Celestial Coupling

Written by
Vintage Cellars
February 16, 2017
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The ultimate spring guide for heavenly food and wine matching at home.

Food and wine are rarely far from one another. When paired well they heighten the drinking and dining experience, and although matching food and wine can be daunting, there are some classics that are easy to emulate at home to impress dinner guests.

Spring is abundant with new season product and produce. As the weather warms up, the spectrum of wine suited to the weather is diverse and plentiful. It’s not too hot for a roast to feel out of place, nor is it too cool to have to avoid glorious white wine. Let’s look at some simple and elegant food and wine matches for spring.

Freshly Shucked Oysters and Sparkling for Starters

To begin, pick up some Sydney rock oysters and ask to have them shucked for you – unless you don’t value your knuckles that is! These slippery fellows are the easiest of canapés and work best with bright white wines with high acidity. To dress up the oysters you can let your imagination run wild, but new season lemon works best. Pair the oysters with Cloudy Bay Sparkling from New Zealand. The wine will shine as the saltiness enhances the fruit character of the wine, and the acidity will leave you with a clean and fresh palate ready for another delicious mollusk. Another great pairing with oysters is Riesling; try The Crafty Punter from the Clare Valley in South Australia, the home of the greatest Riesling in the country.

Asparagus Partnered with Sauvignon Blanc

Asparagus is ready to harvest and makes for a beautiful addition to the spring table, so the next dish on the menu is asparagus with a poached egg and parmesan. For this entrée you’ll need to roll up your chefs sleeves a little.  Simply steam the asparagus until tender and poach an egg until its soft boiled. Place the egg on top of 6-8 asparagus spears and shave parmesan cheese on top to taste. Drizzle with good olive oil and season. Match this dish with a bright and crisp Sauvignon Blanc like Shaw and Smith from the Adelaide Hills. The Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc is incredibly bright, with lovely sweet, tropical notes and savoury grassy notes. It’s the perfect foil for the asparagus and it has the acidity to cut through the runny egg and salty parmesan.

Succulent Spring Lamb and Light and Bright Reds

The main course is as easy as turning on the oven as we prepare succulent lamb - a quintessential Aussie dish for springtime. Add chopped onions, white wine and olive oil to the pan and season liberally. You may also like to keep the lamb unadorned and serve with potatoes and a simple salad including roasted beetroot, mint and goat’s cheese. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. Everyone expects a big red with lamb, however light and bright varieties work well with slightly underdone lamb and fat. Stonier Pinot Noir from the Mornington Peninsula is the perfect fit, plus it has a lovely synergy with the beetroot salad.  If you want a little more oomph in your glass, Grant Burge Filsell Shiraz will put you on the path to merriment.

Lemon Tart and Semillon for a Sweet Finish

To finish, devour a tangy lemon tart. You may need to buy one if your culinary skills are not up to it, and let’s face it, if you’ve put the rest of the meal together you deserve a reprieve. A simple dollop of cream and a glass of McWilliams Botrytis Semillon will have your guests in awe.

Food and wine matching needn’t be troublesome, and the experimentation is half the fun. There is no single style of wine that you have to use, simply recommendations and inspiration. In the end use what you love.