Matching Australian-made drinks to Australian Flavours
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Matching Australian-made drinks to Australian Flavours

Written by
Vintage Cellars
March 13, 2018
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Australia is renowned for its quality produce; from our bush tucker to our food basket regions, we are the lucky country when it comes to the unique morsels we can enjoy on our plates. You’ve most likely tried kangaroo, but there may be a few flavoursome fruits, seafood, herbs or spices you’re yet to sample.

Native bush foods are emerging as key ingredients in many of the country’s high-profile chefs’ kitchens. And there’s no reason why they can’t feature in your own, especially when you can pair these distinct and unique flavours with a delicious bottle of something local, too.

We have the Australian wine recommendations to perfectly complement emerging and established local delicacies, from saltbush or lemon myrtle to Moreton Bay bugs.

Lemon Myrtle and Chardonnay

Lemon Myrtle is one of our most popular herbs in Australia – even establishing itself as a key botanical in Australian gins. As versatile as it is fresh in fragrance, lemon myrtle can be used for fish, chicken and even ice cream. Lemon myrtle thrives in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland.

We’d recommend selecting Tyrrell's Wines Vat 47 Chardonnay to pair with your lemon myrtle-flavoured dishes – after all what grows together, goes together.

Try making a lemon myrtle roasted chicken or try mashing myrtle with a ripe mango for a tasty prawn marinade. The Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin would pair beautifully enhancing the lemon myrtle botanical.

Moreton Bay Bug and Prosecco

In Australia, we’re spoilt with incredible access to lobster, one of the best-known species being the Moreton Bay Bug. Such a special dish calls for a celebratory wine match, and it just so happens that the drier brut style of prosecco pairs brilliantly with seafood.

Australia has earned a reputation for high quality prosecco, thanks to Otto Dal Zotto of Dal Zotto Wines planting the first glera grapes in Australia in 2000. Since then, the proliferation of wineries in the King Valley area has come to be known as the “Prosecco Road”.

We recommend a Moreton Bay Bug and avocado salad, which will make room for both the lobster and the prosecco to be the true stars of the menu.

Smoky saltbush with Pinot Gris

Saltbush is another trending ingredient in mainstream Australian cooking of the last few years. It’s native to Australia, but different spieces also exist in North America and South America. The shrub, which is similar to baby spinach in size and texture, is able to be substituted for salt in many recipes. It’s ideal in dishes with a smoky taste, such as fish cooked in paperbark. For this flavour combination, we recommend a pinot gris like Eden Road The Long Road Pinot Gris which is fruit forward and will cut through the smoky, salty palate between bites.

Quandong with a native gin

Sometimes called Australia’s ‘wild peach’ the quandong is a small red fruit that has long held importance among Indigenous tribes. Sweet tasting with a slightly sour aftertaste, they’re delicious fresh or cooked.

We think it’s an inspired idea to top a pavlova with rose sorbet and quandong cream. For this combination, a palate cleansing gin like Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin or Poor Toms Sydney Dry Gin is just the ticket, due to the use of Australian natives for botanicals. An Australian dessert wine like De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon would also be a natural pairing for rounding out the last course. Enjoy!