There’s nothing quite as refreshing as sipping a cold beverage in the middle of a relentless Australian summer. While you may already have your drink of choice in mind, you may want to consider adapting your drink to better suit the meal you’re about to enjoy. Pairing wine with the right food can accentuate the flavours and make your meal time experience that little more pleasurable. It’s worth remembering, though, that if you get the pairing wrong, it’s blatantly obvious. Some drinks will heighten spicy foods, while others will provide relief. You may have spent hours preparing food only to choose a wine that neutralises the flavours, when that’s the last thing you want to do! You don’t need to become a wine connoisseur to appreciate a good food and wine pairing. We’ve made it easy for you, creating the ultimate guide to summer food and wine pairings.
Which wines to pair with salads
Light, cold foods are welcomed with open arms (and mouths) during summer.
Chicken Caesar Salad
Enjoy with a lightly oaked Chardonnay, oaked Sauvignon Blanc, or a dry rosé.
Try pairing with a Sauvignon Blanc, a citrus flavoured white, which compliments the dominant ingredients of the dish, feta, and olives.
Thai beef salad or other Asian Salads, such as Chinese Noodle Salad
These types of salads can be enjoyed best with an Australian Riesling.
These salads are quite mild as they’re dressed with mayonnaise. They’re best paired with a smooth dry white like a Soave, Gavi, or unoaked Chardonnay.
Note the difference between flavour intensity and weight when choosing the right wine. Chardonnay can be full-bodied but low in flavour, while Riesling is a lightweight wine with intense flavour. You should aim to match the flavour intensity in both the wine and food, otherwise you run the risk of one flavour overpowering the other.
Remember that sometimes beer and cider pair better with salads, if that’s your drink of choice!
Wines to pair with barbecued meats
There’s BBQs in summer by the pool, at the public park, or on the grill in your kitchen. Wherever you’re cooking, be sure to bring the right wine.
Heavier foods like steak call for a full-bodied wine, with reds being the obvious choice, although some whites are well suited too. However, not all cuts of meat are the same, and so a red wine may not always be the best choice.
Pair lean cuts with New World Cabernet Sauvignons which are fruity and soft with a touch of acidity. Opt for a Pinot Noir if you’re looking for something less dry (it contains thinner grape skins and therefore less tannins). For fattier, chewy cuts, try a Cabernet-Merlot blend.
Dessert time. Which wines go well with sweets?
Tie in a deep chocolate dessert with an Australian Shiraz, a Riesling to accompany a classic apple pie, or a Moscato with your slice of pavlova.
A general rule to follow is that the darker and richer the food gets, the darker the wine.
What about cheese platters?
Well, it depends on what you include on your cheese platter. There can be a lot of variety. Are you wanting more cured meats, more fruit and nuts, honey? Or a mixture of everything? This will influence which wine you select.
Everyone has their favourites, but if you want to bring out the taste of both the cheese and wine, try these pairings:
- Mozzarellaand Sauvignon Blanc
- Gouda and Merlot
- Cheddar and Cabernet Sauvignon
- Parmesan and Chianti
- Ricotta and Pinot Grigio
- Brie and Chardonnay
- Camembert and Champagne
- Blue and Riesling
Whichever pairings you choose, enjoy!
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