duck ragu, matched with Australian wines.
  
Florentine menu

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
Embrace the bold flavours of the Mediterranean with this laidback Greek menu, which includes a virtuous take on chicken souvlaki, plus garlicky squid, aromatic lamb and chocolate olive oil mousse, all expertly paired with Australian wines.

Greek food and wine


Sparkling wine and canapes
To help take your entertaining game to the next level this party season, we've teamed up with our friends at Cooked.com.au to pair sparkling wines with a range of show-stopping canapes. 

Blinis with smoked salmon


Easy Japanese banquet

Enjoy a light and bright Japanese menu of tempura, gyoza, miso beef and creme brûlée, paired with local wine and Japanese beer and sake.


Southeast Asian seafood feast

Impress your guests with a zesty Southeast Asian seafood banquet, expertly matched to Audrey Wilkinson Wines.

Asian seafood banquet

Subscribe to Wine Companion today

Become a member

Let's Socialise Stay Connected

Access thousands of the newest Australian wine reviews instantly.

Join today

For the full winecompanion.com.au experience, please update your web browser. to something less antiquated

Special Value

Wines considered to offer special value for money.