How To Pair Australian Wines

Tips from the winemakers who craft them.


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What do you eat with an Australian Shiraz?

"Kangaroo," Mount Horrocks winemaker Stephanie Toole told us recently at her Clare Valley winery. But as there's not much 'roo bouncing 'round the U.S., we decided to ask other winemakers.

"If it's a cool-climate Shiraz, a meat pasta with red sauce" to go with the wine's savory notes, says Rutherglen Estates vinter Nicole Esdaile. "If it's a ripe, fruity Shiraz, then I would want a rich meat stew or venison."

"Osso bucco or a cassoulet," says Lionel Flutto of Heathcote II, whose business card lists his position as "Individual." Emma Bowen, winemaker at Bowen Estates, says, "Probably a nice ragout," and Dina Grilli, co-owner of Primo Estate, likes bistecca Fiorentina—a rib eye steak rubbed in pork fat, garlic, and rosemary and grilled.

There's more agreement about what goes with Aussie Cabernets. Speaking for the majority of those we talked with, Elderton's Allistair Ashmead says, "I lean toward lamb that is slow cooked." But with Shiraz, he loves the roasted pork with barbecued beans and green favas that his mum, Lorraine, prepares to go along with a vertical tasting of Elderton Command Shiraz.

Pinot Noir? Simone Joyce of Pike & Joyce serves a rabbit pate with olives and chutney at the winery's Woodside Providore in the Adelaide Hills.

Rutherglen's Edaile enjoys smoked fish "or a smoked eel pate" with Rhone blends, and Toole likes fresh seafood with her crisp Rieslings, especially if it's served with "produce with Asian influences, such as chilies, lime, and coriander."

And for an ABC—Another Bloomin' Chardonnay—we enjoyed scallops with artichoke tapenade and chive crème fraiche at the Stoke House in Melbourne and pasta with shredded blue swimmer crabs, tomatoes, chilies, and fresh basil at Chianti Classico restaurant in Adelaide.

And if in doubt, mate, just throw another shrimp on the barbie!

Lorraine Ashmead's Barossa Roast Pork with Beans

6 pound rib-eye pork loin, excess fat trimmed

 

5 teaspoons pimenton (smoked sweet paprika)
Juice of one lemon
Olive oil, for rubbing
3 red onions, thin sliced
2 small red bell peppers
2 small green bell peppers
1 pound chorizo, sliced
6 bay leaves
Few sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
3 16-oz. cans whole tomatoes
4 fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped
4 16-oz. cans of black-eyed beans (peas)
5 garlic cloves
Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Red wine vinegar, to taste
1 16-oz. package prepared fava beans

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Lightly score pork skin at regularly intervals, trying not to cut into the meat. Rub into the meat some salt, 1 tsp. paprika, lemon juice, and olive oil. Let marinate 1 hour. Place meat in tight-fitting, high-sided oven tray and roast for 30 minutes.
Remove meat from oven and reduce heat to 350°F.

Remove pork from tray and set aside. Spoon out half the fat from the tray and put on medium heat on large stovetop burner. Gently sauté onions, chorizo, bay leaves, rosemary, and rest of paprika until onions are soft. Add tomatoes, peppers, black-eyes peas, garlic, parsley, plus one cup water. Stir and scrape bits from bottom of tray.

Return pork to tray on top of vegetables and roast at 350 degrees for one hour, or until skin is crispy and pork is tender.

Remove pork, let rest for a few minutes, and season with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slice and serve with cooked vegetables on large platter. Add prepared fava beans around edges for color contrast. Serves 8.

Wine Recommendations: Elderton Command Shiraz or another full-bodied Barossa Shiraz.

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