There’s nothing better than curling up in winter with a good meal and a glass of wine…but which wine?! If, like me, you’re not too sure about which wines go with which winter roasts, wine expert Ben Malouf will tell you all you need to know to fool even the poshest of dinner guests!
And trust me, Ben knows a thing or two about fine wine. He is the owner of Fine Wine Fine Food – a firm fixture on Sydney’s food scene. At his store, Ben has created a foodie haven showcasing award winning produce of Australia’s small farmers, bakers, chocolatiers and winemakers.
Ben sits on many wine-tasting panels and is super passionate about promoting small, family owned wineries that produce award-winning drops.
Lucky for us, Ben has handpicked wines from boutique vineyards across Australia and has recommended a luxe and affordable drop for each of your favourite winter dishes.
Here are his picks…
“Chicken is versatile so when it comes to matching wines with this type of roast, take a look at what you’re serving with it. Green veggies and a citrus flavoured stuffing call for a fresh white such as a pinot gris. Whereas a velvety shiraz is better suited to truffled mash and a rich gravy.”
Affordable: Dr John’s Pinot Gris 2010, McLaren Vale, South Australia – $21.99
Personally I think this is one of the best white wines in the country. It’s fresh and crisp with notes of lime, apple blossom, pear and lychee so it goes down a treat with poultry. Given it scooped a Sydney Royal Gold Medal and scored 91 points in Wine Showcase magazine in 2011, this drop is awesome value at $21.99.
Luxe: Moppity Vineyards 2009 Reserve Shiraz, Hilltops Region, New South Wales – $59.99
Take a sip of this rich shiraz and you’ll detect dark berry fruits, aniseed, mocha and a hint of spice. For such a complex wine it has a beautiful soft finish making it an ideal match with white meat. To give you an idea of just how good this wine is, it was named “Best Shiraz in the World” at the London International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2011; a huge accolade, and one this wine lives up to.
“Pork, like chicken is complemented beautifully by a wide variety of wines but I tend to prefer tucking into this meat with a fruity red.”
Affordable: Burk Salter Merlot Cabernet Blend 2008, Blanchetown, South Australia – $16.99
This merlot cabernet blend is a real winner with a roast pork dinner. Packed full of classic berry flavours, it’s fermented in French and American oak barrels which add a touch of spice to the wine. This drop is beaut with pork as it has a soft, delicate finish that doesn’t overpower the meat.
Luxe: Coal Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010, Coal River Valley, Tasmania – $35.99
Ripe plums and blueberries sing in this pinot noir. It’s smooth and easy on the palate; a cracker drop with roast pork. It picked up a Silver Medal at the Royal Hobart Wine Show in 2012 and scored 94 points in The Sydney Morning Herald andThe Age’s Good Wine Guide.
“There’s nothing better than sitting down to a classic Aussie lamb roast with family and friends during the chillier months. This lighter style of red meat is best served with a medium bodied wine; nothing too big that’ll overpower the lamb and nothing too light that’ll get lost on your palate.”
Affordable: Hastwell & Lightfoot Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, McLaren Vale, South Australia – $24.99
There are a lot of flavours in this cabernet sauvignon; dark berries, olives, mocha, a hint of mint and an earthiness. With so much going on, you’d expect this complex wine to be overwhelming but as all the flavours perfectly balance each other, it has a surprisingly delicate finish.
Luxe: Darling Park Shiraz 2010, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria – $37.99
Bright magenta in colour, here is a wine that will warm your insides! With hints of spice and rich berry flavours this elegant cool climate shiraz is a perfect accompaniment with lamb. You’ll also notice white pepper notes and oak in the background – a great mid weight wine.
“A juicy piece of red meat requires a big gutsy wine; something bold that will complement the rich flavour of the beef.”
Affordable: Patritti Old Gate Shiraz 2008, McLaren Vale, South Australia – $24.99
Big, bold and gutsy, this wine is everything a traditional McLaren Vale shiraz should be. Aged in 100% new American and French oak puncheons (casks that hold 465 litres), you’ll have to dig out your corkscrew to crack open this full bodied wine which scooped a Bronze Medal at the 2012 Royal Melbourne Wine Show for its exceptional character.
Luxe: Churchview St John’s Cabernet Blend 2009, Margaret River, Western Australia – $49.99
Made in a traditional Bordeaux style, this is a complex wine. Perfect with roast beef, you’ll taste dark fruits (blackberries, mulberries and cherries) as well as savoury bay leaf and eucalypt characters. Awarded a Bronze Medal at the 2012 Royal Perth Wine Show, it was also named in Gourmet Traveller’s Top 100 New Releases.
And just for our Show + Tell readers, Ben is offering an exclusive discount (plus free delivery) off a case of the affordable and luxe winter wine picks featured in this article so you can try some of the wines Ben has recommended.
- Chicken: Dr John’s Pinot Gris 2010, McLaren Vale, SA ($21.99) x3
- Pork: Burk Salter Merlot Cabernet Blend 2008, Blanchetown, SA ($16.99) x3
- Lamb: Hastwell & Lightfoot Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, McLaren Vale, SA ($24.99) x3
- Beef: Patritti Old Gate Shiraz 2008, McLaren Vale, SA ($24.99) x3
Total: $266.88/ Show + Tell’s price: $215.00 (saving of over $50) + Free Delivery
- Chicken: Moppity Vineyards 2009 Reserve Shiraz, Hilltops Region, NSW ($59.99) x3
- Pork: Coal Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010, Coal River Valley, TAS ($35.99) x3
- Lamb: Darling Park Shiraz 2010, Mornington Peninsula, VIC ($37.99) x3
- Beef: Churchview St John’s Cabernet Blend 2009, Margaret River, WA ($49.99) x
Total: $551.88/ Show + Tell’s price: $470 (saving of over $80) + Free Delivery
To order your case email firstname.lastname@example.org and type ‘Show + Tell’ into the subject field.