Page 10-11: What to drink with Aussie classics
If you’re looking for ‘modern Australian’ cuisine then turn over to page 12, where Nik Mann cooks up her Asian-influenced crispy school prawns. I think there is a place for ‘old school’ too, so here’s my take on what to drink with classic Aussie dishes.
Fish and chips
Crunchy batter, crispy chips and delicate fish are the perfect foil for so many Australian wines. Young Hunter Semillons and Clare Valley Rieslings, with their fresh acidity and citrus characters are stellar matches but I love to pair this classic dish with something sparkling. Grab a bottle of the Society Sparkling Selection Brut Reserve NV and let the delicate bubbles cut through the fat and cleanse the palate while the bright lemon flavours delicately season the fish.
‘Barbeque’ can mean a multitude of things from a simple sausage sizzle to a gourmet extravaganza. I’m thinking more of the former here: snags, burgers, perhaps steaks if we’re feeling fancy. I’d be looking for a wine with the oomph to handle a bit of red meat, the versatility to go with a range of sides, sauces and condiments and an easy nature that can be enjoyed on its own as the party goes on. Step forward Society Easy Drinking Selection Merlot 2015.
Sure, I know what you’re thinking: meat pie and beer, not meat pie and wine. But there are meat pies and there are meat pies; I’m not suggesting you smuggle a flask of your favourite drop into the footy. Instead, buy (or make) yourself a good pie with a crumbly shortcrust pastry, top quality beef mince and a rich onion gravy and you have the perfect partner for the dark berry fruit and gentle tannins of the Society Easy Drinking Selection Shiraz 2013.
As autumn rolls towards winter, is there a better aroma than a leg of lamb roasting in the oven? Rich, warming and inviting, this classic Sunday lunch is a very special meal and it deserves a special wine to go with it. Lamb is a versatile meat, pairing well with most full-bodied reds but it finds its perfect partner in Cabernet. The Society Premium Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, made by master of the varietal Paul Gordon, is bursting with dark berry flavours and elegant fine tannins. It is extraordinary value too, at just $15.99.
I know some pesky New Zealanders might claim it as their own but as far as I’m concerned, sweet treats don’t get much more Australian than pavlova. Or, to be more precise, pavlova served with a glass of botrytis Semillon. The rich sweetness of this classic dessert wine style matches that of the dish but the best examples also show a lightness of touch and a crisp acidity that balances the sweetness, complements the fruit and cleanses the palate. Look no further than the Society Premium Selection Margan Botrytis Semillon 2012.